Listen to this article
When you’re trying to lose weight by walking, you might be thinking that walking 10,000 steps a day can help you meet your goal. Isn’t it? But it is nothing but a glorious myth! Walking has always been a part of a basic exercise routine that you can do anytime and anywhere. But if you want to get the most out of it, you need to focus on its correct and different techniques. Walking for weight loss may not be simple and basic. It has to be a technique that targets most of the muscles in your body and helps you burn more calories. Luckily, there are many ways which can easily enhance the benefits of your regular walk by increasing its effectiveness.
That’s why we asked fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul, Founder of Pmf Training and Fit India Movement Ambassador, to help us find ways to lose more calories by making a daily walk more effective.
“Walking is a low-impact form of cardio that can help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your mood,” says Mukul.
Here are tips to turn your walk into a workout suggested by Mukul:
Pick up and mix up your pace of walk like interval training. Interval training means when you alternate between harder and easier periods of walking. Mukul says, “Intervals—short periods of harder efforts—not only make your walk more challenging, but they can also make it more engaging and fun. And harder doesn’t have to mean “running” if you don’t want it to.”
Walking already involves your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Integrating weights can further challenge those muscles and incorporate other muscles and also recruit more of your upper body. Toting light dumbbells, ankle weights or even household objects works. In fact, you can add weight to your pockets for an even distribution of weight on both sides.
Walking or running on a flat surface will raise your heart rate and a good workout. But heading uphill naturally increases the intensity of your walk even if you’re moving at the same pace or slower. In fact, it’s good for leg muscle activation.
Add bodyweight movements such as push-ups, walking lunges, walking planks, or single-leg hopping, you can do two minutes of walking, then one minute of strength moves.
Take a look at 4 different types of walks:
While walking speed can differ widely depending on a person and their fitness level, brisk walking is generally considered a speed slightly faster than an individual’s normal walking pace. Brisk walking raises the heart rate, burns more calories, and can help you live longer.
For a more vigorous form of walking, many walkers eventually move from brisk walking to power walking. Power walking involves a faster pace, that is short of a jog, and uses rigorous arm swings to build cardiovascular endurance and total-body strength. The key to power walking involves perfecting the 90-degree arm swing and the heel-to-toe foot strike.
An organized Olympic sport, race walking is an event in which a person’s speed to cover a predetermined distance is put to the test against other competitors. Unlike running, one foot must remain in contact with the ground at all times during the event to avoid disqualification. To reach higher speeds, stride length is often shortened and side-to-side hip rotation is pronounced to achieve a straight-leg technique.
This form of long-distance endurance walking focuses on the marathon distance (26.2 miles or 42.195 km). While the run/walk method has been used by many runners to complete the distance, many dedicated walkers also set this as a goal. The time limit at most organized marathons is six hours, though some have expanded it to eight hours to allow more walkers to partake. Whatever the time limit, marathon walkers train for this distance by slowly building their base mileage, focusing on endurance, and maintaining a consistent speed.