- 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.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Walking to Lose Fat
Did you know that walking will help you to lose body fat? It is one of the best ways to exercise and lose fat as long as you are giving it some speed and effort. Walking slowly and comfortably will not give you the results of a speed walk.
One of the benefits of speed walking is that it is non-impact. Your joints will not suffer the shock of the road as they do in running. Another benefit is that it gets you outside and in nature, always good for your soul.
Researchers from the University of Virginia found that women who did three shorter fast paced walks, and two longer moderate paced walks, in a week lost 5 times the belly fat as women who did five moderate walks in a week.
Getting your speed and heart rate up on your walk is imperative for optimum results. Vigorous exercise raises the level of fat burning hormones according to Arthur Weltman PhD director of the exercise physiology laboratory at the University. It will also increase the afterburn (calories burned in post exercise) by 47% compared with lower intensity workouts.
Depending on your body weight, you will burn approximately 100 to 140 calories per mile. A good speed to walk at is around 3 to 4 miles an hour. This is a pace that will keep your speed up and get the fat burning process working. Walking 3 to 4 miles will give you a high quality hour of fat reducing, heart strengthening, exercise.
I recommend that you wear a heart rate monitor so that you can know where your heart rate is. Remember if you want to lose body fat, you need to be in your fat burning zone.
To calculate this, as I have stated before, minus your age from 220. That is your maximum heart rate. To burn fat you want to be in your 65 to 85% range. For instance; if you are 18, your maximum is 202, 65% is 131, and your 85% is 171. So keeping your heart rate between 131 and 171 is where you will burn the most fat.
You will need a supportive pair of tennis shoes as well. Walking or running in shoes that do not support your feet can cause undue stress to your whole body. It is important to have comfortable, properly fit, supportive shoes, to avoid injury and keep your motivation up for the exercise.
Walking can be done pretty much anywhere. Even if you are in a city, walking is always available to you. Walking in nature gives you the bonus of its beautiful surroundings. Using music for your walk will give you the added benefit of the rhythm to pace yourself with.
Using walking as a way to get fit, lose body fat, and feel better is good choice. You can make it as intense as you like without the risk of impact to your joints.
Walking gives you all the benefits of most cardiovascular exercise; lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It will lower cholesterol, reduces stress, builds bone density, strengthens muscles, promotes better sleep, and gives you an overall sense of well being.
So add walking to your exercise program to get fit and lose the body fat. You will feel and look better for it!