Walking the Weight Off For Dummies book cover

Walking the Weight Off For Dummies

By: Erin Palinski-Wade Published: 04-27-2015

Get up, get moving, and walk away the pounds

If you're looking to lose weight and get fit, Walking the Weight Off For Dummies will show you just what to do to walk yourself to a whole new you. Whether you want to burn fat, boost your energy level, improve your mood, shed your belly, or just get toned, this easy to read, fun and friendly guide will have you putting your best foot forward — over and over again! Inside you'll discover which workouts are the best to achieve your specific goals, how low-impact walking is perfect for fat-burning, how to pick the right pair of shoes for walking, and so much more.

Walking is the number one form of exercise in America, and studies show that it is highly effective in achieving multiple health goals — from losing weight and decreasing body fat to improving overall health and mental well being. Best of all, walking is very inexpensive and can be done anywhere. With this complete and easy-to-use guide, you'll find that creating and sticking to a walking program to lose weight and feel great has never been easier.

  • Learn how walking is the ideal exercise to achieve and maintain healthy body weight and improve overall health
  • Figure out the best techniques to avoid injury and achieve your specific fitness goals
  • Dive into nutrition tips for fueling up before and after walks to maintain health
  • Discover how you can fit walking into your life, regardless of your age, gender, and current weight

If you've always wanted to incorporate walking into your routine to boost your health and effectively lose weight, Walking the Weight Off For Dummies will show you how.

Articles From Walking the Weight Off For Dummies

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Walking the Weight Off For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 05-02-2022

It may sound too good to be true, but losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the simplest ways to lose weight is by just walking, something you already do each and every day. Anyone can do it, almost anywhere, and at any time. Just get up and start putting one foot in front of the other, and you are well on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals.

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Increasing the Intensity of Walking Workouts

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

After your walking workouts begin showing results and you start losing weight, you'll find yourself motivated to try to do more, and that's great. You can safely increase the intensity of your workouts with just a few simple adjustments. Increase your daily steps A calorie burned is a calorie burned, no matter how you do it. By simply walking a few extra steps today than you did yesterday, you will burn a few more calories, helping you on your path to weight-loss success. The more steps you can fit in each day, the better. To help increase your steps, purchase a pedometer and wear it from the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed. Do this for three days to figure out how many steps, on average, you walk each day. Then aim to walk an additional 500 steps each day for a week. Once this goal is easily achieved, aim to add on another 500 steps each day. Keep doing this until you can walk 10,000 steps or more each day. Although it sounds simple, these steps really add up in a big way. Increase your walking speed Going for a daily walk is a great way to boost your health along with your weight-loss efforts. The longer you walk, the more calories you burn, which can help to promote faster weight loss. But maybe you have a tight schedule and can only walk for a short period of time each day. Not to worry! By increasing your speed when walking, you can cover a greater distance in the same period of time. This technique allows you to burn more calories per minute, which means you'll achieve a faster rate of weight loss without having to increase the amount of time you spend exercising each day. Increase your incline Walking daily is a great form of exercise, but if you walk in the same way day after day, your body will become accustomed to your walk. This means that your muscles won’t have to work as hard to help you walk at the same speed or for the same distance. And when muscles aren’t challenged, you burn fewer calories and lose less weight. To prevent this problem, mixing up the way you walk is vital. One way to do this is by added an incline to your walk. If you walk outdoors, aim to walk uphill for part or all of your walk. If you walk indoors, add stairs or an incline on a treadmill to your walk to increase the intensity of your workout. When you walk on an incline, the muscles in your lower body along with your core have to work harder to propel you uphill. This extra work not only increases the amount of calories you burn each minute as you walk, but it also helps to tone and tighten muscles as well.

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Making Walking Part of Your Lifestyle

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Setting aside time each day to take a walk is a great start to losing weight and improving your health. But research has found individuals who set aside time to actually workout may end up being less active at the end of the day than their peers who lead an active lifestyle but don’t schedule in structured workouts. For the individuals who schedule workouts, the activity becomes a chore, and they find it hard to stay on track, especially if they are inactive for much of the day. If, however, you use walking as a way to stay active all day long, you don't need to schedule chores to manage your weight and maintain your fitness. So to be as active as possible, make sure you incorporate walking as part of your lifestyle. Here are some ideas that can help: Take the opportunity to fit in additional steps throughout the day whenever possible. Stand and walk while talking on the phone. Park in the furthest parking spot instead of the closest. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Although all of these ideas seem simple, when you do them day after day, in combination with a structured walking workout, you can quickly and easily achieve your weight-loss goals and also keep the weight off for good.

