Walking can be one of the very best and most effective workouts for a person trying to shed excess pounds. Because it is not overly taxing and can be as emotionally rewarding as it is physically, it doesn’t feel as much like torture as other forms of workout. So, if you are trying to lose weight in the New Year, then now might be the time to outline a walking plan, but before you hit the road, consider these tips for making your objective a reality.
Be Realistic About the Benefits
If your initial goal is to walk three miles, but it is taking you two hours to do so, then you might not be getting as much from the workout as you would if you walked two miles in an hour or less. A great way to gauge how well the walk is working for you is to invest in a heart rate monitor. Many treadmills and other types of gym equipment have these built-in, but for the road walker, there are watch-style monitors on the market. Determine your target heart rate with the help of an online calculator or the fitness trainer at the gym and aim for that as you walk.
Another handy tool for ensuring that you are getting the most of your workout is a pedometer. Rather than increasing the workout by half a mile at a time, you might increase each day by only a small number of footsteps until you have worked your way up to your ultimate goal distance.
Be Sure to Be Challenged
If three miles per day was making your heart beat faster and bringing you home in a pool of sweat for the first month or two, but suddenly you find that you are arriving at your starting point with plenty of breath to spare, then it might be time to amp up the workout. While a person can’t realistically continue tacking on mileage for the simple fact that it would also mean tacking on more and more time each workout, it is still possible to up the ante. Rather than walking farther, try walking faster. Speeding up your walk can mean burning more calories and keeping yourself interested longer. When you’ve reached your top speed, then consider changing your walking route. Find an area that involves a hill or too. The uphill climb, which can also be mimicked by altering the incline on a treadmill, is terrific for making a workout more challenging. It can also be beneficial to walk on sand or rough terrain, rather than pavement, as you find yourself improving. This will make it more of a challenge as well. When all of this is not enough to raise your heart rate, then consider bringing along a heavy backpack or a set of free weights. The added resistance will keep you on track for your weight loss goals as well.
Help Yourself Along
Working out is not enough to ensure that you shed unwanted pounds. A dietary change is also necessary as well. In addition to eating the right foods and keeping your body moving, it might be necessary to consider weight loss aids, such as the HCG Diet that can bring your goals closer.
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