Saturday, July 24, 2010

Walk Your Way To Fitness

Walking is the ultimate bargain exercise, proving you don't need fancy equipment or pricey gyms to get fit. You do need to mix it up. According to Karen Asp, in an article in the July 2010 of Better Homes and Garden, here are three different walks to keep your heart healthy, your waistline trim, and your stress level down.

1. Endurance Walk: A moderately paced walk you can do for as long or as short a time as you want. Endurance training builds a healthier body, relieve stress, and boost mood in as little as 10 minutes. Everyone in the family can do it daily. Start with a five minute warm-up of easy walking. Then pick up the pace until your breathing becomes a little quicker. Maintain this pace as long as you want. In the end, cool down with five minutes of easy walking.

2. Interval Training Walk: A more challenging walk that alternates between hard and easy periods of work. If time is your biggest enemy, interval training is perfect for you. Not only do you burn calories during the workout, you also burn more just doing everyday things after an interval training walk. If you want to get in shape in less time or bust a plateau. Do two or three weeks of endurance first. This should be done once or twice a week on nonconsecutive days. Warm-up with an easy five minute walk. Then alternate between one to four minutes of moderate-paced waking and one four minute of brisk or fast walking, repeating this pattern two to five times during your walk. During the brisk/fast walking sections it should feel as if you're working hard, and talking becomes difficult.

3. Speed Walking: A faster-paced walk than endurance walking. If you're short on time, this is another walk you can do in a snap. It may feel somewhat uncomfortable, but doing this type of workout can make you a stronger, fitter walker. Serious walkers who want to get fitter without devoting lots of time to exercise can do speed walking. This should be done once or twice a week. Start with a five minute warm-up. Then pick up the pace so you are walking a little faster than you normally would yet not pushing it so hard that you can't maintain that pace. Continue at the pace for 10-20 minutes (If this is too difficult at first, go fast for five minutes, then slow to a moderate pace for five minutes; gradually build to waking fast the entire walk.) Then cool down with an easy walk.


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