How Walking Can Be Highly Effective In Helping You To Lose Weight.

You can increase the amount of calories by walking routes which have hills or inclines. It’s not just a case of walking uphill for more gain, as downhill sections help to tone your leg muscles.
Pavements are generally easy routes to walk and ideal, therefore, for the beginner, but if you’re looking to increase the challenge, explore more difficult surfaces such as fields or uneven, rocky ground. Soft, springy ground encourages you to take higher steps and to push down harder into the ground, thereby working your calf muscles, while rocky surfaces give your leg muscles an overall more intensive workout, burning extra calories in the process.

How fast should I walk?

Very simply, the quicker you walk, the more calories you burn and the faster the weight will drop off (so long as you aren’t simply replacing the lost calories by consuming sugary food and drink). To make a significant difference to the number of calories you burn, you need to achieve a heart rate which is approximately two-thirds of its maximum: so, if your maximum heart rate is normally 180 beats per minute, you’ll need to raise it to around 120 to make a real difference. Achieving a walking pace of between 4-5 miles per hour is ideal. At 5mph, you can expect to burn up the calories at a rate of two to three times more than a 2mph slower walk. Walking at a rhythm can help to boost your heart rate and encourage you to take quicker steps, which will increase the rate at which you burn up calories. An iPod with a fast-paced song will help you to achieve the right rhythm and to maintain it for longer and can be surprisingly motivational! Aim for between 115 and 125 beats per minute to reach the necessary speed.

Are some walking styles better for weight loss?

You may never have considered how walking in a certain way could help to accelerate weight loss, but a variety of styles will aid your calorie-burning as well as making walking more enjoyable and closer to an exercise regime than a leisurely stroll.
Race walking is a highly effective style for burning calories and building fitness, but takes practice to master perfectly. In essence, one foot must always be in contact with the ground, which accelerates the walking pace, giving your muscles a strenuous workout and helping to shed the pounds more quickly. As the pace is nearer to 15mph than 5mph, race walking gives an all-round better workout without placing undue stress on the joints, particularly the knees. An alternative approach, which relies less on the fast pace of race walking, is to walk with weights. This doesn’t mean purchasing lots of special equipment; walking while holding some small weights, using your arms to drive forward, will help to tone muscles and increase your heart rate. Alternatively, carry a small, partially loaded backpack to give your back muscles a workout, but bear in mind that a moderate weight will quickly begin to feel burdensome and risk straining your muscles. Try to pack the back centrally, close to the centre of gravity, to avoid unpleasant injuries.

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