Modern world offers you a wide choice of fitness programs. Some are simple while others may be highly elaborate. One of the easiest routines to follow in order to shed that extra weight is walking.
There are two types of walking
• Power walking or speed walking
• Race walking
While race walking is an Olympic sport with definite rules and regulations, you can simply follow a routine of power walking to improve general fitness.
It is best to first obtain a medical opinion before you take up power walking. Once you have obtained the go ahead from your physician, you should start walking regularly. Stretching before you begin to walk helps. You should start with a shorter regime. Walk at moderate speed for forty five to sixty minutes. If it becomes tiring, you should increase your time gradually. Distance is thought to be more significant than time. So you should aim at increasing the distance you cover rather than the speed. Further you travel more calories are burned.
Techniques of walking to lose weight
A few techniques help to increase the efficacy of walking and help you to lose more weight. One very important rule is to avoid over striding. This is lengthening the stride in order to cover more distance. It leads to tiring much earlier. Instead you should push off with more power.
Your steps should not be flat footed. Hip rotation in time with walking helps to burn more calories. Swing your arms while keeping the head and the neck straight and relaxed.
Once you get into the rhythm you will be able to walk for miles. Walking at very slow speed helps to burn calories as you are actually stopping and starting with every step. There is no momentum to carry you forward. Walking at very high speed utilizes a number of muscle groups and you again burn more calories. It is better to concentrate on distance rather than speed for your weight loss program.
Keep yourself motivated
• Walk where you are comfortable. Keep changing your route. Find more interest in the place where you are walking rather than counting calories burned.
• Take your dog along with you. You can change walking partners as interest in new people reduces the tedium.
• If you walk with your friend, then compete against each other. Both your performances will improve.
• Do not watch the clock. Instead enjoy what you are doing.
• Walking alone is not enough. Combine this with rational eating practices. How much calorie you ingest is more important than what you eat. So opt for a healthy balanced diet. Avoid emotional eating, i.e. eating during situations of mental stress.
Monitor your own progress
You can use a pedometer to keep a tab on the actual amount of walking you do all day. It is an electronic device which can be clipped on to your waistband. It counts the number of steps you take by ‘reading’ your hip movement. Sometimes false steps are recorded when the machine counts steps if you bend to tie your shoelaces or if the car encounters sudden jerking. The modern pocket pedometers have largely overcome these shortcomings. They can be carried in your pocket and can tolerate a greater angle of tilting. Once the steps are counted, you have to calibrate the length of your stride. Now it is possible to calculate the total distance you have walked all day (number of steps multiplied by length of stride). You can then gradually increase the time and distance of your walking.