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10 Stretches for Walkers

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Whether you have already started walking for weight loss or are just considering getting started, you want to make sure that you stretch on a regular basis. Although it may seem as somewhat of an afterthought, stretching is vital to your success as a walker working to lose weight and improve health. Taking the time to stretch can help to protect against injury, enhance circulation, lower stress levels, increase flexibility and balance, and even increase your energy level. But when it comes to stretching, making sure to do it correctly is key. Improper stretching can increase your risk for injury and therefore increase the changes of hampering your ability to walk for weight loss. However, proper stretching can actually help you to start to see results even faster. Stretching cold muscles increases injury risk. For that reason, you should always stretch after your muscles are warm. You can do this by walking lightly for a few minutes, stretch, and continue on with your walking workout. Or you can perform more challenging stretches at the end of your walking workout. This is usually the best option as it can help to enhance muscle recovery after your walk and prevent muscle soreness. Hamstring stretch With regular walking, your hamstrings can tighten over time, which can lead to lower back pain and imbalances in your body. Stretching your hamstrings regularly after each walk can help to increase your flexibility and prevent against injury or pain. To perform the hamstring stretch, stand with your feet staggers, with your left foot a few inches out in front of your right foot. Flex your left foot so that your toe is lifted off of the ground. Now, while pulling your abdominal muscles in slightly, lean forward from your hips while keeping your chest lifted and back straight. Place the palms of your right hand on top of your right thigh for support. Hold this position for 30 seconds, the repeat the stretch on the opposite side with your right foot in front. Calf stretch Failing to stretch out your calves after walking can result in tightening of this muscle, leg cramps, shin splints, and even can increase the strain on your Achilles tendon. However, performing a calf stretch is easy to do and can help to prevent against numerous injuries. To perform the calf stretch, stand arms' length away from a wall, facing in toward the wall. Stand with your legs staggered so that your right leg is nearest to the wall. Lower yourself into a lunge position, where your right knee is slightly bent and your left leg is as straight as possible. Lean forward, pressing your palms into the wall while keeping your chest up and back straight. While leaning into the wall, press the heel of your left foot into the ground. You should feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold this for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite leg. Toe touch To help stretch your hamstrings and lower back to protect against strain and tight muscles, use gentle toe touches. To perform, stand upright with your abdominals pulled in and feet shoulder width apart. Bend forward at your waist, keeping your back straight. As you bend forward, allow your knees to bend slightly (soft knees). Lower your upper body toward the floor. Only bend as far as comfortable and work over time toward lowering yourself closer and closer to reaching your toes or the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then slowly stand back up. Quad stretch Stretching your quadriceps muscles is important, as tight quads can increase pain in your knees and back as well as increase your risk for injury. To stretch this muscle, start by standing upright with your feet about hip width apart. Using a chair or a wall for balance, bend your left knee upward so that your left heel is lifted toward your backside. Using your right hand, hold onto your left foot and pull it gently closer to your backside. Use your left hand to maintain your balance against the chair or wall. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, the repeat on the opposite side. Hip flexor stretch Repeated walking with little to no stretching can result in tight hip flexors. When these tighten, your body can be forced out of alignment, resulting in increased pain, especially in your back and hips. To perform this stretch, kneel down on the floor with your left knee bent and in front of you with your left foot flat on the floor. Keeping your abdominals pulled in and your chest up, place your hands on top of your left thigh for balance. Slowly pull your chest up while leaning slightly forward, keeping your shoulders back and down. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg. Leg twist Regular walking, especially when walking at an incline or at a fast pace, can lead to tight gluteus muscles. This stretch will help to decrease muscle tightness in this area and help to protect against lower back pain. Lay down on the floor with your back flat against the floor. Bend your left knee while keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Now, bring your right ankle up and rest it across the top of your left thigh. Once you are in this position, raise your left leg until your thigh is perpendicular to the floor. Using your hands, wrap them around your left thigh and lightly pull your leg back toward your chest to enhance the stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat on the opposite leg. Butterfly Although often ignored, stretching the groin is essential in preventing groin pulls which can sideline your walking routine. The butterfly stretch is an effective way to stretch this area. To perform this stretch, sit down on the floor with your back straight and chest raised. Bend your legs to bring soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to lower to the sides as much as possible without discomfort. Keeping your chest up and back straight, slowly lower forward at your hips. As you lower toward your feet, grasp your hands around your feet to help pull yourself closer. You may also use your elbows to gently push your knees lower to the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds then release. Repeat this exercise three times. Standing straddle stretch Tight hamstrings, lower back, and groin can all lead to increased pain, stiffness, and muscle strains. However, the standing straddle stretch helps to increase flexibility in all of these areas, keeping your body as healthy as possible. To perform this stretch, stand upright with your legs separated into a wide straddle (at least wider than shoulder width) and toes slightly turned out. Lower your body from your hips while keeping your back straight. Lower your upper body down towards your left toe with your knee slightly bent. Allow your upper body to lower only until you feel a slight stretch, and then hold this position for 30 seconds and then slowly stand up back. Repeat on the right side. Shoulder stretch You may think that only your lower body needs to be stretched after walking, but that’s not true. Your entire body is utilized when walking, including your arms and shoulders which help to propel your body forward as you walk, especially when walking at an incline. To stretch your shoulders, start by standing upright with feet shoulder width apart. Bring your left arm straight across your chest. Using your right hand or forearm, pull your left arm in tight to your chest. As you do this, make sure your shoulders stay down and do not pull your arm at the elbow joint. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other arm. Neck relaxer Don't overlook your neck when it comes to stretching. Although it's very important to only gently stretch this area, making sure to maintain flexibility in your neck is vital to a healthy spine and body. To gently stretch your neck, slowly turn and look over your right shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. The repeat on the left side. As you perform this stretch, make sure you don’t tilt your neck backwards or hyperextend. Also, avoid using your hands to assist in this stretch. Only turn your neck as far as it will comfortably go on its own.

