Walking for weight loss: 8 tips to burn fat

The Celebrity Trainer: David Kirsch

Kirsch, who has trained the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Kate Upton, believes even the fittest people can benefit from walking more. «From a purely physiological standpoint, walking raises your heart rate and burns calories,» he says.

David Kirsch’s go-to walking workout: For beginners, it’s all about working up to 10,000 steps a day, says Kirsch. That’s the preset daily goal on most fitness trackers because it’s considered a good target for heart health and weight maintenance.

But after you’ve mastered that, challenge yourself to hit 15,000 to 25,000 daily steps. «Ten thousand should become the bare minimum,» he says. To amp up the intensity of your walks, try a hilly landscape or wear two- to three-pound ankle and hand weights.

You can also incorporate some toning exercises every few minutes, like jumping jacks, walking lunges, squats, or squat jumps, suggests Kirsch. Adding these moves in intervals will help you build muscle, improve heart health, and increase endurance.

The Running Coach: Jeff Galloway

Galloway is the creator of the Run Walk Run training method, which helps walkers and longtime runners alike stay in shape and prep for races. Adding running intervals to your walks can help you burn more calories, and running has been shown to boost appetite-suppressing hormones, notes Galloway.

Jeff Galloway’s go-to walking workout: To introduce faster segments into your walks, start by jogging for 5 to 10 seconds per minute for 10 minutes, gradually working your way up to 30 minutes.

Once you’ve conquered that goal, begin adding longer periods of jogging until you can jog for 30 seconds per minute for 30 minutes. Eventually, you can build up to shorter walk breaks-for example, walking for 30 seconds and running for 60.

This is an excellent way to train for a 5K or even longer race, says Galloway. (For regular runners looking to add in strategic walking breaks, Galloway suggests alternating 90 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking if you run a 10-minute mile on average.

Your Lose-10-Pounds Walking for Weight-Loss Plan

Every step you take burns calories, but you can seriously slim down and get toned by adding hills, intervals, and sculpting moves to your walk. «Your muscles will constantly be challenged in new ways for faster results,» says racewalking coach Judy Heller, who created the three fresh walking workouts in this 28-day plan exclusively for Shape. Follow the walking for weight-loss plan below and you could lose up to 10 pounds this month.

What You’ll Need

Fat-Burning Walking Workout: Steady-Pace

Aim for a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to speak in sentences (your rate of perceived exertion, or RPE, on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is sitting still and 10 is a full-tilt sprint, should be about 6 or 7).

Depending on your fitness level, this will be somewhere between a 13- and 17-minute mile, which will keep you in the exercise zone. (Related: Why It’s Perfectly Acceptable to Walk During Your Runs)

Maintain this pace until you’ve reached your time goal, and not only will you burn more calories during this walking for weight-loss plan, you’ll also boost your heart health.

Calories burned (45 minutes): 182 (17-minute mile) to 302 (13-minute mile)*

*Calorie burns are based on a 140-pound woman

Strength Training Walking Workout: Hill Repeats

Tackling hills or stairs will sculpt your legs and butt double-time while burning big calories—58 percent more at a 17-minute-mile pace.

  • Start out on a flat surface for 15 minutes at a speed at which you’re hustling but still able to speak in sentences (RPE: 6 or 7).
  • Find a hill or some steps—or set your treadmill to a 4 to 6 percent incline—and walk uphill quickly for 2 minutes.
  • Walk downhill to recover, or if you’re on a treadmill, walk at a 0 percent incline for 2 minutes.
  • Aim to maintain your speed or go faster so that you can speak just a few words at a time (RPE: 8). Only one set of stairs? Walk up and down for 4 minutes.
  • Continue up- and downhill intervals until you’ve reached your time goal. Beginners can alternate between hills and 5 minutes on a flat surface.

Calories burned (45 minutes): 220 (17-minute mile) to 366 (13-minute mile)

Heart Rate-Boosting Walking Workout: Intervals

You’ll torch more fat in less time by bumping up your pace a little for manageable bursts—accelerating from a 17-minute mile to a 13-minute mile means 66 percent more calorie burn. (Related: Interval Training Workouts for When You’re Short on Time)

  • Warm up at your regular pace (RPE: 6) for 6 minutes.
  • Alternate these intervals: Walk as fast as you can for 1 minute (RPE: 8), then slow down to your regular pace (RPE: 6) for 2 minutes to recover.
  • Repeat intervals until you’ve reached your time goal.

Calories burned (45 minutes): 241 (17-minute mile) to 326 (13-minute mile)

Time to put these walks to work! Drop 10 pounds this month when you follow our 4-week plan, which combines all three calorie-blasting walks with a super-sculpting strength training routine.

Walking for Weight-Loss Plan Week 1

  • Monday:Super-Sculpting Strength Workout
  • Tuesday: 40-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
  • Thursday: 30-Minute Intervals Walk
  • Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
  • Saturday:Rest day
  • Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Walking for Weight-Loss Plan Week 2

  • Monday:Super-Sculpting Strength Workout
  • Tuesday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
  • Thursday: 30-Minute Intervals Walk
  • Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Walking for Weight-Loss Plan Week 3

  • Monday:Super-Sculpting Strength Workout
  • Tuesday: 45-Minute Hills Walk
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
  • Thursday: 40-Minute Intervals Walk
  • Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
  • Saturday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
  • Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Walking for Weight-Loss Plan Week 4

  • Monday:Super-Sculpting Strength Workout
  • Tuesday: 40-Minute Intervals Walk
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
  • Thursday: 45-Minute Intervals Walk
  • Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
  • Saturday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
  • Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

The Weight-Management Physician: Amy Rothberg, M.D.

«Walking is one of the best tools for weight maintenance,» says Dr. Rothberg, director of the University of Michigan’s Weight Management Clinic. «It’s aerobic, it engages some of the biggest muscles, and it’s feasible for most people.»

Dr. Rothberg’s go-to walking workout: To maintain a healthy weight, Dr. Rothberg recommends walking for at least 30 minutes five days a week. Some good news: You don’t have to log a half hour all at once.

«You can do your 30 minutes in 10-minute bouts throughout the day,» she says, «and those add up.» Plus, when you walk for shorter periods, you can generally go at a faster speed, which may be even better for you than walking slowly for 30 minutes straight, since more vigorous activities can help increase your overall fitness level.

And even lower-intensity exercises like fast-paced walking can help burn some of the body’s stored fat. Walking in chunks can give you little boosts of confidence to keep you motivated, too. «Whether it’s parking farther away or walking to meet a colleague, you get a sense of accomplishment,» she says. «It’s these little successes that end up establishing good habits.»

This 21-Day Walking Plan Will Help the Pounds Melt Away

This beginner-friendly workout, designed by Galina Denzel, a certified personal trainer and the coauthor of Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well, offers a challenge for each week. In 21 days, you’ll lose weight, rev your energy, and build lean muscle. Follow the plan and use these keys to guide your workout.

• Easy: Should feel like a stroll

• Moderate: Pace increases, but you can still hold a conversation

• Brisk: Talking should be tough

Walking for weight loss: 8 tips to burn fat

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