- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Walking for Exercise
If you have not been doing regular exercise and want to begin a program to get fit and lose weight, walking is a great place to start. It is a wonderful way to lose some fat, strengthen your heart, and get yourself out in the fresh air and nature.
I think that it is important to know what your heart rate is when walking for exercise. You want to be in the "zone" of burning fat, and if you are not sure of your heart rate, you may not be getting the results that you are after.
To figure out your aerobic fat burning zone, minus your age from 220. That will give you your 100% heart rate range. We do not want to be at that range while working out. That is your maximum range and we want to be between 65 and 85% of that 100% mark.
For instance if you are 18 years old, your maximum will be 202 beats per minute, and your 65% will be 130 beats per minute. Your 85% heart rate will be 170 beats per minute. So staying at a heart rate between 130 and 170 will give you the results that you want as far as losing fat and strengthening your heart.
When we are walking we sometimes do not keep a pace that will get our heart rate up into the zone that will give us the benefits that we want. That is why a heart monitor is a great tool for doing any cardiovascular exercise. It will give you an accurate reading.
Taking your heart rate with your pulse on your neck or wrist will do if you do not have a monitor, but can be inaccurate if not done properly. The best way to do this is to place two fingers on between your neck and jaw bone, count your pulse beats for six seconds and then add a zero to it. Example; if you count 14 beats, your heart rate is 140.
If you are 120 lbs and walk three miles in an hour, you will burn approximately 250 calories. That is a not a fast pace, but would be considered moderate. If you were 120 lbs and were walking up hills for an hour at a moderate pace you would burn approximately 500 calories. Obviously the more intense you are, the more calories you will burn.
Walking is a great way to begin when starting an exercise program. It is also a good thing to add into your "Cross Training" program, where you choose several different modalities for working out. I will talk more about Cross Training later.
So throw on your walking shoes and get outside for some fresh air, nature, heart strengthening, and fat burning, WALKING! Enjoy!!