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Getting the Most from Your Walking Workout

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

The more physically active you are, the more calories you burn each day. And the more calories you burn, the quicker and easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Whether you increase your physical activity by increasing the amount of steps you take each day or you follow a structured walking program, there are ways you can adjust your walking strategies to increase your overall calorie burn. Knowing how to maximize your walking workout will help you to not only achieve your weight loss goals quickly and easily, but will also make sure that you keep the weight off for good. When you begin an exercise program, it’s vital that you adjust your program over time to prevent your body from becoming too accustomed to your workout. If this happens, your body doesn’t need to work as hard to help you complete your exercise routine, and therefore, you burn less calories. However, mixing up your walking workout helps to prevent this for maximum results. To vary your workout, try adding an incline to your walk. Whether you walk uphill, up stairs, or increase the incline on the treadmill, the higher the incline and the longer you walk on an incline, the more fat and calories you will burn. In addition, walking on an incline helps to tone and tighten addition muscle groups, especially the calves and glutes, helping you to not only lose pounds, but inches as well. Speed is another way to vary your workout and increase your results. This adjustment can be made in a number of ways. You can increase the speed on your entire walk, aiming to cover the same distance in a shorter period of time. Or, you can incorporate speed walking in intervals, where you walk at one speed for a period of time, and then walk at a much faster speed for a short period of time, and repeat this pattern for the duration of your walk. Varying your speed and your incline level can help to boost fitness, challenge additional muscle groups, and have you reaching your weight loss goals faster than you thought possible!

