Increasing Walking to Lose Weight
When walking to lose weight it is well to remember that generally you should walk each day unless you are exhausted from the continued exercise and it affects your abilities during the day. Then you should take up to two days off a week.
If your results go the other way and even with a regular daily walking to lose weight schedule your weight loss has plateaued then you need to shake up your schedule in another way. The energy (calories) used from any particular exercise changes over time as the body’s muscles adapts to the process and economizes on the number of calories burned. Initially this is compensated for by increasing the amount of time and distance of walking. Total calories burned increases.
Eventually, however, you will meet the maximum time commitment you are able to make and at this stage when your walking for weight loss schedule needs intensifying then several options are available to you.
- Increase the intensity of the walking you do by adding hills, steps, weights or intermittent running. Another way to increase the intensity of an hour’s walking to lose weight would be to do a high intensity walking DVD such as those from Leslie Sansone or Kathy Smith’s Power Walk.
- Break up your standard program with exercise groups such as aerobic step classes.
- Use an activity monitor which measures not only steps throughout the day but also the level of exertion during those steps. This enables you to increase the number of movements done at the higher level intensity rather than the lower end of your walking to lose weight.
- Have a ‘bootcamp’ period of one or two weeks when you try different forms of exercise, such as boxing, aerobic dance, etc.
Remember that walking to lose weight on a smooth surface such as a path can allow you to walk at a brisker pace. Walking on natural terrain can increase the calorie burn though if your feet must grip, divert directions, go up and down inclines, change balance etc. Walking on a treadmill does not require the natural push off needed when walking normally. However you can walk faster, increase the incline and run for intervals.