It makes sense that to burn fat and ultimately lose weight, you have to get your body into the fat-burning mode. But just exactly how do you tell your body to burn stored fat instead of pulling from available sugars? By warming up first!
Warm Up Before You Walk to Burn Fat
To wake up your muscles and let them know you are in this for the long haul, walk at a slower pace than normal for five to 10 minutes.
Once you are warmed-up, increase your speed to at least a brisk or moderate pace; your daily goal should be to walk at this pace for at least 30 minutes.
What Does a Brisk Pace Feel Like?
While the speed you walk depends on your fitness level, the way it “feels” to you will be the same. Your breathing rate should increase, but you should still be able to carry on a conversation with your walking partner. Your heart rate should measure from 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate, 220 minus your age. On a less technical side, it should feel like you are rushing to get to get to an important appointment because you are running late – you know, that quickened pace.
Increasing the Number of Calories Burned
Let’s face it, you are only going to be able to burn a certain number of calories by walking the same distance at the same pace. As your body gets more fit, it will adapt by becoming more efficient. So to increase the number of calories burned, it makes sense that you either have to walk farther or faster (or both). But wait, there is a third option – weights.
By wearing wrist or ankle weights, you increase the amount of work exerted even though you are not walking any further or faster. Your heart beats a little faster- you perspire a little more; your body is working a little harder.
While wearing weights, move your arms in a back and forth pumping motion to burn even more calories, build muscle and lose more weight.
Walking builds muscle. By working your large lower body muscle groups, they become more toned, better defined and stronger. Now your “new” muscles burn more calories (even at rest) than your old ones did because it takes more energy to fuel them than it did before.
By wearing wrist weights, you are also improving your arm and shoulder muscles, making them burn more calories too. All-in-all, it adds up; the “new you” is now a fat burning machine, burning more calories than before. As you burn the calories you’ll burn fat but you have to get started and the best time is now.
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 MyFitnessNut.com Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.