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Fueling Your Body to Maximize Weight Loss When Walking

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

If you are aiming to lose weight, increasing your physical activity level through walking can get you there. However, if you are looking to maximize your weight loss progress and achieve your weight loss goals faster than you thought possible, fueling your body correctly is key. By increasing the amount you walk daily, whether through increasing your daily steps or by walking for a set length of time or distance, you will increase the amount of calories you burn each day. However, making just one poor meal or snack choice can lead to you eating these calories back, and more, which can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Focusing your diet on eating foods rich in volume but low in calories is one of the best ways to ensure quick weight loss results without feeling excessively hungry or deprived. One way in which to do this is to fill your plate half way with vegetables at each meal. Vegetables are packed full of nutrients and fiber, but contain very few calories. When you increase your intake of vegetables, you naturally eat smaller portions of other foods, helping to reduce your calorie intake and therefore promote weight loss. Another way to help promote a faster and more effective weight loss is to fill your diet with nutrients shown to help promote fat loss. This includes eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, and whole grains. Foods such as 100% whole grain bread, avocado, pistachios, almonds, fish, and olive oil are terrific options to include as part of your regular meal plan to help shed inches around your waistline as well as body weight. By paying attention to what you eat along with exercise you can achieve and maintain your goal weight once and for all!

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How Anyone Can Lose Weight by Simply Walking

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

If you have tried time and time again to lose weight, but have not been successful, maybe the reason is that you are trying too hard. That's right — weight loss doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as easy as just putting one foot in front of the other and walking those pounds and inches away. No matter your age, your fitness level, or your medical history, almost anyone can walk off the weight if they know how to do it. Most likely, walking is something you do every day already. You know how to do it, you already have locations you do it in, so all you need to do now is walk a little bit more or adjust your walking techniques and you will start to see the weight loss results almost instantly. If you have never exercised before, or you have a condition that prevents you from safely taking part in structured exercise, you can still walk off the weight. To get started, just invest in a basic pedometer, a tool that counts your steps. Wear it for three days to see, on average, how many steps you walk each day. Call this your baseline number of steps. Once you know your daily step baseline, all you have to do is take a few extra steps each day. Aim to walk just an extra 500 steps each day for seven days. Once you can do this easily, add on an extra 500 steps. Slowly build your step count over time, with your long-term goal to walk 10,000 steps or more each day. Every 2,000 steps you walk is equal to about one mile of walking, or about 100 calories burned. Walk an extra 2,000 steps per day over your baseline, and you're on target to lose almost one pound per month. Those little steps can add up to big results!

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How Walking Can Improve Bone and Joint Health

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Walking is a weight‐bearing exercise, which can help to strengthen and build bone. The more you walk, the stronger the bones in your hips and legs can become, helping to protect against fracture. Bone and joint disease are quite prevalent in America. According to the CDC, one in five adults has been diagnosed with arthritis. In addition, 49.7 percent of adults age 65 years or older have arthritis. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2030, 67 million Americans ages 18 years and older will be diagnosed with this condition. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates about 12million people over the age of 50 have osteoporosis and another 40 million have low bone mass, putting them at risk for developing osteoporosis. By 2020, the prevalence of osteoporosis is expected to climb to 14 million cases along with 47 million cases of low bone mass. With this rise, it is estimated that about 40 percent of Caucasian women and 13 percent of Caucasian men over the age of 50 will experience at least one fracture due to low bone density in their lifetime, as those of Caucasian decent along with those of Asian descent are at a greater risk of osteoporosis. When you look at these statistics, you see that a staggering number of people are impacted by bone and joint disease on a daily basis. These diseases can be crippling over time. However, by just increasing daily movement with walking, these diseases can be prevented, managed, or even reversed! When it comes to bone health, it doesn’t take much to decrease the risk of fractures. A Harvard Medical School study found that women who walked just four hours per week were as much as 41 percent less likely to suffer a hip fracture compared to those who walked only one hour per week. Joint pain can also be managed and decreased with regular walking. Partaking in low‐impact exercise, such as walking, over a six‐month period was found to decrease joint pain in arthritis sufferers by 25 percent and decrease stiffness by 16 percent. Why does walking help? When you exercise, you strengthen muscles. The stronger your muscles are around your joints, the less stress there is on your joints. For instance, research has shown that having weak muscles in the thigh can increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the knee. However, just small gains in strength in these muscles, which walking can help with, can significantly reduce the risk. Back pain, which affects as many as seven out of ten Americans, can also be reduced with walking. A study published in The Spine Journal found that just one exercise session can reduce lower back pain by as much as 10 to 50 percent. Other research found that just a ten‐minute walk on the treadmill was shown to lead to a significant reduction in back pain. So why does such a small amount of walking lead to such a big impact on back pain? There may be many reasons. Walking can help to strengthen back muscles, improve posture, and improve flexibility — all things that can lessen back pain. In addition, working large muscle groups, such as the muscles in the legs and core, helps to stimulate signals from large nerves to the brain. The signals from the larger nerves are thought to block pain signals coming from smaller nerves, so you literally feel less pain. In addition, the boost in “feel‐good” brain chemicals, such as serotonin and endorphins, helps you to feel better and manage pain better.

