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Kick Your Walking Workout Up a Notch

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Updated February 15, 2014

 

Walking is a great form of exercise for nearly anyone. It doesn't require any special equipment, most people can do it regardless of their current weight, and you can do it anywhere.

But with this convenience comes a catch ... if you want to keep losing weight, you probably won't be able to keep following the same routine every day.

Since our bodies tend to adapt fairly quickly to any form of exercise we do regularly, routine workouts can actually keep us from losing weight...

So, if you see your weight loss stall -- or you don't feel very tired anymore when you're done -- you need to add some variety to your walking routine. Try one of these tricks:

 

If you're walking often, but not losing weight, you may not be walking a long enough duration. If you walk briskly, adding 15 minutes to your usual duration could actually extend your walk by a whole mile.

More: Get Started

 

More: Head for the Hills

 

More: Choose the Right Surface

  • Walk Longer
    If you usually walk for 20-30 minutes, bump up to a 40 minute duration. Don't have the time? Walk for four 10-minute-long sessions through the day's course. Don't worry -- you'll still burn the same number of calories.
  • Interested in Intervals?
    Try incorporating intervals to make your walking workout more challenging. This doesn't mean you have to cross-train. Simply walk very quickly for a brief period and then slow back down to your normal pace and repeat.

    More: Introduce Intervals

     

  • Hills will Help
    This could be as simple as finding a staircase to climb during your route or making a side trip to the nearest natural incline. And the more you mix it up, the more effective your workout will be. Plus, your leg muscles will begin to look more defined and toned. Start out with adding them just once a week.

    If you're feeling really adventurous, try a nearby dirt- or hiking-trail. Walking on an uncleared surface -- like rocks, tree roots, and dirt piles -- will make your muscles work harder and you'll use more of them.

  • Go Soft
    If you're accustomed to walking on pavement, sidewalk, or a paved track, switch to a softer surface at least once a week. Try sand or grass and you'll feel your muscles working harder practically immediately. Like hills, this change in surface will help your muscles become more defined ... not to mention you'll be burning more calories.

By making one of these changes, you could begin seeing better results in as little as a month! Keep mixing things up to stay on track. If you seem to stall after a while, simply switch to another tactic. Vary among all the tricks every few months and your body will be fitter and trimmer in no time!

 

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