I love walking. Walking is one of the best proven ways to improve health, get and stay in shape, lose weight and keep it off. For example, 94% of people in the National Weight Control Registry, which has one of the largest databases on individual weight loss, increased physical activity to lose pounds and most chose walking. [http://www.nwcr.ws/Research/default.htm] Walking works!
Research shows us that to get best training results, we need to mix it up. Add FUN, variety and increase intensity with intervals. Don't be intimidated by the word. Everyone can do intervals. All you need to do is work harder than you usually do for short spurts. I’ve designed the following workout for you to get started, which is one of 3 interval workouts in The Walking Deck: 50 Ways to Walk Yourself Healthy. It takes approximately 35 minutes. If you don't have that much time, cut out one interval set.
- Warm up by strolling [less than 3 miles per hour or 100 steps per minute] for 5 minutes.
- Increase intensity, by walking at a health walk pace--you're breaking a sweat here [3 to 3.5 miles per hour or 105-120 steps per minute] for 5 minutes.
- Increase intensity to a fitness walk--you're pushing yourself harder to walk as quickly as you can [4 to 4.5 miles per hour or 140-160 steps per minute] pace for 1 minute.
- Reduce intensity to a health walk pace - still working, but not pushing - for a 5 minute interval.
- Repeat 1 minute of going hard - your fitness walk pace.
- Reduce intensity to a health walk pace for a 5 minute interval.
- Repeat 1 minute fitness walk pace.
- Cool down with a 5 minute stroll.
- End with standing calf stretch, standing shin stretch, standing hip flexor, quad, and hamstring stretch, standing side stretch, standing triceps and upper back stretch, and standing cat stretch. If 1 minute is too long for your higher intensity intervals, start out by working harder for 30 seconds and recovering for 90 seconds. With this workout, you’re on your way to a fitter you.
- Try it and let me know how it goes!