Walking is an excellent approach to losing weight at a healthy pace, conferring benefits that range from reduced stress to reduced risk of heart disease and other health problems. However, many habitual walkers eventually see diminishing returns from their efforts and hit a plateau.
The following tips can help you maximize weight loss from your walking routine:
?Go faster: Whether you walk a mile or run a mile, you burn roughly the same number of calories, but picking up your pace on your daily walk can allow you to cover more distance in the same time, resulting in a higher number of calories burned and greater weight-loss results over time. You don?t need to ?speed walk,? but walking at a brisk pace is likely to pay much greater weight-loss dividends than a mere casual stroll. If you are in good shape, you might also want to consider running for intervals and then stopping to walk ? the start-and-stop effect mimics the kind of ?interval training? that elite athletes use to increase their conditioning.
?Walk first thing in the morning before breakfast: exercise before breakfast can allow your body to burn as many as 30% more calories with the same amount of exertion. Just make sure you don?t use the extra burned calories as an excuse to eat proportionally more food, or you are unlikely to see much benefit. Do not eat beforehand, but you should drink a tall glass of water in order to avoid becoming dehydrated.
?Take the high road: Walking uphill gives your calorie-burning an additional boost, and it also works different muscles than walking on a flat surface. You don?t have to find a mountain to climb ? even low-grade hills can be enough to kick your walking routine up a couple of gears.
?Swing your arms: Without looking silly, swinging your arms while walking at a vigorous pace can add an extra 10% or more to the total number of calories you burn, which can add up to quite a few extra lost pounds over time.
?Breathe deeply: In order to burn oxygen your body needs to draw on its deposits of fat for energy, and the more oxygen you introduce into your system through deep breathing while you walk, the greater the potential increase in weight loss. Deep breathing can also help relieve stress and increase your energy levels.
By following the five easy pointers above, you can significantly increase the amount of fat you burn just by walking around the neighborhood.