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The Best Locations for Outdoor Walking

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

There are almost a countless number of locations you may choose to walk outdoors. You can walk on the beach while feeling the sand between your toes; you can walk through wooded trails as you hike to the top of a mountain; you can walk through the streets of your town or take a stroll at the local park. There’s no right or wrong location for walking, especially when walking outdoors. What matters is that you pick the right location for you. When it comes to picking your outdoor walking location, consider the following: What are your top walking goals? Do you have any walking restrictions, such as a chronic injury? What are your favorite outdoor locations? Your answers to these questions will help you to narrow down the most appropriate walking locations for you. For instance, if you have chronic knee pain, you would most likely do best walking on a flat surface and avoiding an outdoor walking location with a large number of hills. If you are at risk for falls or have osteoporosis, avoid any locations with uneven terrain that can increase your risk for falls and fractures. If you’re looking to burn the most fat possible during your workout, you want to pick a location that allows you to adjust the intensity of your walk, such as one that allows you to add an incline to your walk. In addition to deciding on a location that prevents aggravating any injuries and matches your walking goals, you want to decide on a location you enjoy. If you decide to hike through the woods to add hills to your walk but you hate dirt and bugs, you’ll most likely have a hard time talking yourself into walking each day. However, if you love looking at the water, walking on the beach each day is something you can look forward to. Also consider the convenience of the location you select for your walk. If you can walk right out your front door and start your walking workout, you’re more likely to stick with your workout on a consistent basis than you are if you have to get in the car and drive 20 minutes to reach the beach or the park. Taking all of these factors into account can help you select the perfect location for your personality and goals.

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10 Ways to Maximize Your Walking Workout

