Walking: Wonderful Ways to Win Against Weight

Dr. Don Rose, Writer, Life Alert

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Want a wonderful way to win the war against weight? Why not walking? In this article, we weigh in on some ideas to burn fat by putting a new spin on walking routines, as put forth in two magazine articles: one in Woman’s Day (11/11/08) and the other in Prevention magazine (December 2008). --Don Rose

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Walking is the new running

The popularity enjoyed by running and jogging during their boom time in the 70s and 80s is now being resurrected in this decade as a walking boom. One benefit of using walking as your path to weight loss is that you avoid the shock to your knees and feet that running can cause, yet the final goal (an attractive and healthy body) will in many cases still be achieved.

Note however that walking, if you do it at a lower intensity than running (as most do), may get you to that final state in a longer period of time than running. You may burn a little less each day with walking, but you will eventually get to that great looking and fitter physique.

That said, there are ways to amp up your walking routines to get more burn for your buns (and the rest of your bod). This article deals with just that: ways in which walking can achieve greater weight loss, while keeping you more stimulated in the process.

Intense walks with variety for faster fat burning

So what is the secret? How can we lose the most amount of fat with the walking way, and do so in less time? Two words of wisdom: power walks!

And now, two more: intensity and variety.

Adding resistance to parts of your walks - such as a greater incline, and/or strength-training exercises - helps burn more calories (more intensity), while mixing many types of walking routines (more variety) ensures your body doesn’t get too used to your routine and hence continues to burn more calories. All of this is intended to get results faster.

Some words of warning about walking. Yes, it can burn calories, and hence melt fat, but remember that all your good intention is no good without intensity. The Women’s Day magazine of November 11, 2008 has an article that discusses how doing the same walk at the same speed each day won’t ultimately shed the pounds, because your body gets used to it. One of the human body’s greatest gifts is its ability to adapt. A regular walking routine that your body finds novel at first (burning more calories) eventually becomes routine (burning fewer calories). Once your body adapts, the fat melting power of your walking workout drops. The moral: don’t make your routine routine!

Another mantra to take to heart: Viva variety! Shake up how you shake your booty, by creatively designing routines that mix different walking methods, and even other types of exercise. You can get variety in your power walks by following the routines below. For even more variety, try mixing and matching these workouts, further challenging your body so it can’t get used to your workout. Thus, you will continue to burn fat faster.

Walking workout (Prevention)

Prevention magazine, dated December 2008, gives an excellent walking routine that turns that tired old treadmill into a new and exciting workout wonder:

Turbo Treadmill

The first five minutes is a comfortable warmup walk, then go slower but at a higher incline (15 percent), and add some “long lunging strides”. In other words, minutes 5-7 is a slower but harder walk, with more resistance. Then, minutes 7-9 lowers the incline but hastens the pace, putting you in “fast power walk” mode. Minutes 9-10: slower and comfy pace again. Now repeat the above sequence 3 times, followed by a 5 minute cooldown walk, and you have a 30 minute walk chock full of variety, and increased calorie burn (60 percent more, according to Prevention).

Walking workouts (Woman’s Day)

Now here are three more walking workouts to try, from that Women’s Day article mentioned earlier:

Interval Walk

Alternate between high and low intensity walking exercise. Combining these two different styles results in more fat-burning, since you are constantly challenging your body, and hence it doesn’t have time to adapt. With interval walking, the body cannot get used to the effort you are putting it through; with regular walking, the body eventually gets used to your routine, and burns less calories as it adapts.

Weighted Vest Walk

The weighted vest adds resistance to your movements, meaning more calories expended.

Circuit Training Workout

Alternate between aerobic and strength-training exercise, using your own body as resistance. The main idea here is that the strength-training part builds muscle and revs your metabolism, so that the walking part then burns even more calories than normal. And another plus: you keep burning calories even after the walk (thanks to that revved up metabolism).

One more benefit of all these complex walking routines: the constant change of pace keeps your mind from getting bored (no more long monotonous walks for you!).

Walking for hormone health

It seems science has found yet another benefit to walking. A Prevention magazine article says that 25 minutes of brisk walking per day may help prevent menopause-related weight gain and headaches. This is according to a new Canadian study.

Researchers tracked the daily activities of 401 menopausal women, finding that, of the most active in the group, 22 percent fewer reported weight gain compared to peers who exercised under 10 minutes per day. Another benefit of the extra exercise: 44% fewer headaches. (This may help women directly, but guys, let’s face it, happier women mean less headaches for us, too.) And if you are a woman who is pre-menopausal, regular exercise still benefits you, via PMS symptom relief. So, for women, walking’s win win.

Conclusion

Women from Washington to Wyoming to West Virginia need to wake up to these words: walking works. The health benefits are clear, and the other great thing is that the initial investment in walking workout gear is minimal. The activity itself -- moving your body -- does not cost a penny. What you wear (clothing costs), where you do it (gym fees) and who you do it with (trainer fees) can up the cost, but the basics of walking are free, and will free you of excess weight as well as some ailments like headaches or PMS.

Men can of course benefit from walking too, because let’s face it, men and women are more alike than we like to admit.

So why wait? Walk to lose weight. What a wonderful way to wellness.

The information provided in the article above is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
For more information about Life Alert and its many services for seniors and younger adults nationwide, please visit the following websites:

http://www.lifealert.com
http://www.seniorprotection.com
http://www.911seniors.com

 


The article above is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. The information provided is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. However, while Life Alert always strives to provide true, precise and consistent information, we cannot guarantee 100 percent accuracy. Readers are encouraged to review the original article, and use any resource links provided to gather more information before drawing conclusions and making decisions.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

For more information about Life Alert and its many services for seniors and younger adults nationwide, please visit the following websites:

http://www.lifealert.com
http://www.seniorprotection.com
http://www.911seniors.com

 

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