The summer was nice, hot and busy. Now that the kids are back to school, it is time to think about us. What better time to start walking?
Whether you are a couch potato, want to lose weight or just want to get fit – walking is one of the best ways to become active. Talk to your doctor, get a check-up and discuss any physical or medical limitations. Chances are good that your prescription for health will include a walking program.
Join us for a 12-week walking program starting in October. You will learn how to walk for weight control – how fast, how long and how often to walk.
Calories and Weight
Did you know that a pound of fat equals 3,500 calories? Losing 1 – 2 pounds of fat a week is a sensible goal. To achieve this, you will need to increase your activity level or eat less or both. Start adding walks to your day. Walk your kids to school. Walk to the grocery store instead of taking the car. Get off the bus a station earlier and walk the rest. You will notice the difference quickly – you will have more energy, sleep better and, in combination with sensible eating, you will start losing weight.
How to burn calories
Your weight x distance = energy used walking. Time does not matter as much as distance. Start by increasing the distance before working on speed. A simple rule of thumb is 100 calories per mile for a 160-pound person.
Build up your leg muscles by increasing your walking time and distance. Depending on your fitness level, start out walking slow and build up walking to five or six days a week. Do not get discouraged if you are only able to walk for 10 minutes at a time. Take your time. Next week, try to walk for 15 minutes at a time. The calories burned by an extra few minutes of walking far overcome any other changes you can make.
For those who have been walking for months or years, you will need to alter your walking style to build more muscles just from walking. Learning to walk faster, you build new muscle and burn more calories per mile. Adding some strength training to your weekly schedule in addition to walking in order to build muscle.
Use walking poles such as Nordic Walkers. This is an excellent option for those who cannot walk fast and want to burn more calories per mile.