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If you can't run; walk...

Walking is underrated. OK yes, running is technically better for you than walking. However, if you hate running so much you never leave the couch, it’s no good for you at all!! So, if you can't or won't run; walk...

You see, both running and walking are two of the best fat-burning exercises. Plus, the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes!! Did you know that brisk walking for 45 minutes mobilises the body to dip into fat reserves and burn stored fat? It's especially effective for burning internal belly fat, known as visceral fat, that not only contributes to the waistline but also raises the risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Try walking to the bus stop or train station, going for a walk in your lunch break, walking the dog, or meeting up with a friend and getting a coffee to go whilst walking.

Brisk walking for a total of five hours per week is associated with maintaining weight loss and even greater health benefits, plus it's great for your mind too. So, I recommend that you try adding in a walk each day, or at least a few times a week, to any fitness and health programme to reap the extra rewards. If you struggle with walking then here's how you can build up to the habit.

Walking For Beginners

Tips: You will want to walk at an easy pace for a couple of minutes before you speed up. Wear flexible athletic shoes and comfortable clothing. You can do your walking outdoors, indoors, or on a treadmill. It might be useful to have a fitness tracker or mobile phone on you to track your time here. If you find any of the weeks to be too difficult, then repeat that week rather than adding more time. Do this until you are able to progress comfortably.

Week 1:

Start with a daily 10 - 15-minute walk at an easy pace. Walk five days the first week. You want to build a habit, so consistency is important. Spread out your rest days, such as making day 3 a rest day and day 6 a rest day.

Weekly total goal: 60 to 75 minutes

Week 2:

Add five minutes a day so you are walking for 15 - 20 minutes, five days a week. Or, you may wish to extend yourself more on some days, followed by a rest day. That's fine too.

Weekly total goal: 75 to 100 minutes

Week 3:

Add five minutes a day so you end up walking for 25 minutes, five days a week.

Weekly total goal: 100 to 125 minutes

Week 4:

Add five minutes a day to walk for 30 minutes, five days a week.

Weekly total goal: 125 to 150 minutes

Once you can walk easily for 30 minutes you'll start to see the benefits and improvement. And, as you find this easier you can increase the time gradually, and the pace also, so that you can end up going for a brisk walk for 45 minutes to an hour. If at any time during the walk you are experiencing difficulty, slow down further and return to your starting point. And it's okay to go slower than a brisk pace when you're first starting out too.

What is a brisk pace?

  • Your breathing is heavier than normal.

  • You are still able to carry on a full conversation while walking.

  • You are not out of breath

Tips on Correct Walking Posture:

  • Keep your head up: when you're walking, focus on standing

  • Lengthen your back and try to keep your shoulders down and back

  • Engage your core (tummy)

  • Swing your arms gently and step from heel to toe.

Intermediate Short Walking Workout

  • Warm up at an easy pace for three to five minutes (a few stretches and a slow walk)

  • Speed up to a brisk walk for 30 minutes

  • Slow to an easy pace for three to five minutes.

  • You may want to do a gentle stretching routine after your warm-up or after you finish your walk.

Quick HIIT Walking Fat Burning Workout

  • 1 minute steady warm up walk

  • 40 seconds power walk (fast)

  • 20 seconds normal walk

  • Repeat x 10

  • 2 minute cool down walk

Good luck with burning fat and adding walking into your weekly routines. Any questions , let me know.

Anthony Delamare


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