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Sticking with the same walking routine day after day can start to feel monotonous. Worse yet, if your body becomes too accustomed to your workout, you’ll start to see fewer results. Changing your workout can not only help you to challenge yourself further, but it can also prevent boredom and keep you energized and excited to get walking and stay walking. No matter what the reason, you can use any of these ten ways, or a combination of them, to maximize your workout and your results. Head for the hills Walking uphill is one of the easiest ways to add an incline to your walk. By walking on an incline, you can significantly increase the calorie expenditure of every minute of your walking workout. The higher the incline, the more you challenge the muscles in your core and lower body. Therefore, the higher the incline and the more often you walk on an incline, the faster you’ll see results. Not only will incline walking help to speed weight loss, but it will also help to tone and tighten your glutes and core. Keep in mind that if you suffer from back or knee issues, walking at an incline may not be appropriate for you. Always follow the advice of your physician. Race yourself No matter how fast or slow your current walking pace, you can always work on slowly increasing your individual walking speed. The faster your walking speed, the more calories per minute you burn. And the more calories you burn, the quicker you can lose weight and keep it off. If you’re not sure how to get started with increasing your speed, try this: Walk at your normal pace and time yourself to see how long it takes you to walk 1 mile. No matter how long it takes, the next time you go for a walk, try to walk slightly faster and see whether you can complete the mile 30 seconds faster. Once you have accomplished this, aim to shave another 30 seconds off your mileage time. Repeat this over and over again until you can successfully walk a mile in 15 minutes or less. Step it up It may sound simple, but adding a few bouts of stair climbing to your walk can make your workout significantly more challenging. Walking up stairs challenges all the muscles in your lower body and core. Challenging these muscles helps you to increase strength and muscle mass, boosting metabolism. In addition, as these muscles strengthen, they help to tone and tighten your lower body, speeding your loss of inches. Stair climbing can also increase bone density in your hips and spine, helping to fight against osteoporosis. Pump iron Adding resistance training, such as using dumbbells to perform strength‐training exercises either during your walking workout or directly before or after can speed results in a variety of ways. First, strength‐training exercises help to build and strengthen muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism, which causes you to burn more calories throughout the day. In addition, strengthening muscle helps to tone and tighten areas of the body such as the thighs and core, helping you to lose inches. And finally, adding resistance training increases the intensity of your workout, meaning that you burn more calories during the duration of your workout, maximizing your weight‐loss efforts. Mix it up Not only can performing the same exercise day in and day out become boring (which can make it challenging to continue with your exercise routine), but your body also can become accustomed to your workout plan. When this happens, your body is no longer as challenged as it once was. And when your body no longer has to work as hard to complete an exercise, you end up burning fewer calories during your workout. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to mix up your walking routine. You don’t want to walk in the same exact way day after day, or your results will start to stagnate. From day to day, vary your speed, the length of your walk, the incline level, and even where you walk. The more you vary your workout, the better and faster your results! Add intervals Interval training can sound complicated, but it really isn’t. The practice is just one of varying the intensity of your workout throughout the duration of the entire workout. When it comes to walking, this can be done by varying your speed or your incline. For example, to vary your speed, if you choose to walk for 30 minutes, you can incorporate intervals by walking at a moderate pace for 5 minutes, followed by walking as fast as you can for 1 minute, and then returning back to the moderate pace and repeating this pattern for the duration of the walk. Focus on daily activity and structured walks If you’ve been performing a structured walk at least a few times per week for exercise and aren’t seeing the results you expected, then you also want to focus on your level of daily activity. Research has shown that sometimes when individuals start an exercise program, they actually become less active the rest of the day. So now, even though you burn additional calories during your walking workout, being less active the rest of the day causes your metabolism to be slower, leading to slow or stalled weight‐loss results. To prevent this, don’t just focus on a fitness walk each day; make sure to also track your overall daily movement. This tracking can easily be done by wearing a pedometer for the duration of the day or a fitness tracker that even tracks sleep patterns. Put a pedometer on as soon as you wake up in the morning and wear it until you go to bed at night. Make sure that on days when you are walking for exercise, you continue to get just as many steps (and hopefully more) than on days when you don’t exercise. If you notice the number of steps you take throughout the day is low, work on picking it up by squeezing in short bouts of walking anywhere you can. Make it last If you feel as though your weight‐loss results have slowed or stalled, try increasing the time during which you walk each day. Even as little as five extra minutes of walking each day of the week can result in increased weight loss and improved health. If you walk for a set period of time each day, slowly add one to two minutes to this time each day. Aim to add anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes to your current walk. The longer you walk, the quicker you’ll see results. Incorporate technology There are so many gadgets and gizmos on the market today, from Fitbit integrated with digital scales to Garmin’s vívosmart fitness tracker to mobile phone GPS mapping apps to simple pedometers, it can feel a little overwhelming. However, many fitness gadgets can actually help you increase the effectiveness of your walk and see results more quickly. Some fitness tools can track the speed and duration of your walk, so you can use these to increase your walking intensity steadily over time. Other gadgets just make walking more fun, and the more you enjoy your workout, the more likely you are to stick with it. Get stretchy To many walkers, stretching can be an afterthought; however, stretching on a regular basis can actually help to speed your fitness results. When you stretch, you boost circulation, bringing oxygen and vital nutrients to your muscles. When this occurs, muscles can repair and strengthen more quickly, helping to prevent walking‐related injuries that can sideline your workout. In addition, stretching can increase your overall range of motion. As this occurs, your gait may improve, which can allow you to walk at a quicker pace, further enhancing your results. Foam rollers, stretching bands, and exercise balls are very useful ways to help enhance flexibility as well. You can purchase them at many sporting goods stores as well as online at retailers. Most important, stretching after your muscles are warm feels good. You feel energized and ready to hit the road. The better you feel, the more likely you are to push yourself to walk quicker, farther, or at a higher incline. And the more you’re able to safely push yourself, the more effective each walk becomes and the faster you ultimately see results.

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