Combine Walking With Other Exercise

Do these three other exercises while walking for fast weight loss success.

We know that walking at a brisk pace (at least 3 mile per hour) is not only good cardio exercise, but it can help you lose weight. However when combined with other types of cardio exercising, such as water sports, biking and weight training, you can achieve your weight loss goal quicker.

Water Sports and Walking

If you have bad knees, swimming and water aerobics may be ideal forms of cardio training for you. Not only are they low-to-no-impact exercises, they work your heart, lungs and many different muscle groups very effectively. When swimming, use various types of strokes to work different muscle groups and get the maximum upper and lower body benefit. If you enjoy doing water aerobics, add water weights to get even more benefit from your water training routines.

Biking and Walking

Biking is another low impact cardio exercise that is good for weight loss. Not only does it work the larger lower body muscle groups for maximum calorie burn, it builds up those same muscles so they burn more calories even when not exercising.

Anything you can do to make an exercise harder to do or to build muscle will burn more calories. When biking, go faster or further. Instead of biking with the wind, choose to go against it; on a varied course, go the direction that gives you the most uphill rides. You’ll get better workouts and burn more calories.

Weight Training While Walking

To increase the effectiveness of walking, use either light wrist or ankle weights (or both for maximum calorie burn). Walking while wearing just one pound weights will significantly increase the number of calories you burn.

Because walking and biking tend to specifically work the lower body muscle groups, consider adding in a couple days per week of upper body weight training per week to push your weight loss to the next level. You can use dumbbells, free weights or kettlebells; all tend to work your upper body, thus defining and toning those muscle groups. And if you are female, don’t worry about “bulking up”; it just won’t happen because you do not have the necessary level of testosterone needed to build huge muscles.

Each exercise by itself has limitations as far as how much each can affect weight loss, but by combining them, you can burn more calories during each workout and achieve your weight loss goal quicker. Once at goal, keep walking and doing these exercises at a lesser intensity to maintain your weight loss.

If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.

Strength Training Exercise

Workout your upper and lower body with these strength training exercises.

Strength Training Exercise for Upper Body Muscle Groups

If you are just starting to get into strength training, be sure your routines are balanced by targeting both upper and lower body muscles. In the upper body, be sure to include exercises that work the:

  • biceps
  • triceps
  • shoulders
  • chest
  • back

The Biceps

  • One of the most popular exercises for biceps is the curl:
  • To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the weight with palms facing up, elbows in next to your body.
  • Now (without moving them) bend at the elbows and bring the weight up and toward your body.
  • Now slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position.
  • The curl can be done with either a weighted barbell or with dumbbells.

The Triceps

The dip does not require any exercise equipment making it a great exercise to do when traveling. To start:

  • Sit on a chair.
  • Put your hands on the front edge of the chair seat.
  • While supporting your weight with your hands and arms, move to the edge of the chair so the rest of your body is just off the edge of the chair
  • Bend the elbows (no lower than 90 degrees) and lower your body down, keeping very close to the chair.
  • Finish the exercise by pushing your body back up without locking the elbows.

The Shoulders

The overhead press targets the deltoids in the shoulder.

  • Start by standing (or sitting) holding a weighted barbell with your elbows bent and hands at eye level.
  • Push the barbell straight up until your arms are fully extended without arching your back.
  • Lower the barbell back to the starting position.

The Chest

The basic press targets the major muscles of the chest, along with shoulder and triceps. To do the basic press:

  • Lie on a weight bench with a weighted barbell over your chest, elbows bent at 90-degree angle.
  • With your arms, press the barbell straight up.
  • Lower back to starting position.

The Back

Rows are a great exercise to strengthen the muscles in your back. To start:

  • With dumbbells in each hand, bend over at the waist until you are looking straight down at the floor. Keep your abs pulled in and knees slightly bent.
  • Let the weights hang straight down from your arms, without locking your elbows.
  • Bend the elbows and pull the weights up until your elbows are level with your body.
  • Lower the weights back down to the starting position.

Beginners should strive to perform 1 to 2 sets of each exercise with 12 to 16 repetitions per set. As your fitness level advances, you can work up to 2 to 3 sets with 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

You know you are using the right amount of weight if the last repetition in the last set is very hard, if not impossible, to do. You know you have then hit muscle failure.

Strength Training Exercise for Lower Body Muscle Groups

If you are just starting into strength training, be sure your routines are balanced by targeting both upper and lower body muscles. In the lower body, be sure to include exercises that include working the:

  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings
  • abdominals

The Quadriceps

The squat is a great exercise to target the quadriceps (quads). To perform the basic squat:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the knees and gently lower your body down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly raise your body back up to the starting position.

A variation of this is the assisted squat. The exercise is basically the same except you use a resistance band tied to a doorknob or stair rail to steady yourself. Put some resistance on the band by pulling it with both hands. Now perform the squat as usual.

The Hamstrings

The front lunge is a basic lower body exercise that works the hamstrings. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now:

  • With your left leg, step forward and lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Now with that same leg, push yourself back to the starting position.
  • Either repeat with this same leg for the desired number of repetitions or use your right leg and alternate between legs until reaching your target number of reps.
  • To work your hamstrings even more hold a dumbbell in each hand.

A variation of the forward lunge is the reverse lunge. The exercise is basically the same except instead of lunging forward, your move your leg backwards.

The Abdominals

A simple, but very effective exercise that targets your abdominal core is the bicycle.

  • To begin, lie on the floor with your hands locked behind your head and bring your knees to your chest.
  • Now lift your shoulders off the floor and straighten your left leg while rotating the upper body to bring the left elbow toward the right knee.
  • Without lowering your upper body, switch sides, now bringing your right elbow toward your left knee.
  • Continue this back and forth oscillation until you have reached your desired number of reps.
  • Lower your upper body and legs back down to the floor between sets for a short rest.

If you are just starting out, your goal should be to perform 1 to 2 sets of each exercise with 12 to 16 repetitions per set. As your muscles develop, you can work up to 2 to 3 sets with 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

The great thing about these lower body exercises is that none of them require any equipment, so you can do them anywhere, making them great exercises to do while away from home. When you return home, you can mix up your workout routine and do your strength training exercises for your upper body muscle groups using weights and resistance.