Trying to lose a few pounds? If you’re looking to keep the scale moving in the right direction, try walking every day. If you’re already in a regular routine of walking and the scale isn’t budging you may need to shake things up a bit.
Here are a few walking tips to help you stay on track and shed those extra pounds.
- Work your way up. If you’re just starting out, you may need to take shorter walks for your first few weeks or months. Over time, begin to increase the amount of time and distance you’re walking. Aim for 30 minutes, five days a week.
- Speed it up once in a while. When walking to lose weight, alternate your walking pace with higher intensity one- to three-minute intervals. For the intervals, walk at a pace where it’s not so easy to hold a conversation, but not too hard where you want to stop talking altogether. After each interval, go back to your regular pace for a minute or two to recover. You can repeat these intervals as often as you like for as long as you want. Be sure to listen to your body and do what works for you. You may want to make a game of it by walking fast toward the next stop sign, then slowing down. Repeat this pattern to make the intense intervals fun. However you do it, varying your intensity and exertion will dramatically increase the calorie burn during your walks.
- Up the intensity. Not feeling the need for speed? For those times when you feel you just can’t go any faster or if you find the scale just isn’t budging, you can add another session of walking to your week. Or consider a walking route with some hills to up the intensity. Conquering hills can make your walk more challenging and can have big rewards. On an exertion scale of 0 to 20, aim for a 12 to 15 (where a 0 on the scale is sleeping and a 20 is a full-out sprint where you are panting and feel ready to faint). You should be able to carry on a conversation but need to take a deep breath every other sentence.