Numerous medical researchers confirm that fitness walking has significant health benefits. Walking for 30-minutes a day helps to improve cardiovascular performance and reduce the risk of heart disease – the biggest cause of early deaths in the UK.
Analysis performed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development indicates that Britain is the second fattest nation in Europe – up a place from three the previous year.
Moreover, the country’s bulging waistlines are shaving at least three years off the average life span and costs every single taxpayer £409 in medical care.
If you’re among the millions of UK nationals that are carrying a few extra pounds, or if you want to avoid acquiring love handles, brisk walking is a low-intensity workout that can help you lose weight.
Fitness Walking to Lose Weight
Walking to lose weight is noticeably different than a brisk walk in the park. An walking exercise program is designed to improve your energy levels within the first two weeks.
Devising a fitness walking program – and sticking to it – will start showing results in 2-3 weeks. You should also include a healthy diet in your walking exercise plan to make sure your energy intake is sufficient and helps to burn fat.
If it’s been a while since you exercised, don’t try and do too much too soon. Experts say a brisk 30-minute walk five days a week is sufficient enough to stay healthy and maintain a reasonable weight.
Once you eased into your training program and your body is used to the exercise, step up to the next level. Increase your walking time to 45-60 minutes. Always include hills wherever possible.
To lose weight, you have to put in enough effort to cause physiological responses. Signs to look out for are increased heart rate, heavy breathing and sweating. At this point, you can be assured you body is already in the process of burning fat.
Walking Times and Distances
To get you started with a walking fitness program, we have listed the recommended times and distances that will help you lose weight or keep your body in shape.
Phase One: Week 1 to 4
Start your fitness walking program gently. Experts recommend the first week should focus on observing the response of your body. If you don’t feel pant or feel too many aches and pains on your first day, walk further on the second day.
Exercise for two consecutive days then take a rest. However, if you are aching after your first day, rest on alternative days until your body is physically prepared for consecutive sessions.
The ideal pace to walk at is between 3 to 3.5 mph. You don’t have to maintain this pace for the full 30-minutes. Experts advise slowing down at specific intervals to add intensity. It subconsciously helps you pick up pace without realising you are actually walking faster.
Phase Two: Weeks 5-10
Once your body is accustomed to fitness walking, you should try expanding your program to increase your heart rate. When you exercise for sustained periods of intensity, around 85% of the calories you burn are fat cells.
In the second phase, you should be looking to increase your speed to 4.5mph – about 15 minutes per mile. Try and stick to 45-minute sessions but increase the distance you walk instead.
Setting goals helps to motivate you to pick up the pace and finish your targeted goals in the time given. Incorporating hills or steps is an option to raise the bar.
Phase 3: 11 weeks onwards
If you have been able to maintain the schedule for your fitness walking program, you may feel as though you need additional challenges. You can either do this by planning a new route that offers more challenges or taking the same route but adding a 10-15lb backpack.
Another option is to include other exercises in your routine. For example, performing press-ups and push-ups when you return home adds an extra dimension to your walking program.
Fitness experts recommend swinging your arms in an arc from your waist to your chest. Creating a total body exercise will burn an additional 5-10% of your calorie intake.
Starting a fitness walking program is not only a way to get fit. You can also earn monetary rewards for your efforts. By downloading the sweatcoin app, you convert your steps in sweat coins – digital tokens you can use to purchase items from over 400 retailers.
Download the sweat coin app today and you can improve the health and wellbeing of your body and your bank account.