Start Early and Walk Away Winter Weight
By Nicole Flanagan
Every January hundreds of people head out to join a gym or activity group to make a New Year’s resolution. One of the top resolutions on just about everyone’s list is some type of fitness goal, losing weight, training to run a 5k or starting a weight training program to tone up. Make this upcoming new year more successful by starting your fitness program BEFORE the new year gets here. Experts say it takes 30 days to create a habit. If you start your workout plan in December, by the time the new year rolls around you will be ahead of everyone else!
One of the simplest forms of exercise that just about everyone can participate in is walking. There is no equipment needed except for a good pair of walking sneakers. With the weather that we have been having here there is no reason not to grab a buddy and get outside for a walk. If going outside is not an option then a walking workout on a treadmill is great as well. Here are a few ways to boost your walking routine into a fat burning session.
Walk at a Steady Pace: Aim for a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to carry on a conversation. Your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE should be about a 6. RPE is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being sitting still and 10 being an all out sprint. If you are on a treadmill this speed will be between a 13 and 17 minute mile. The goal is to maintain this speed for 45minutes. Calories burned at this pace can be between 150 and 300, depending on your pace and fitness level.
Walking Hills: walking up hills or climbing stairs will burn more calories and add some muscle tone to your legs and butt. Start out walking on a flat surface for 15minutes at a pace where your RPE is about 6 or 7. Find some stairs or a hill or set your treadmill to a 4 percent incline and walk uphill for about 2 minutes. Recover by walking on a flat surface for five minutes. If you are outside and can only find one set of stairs or one hill, walk up and down the stairs for five minutes followed by ten minutes of walking on a flat surface. If you are walking along the bike path or anywhere in Old Town there are plenty of stairs to walk. Continue this uphill interval for a 45minute workout and burn almost double the calories you would if you were just walking at a steady pace.
Intervals: burn more calories by increasing your pace. Warm up by walking at a reasonable pace for about ten minutes at an RPE of around 6. Then walk as fast as you can for one minute, followed by slowing down to your regular pace for about 2 minutes. Alternate these intervals for 45 minutes. If you’re not wearing a watch measure your fast and moderate pace by blocks. Walk quickly for one block and then slow it down a bit for two blocks.
With these three easy ways to increase your calorie burning potential while you walk you can be sure that walking off some weight during this holiday season will be a success. Try to get out and be active at least three to four times per week to maintain your cardiovascular fitness. Getting a routine set up now will help manage stress and keep off weight during the holidays, plus give you an advantage when it comes to making that fitness resolution for the new year.