Tested routines that sculpt toned muscles and target stubborn fat

Whether you want to burn fat, boost energy, improve your daily outlook, or just be a bit more toned in a few important places, we have a few workouts that will fit your need. They’ve all been road tested by case studies and are ready to deliver the results your looking for. Pick your goal and discover new, fun ways to achieve it. Michele Stanten, author of Walk Off Weight, designed several of these workouts.

Here are some suggestions and walking workouts by specific goals. Choose the one that’s right for you, and start working toward achieving the body you've been trying to have but never seemed to achieve!

Pair your walking workout with delicious recipes, that are full of anti-oxidants, rich in fiber and lean protein and you will be well on your way to walking your way thin.  Another post will be coming soon that will offer fast and nutritious recipes that will not only taste great but will also provide you with the fuel you will need to reach your goal of renewed energy levels while getting you in the best shape of your lives.

Another way to challenge yourself and help speed your way to a leaner, trimmer you is by wearing a weighted vest, that is equivalent to 15% of your body weight.  This can enable you to burn 12% more calories, according to a new study from the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

The research: Led by Len Kravitz, PhD, of the University of New Mexico’s exercise physiology laboratory, ACE recruited 13 women ages 18 to 55, who didn't exercise. Each subject was assigned to wear either no vest or one weighing 10% or 15% of her body weight. They then each walked at 2.5 mph (a speed deemed comfortable for unfit people) at an incline of 0 to 15% for a total of 16 minutes. The result: walking on a flat (zero grade) surface while wearing a weighted vest equivalent to 15% of body-weight increased calorie burn by 12%.

What it means is walking fast, running or walking on an incline on a treadmill may be not be comfortable or achievable for some due to a prior sedentary lifestyle or health issue such as low back pain. A weighted vest is a simple way to boost intensity and calorie burn without requiring increased speed or a high incline.

The bottom line: For those without health issues, this is a great option to increase calorie burn. Weighted vest aree available at most sporting goods stores or at other health retailers, where you can expect to pay $40 to $70 for one. But a note of caution: this additional weight also increases impact on knees by three to four fold. This could cause too much of a load and impact on these and other joints which could set you up for injury. so if you are someone with no prior hip, knee, or ankle injuries you may want to slip a vest on for your next walk. As always, check with your family doctor before undertaking any new strenuous, increased physical activity.

Whether you want to melt fat, boost energy, lift mood, or just be a bit more toned in a few important places,  there are a few workouts for you to choose from. They’ve all been road
tested by various case studies and are ready to offer you the results your looking for. 
*Calorie burn is based on a 150-pound person and will vary depending on weight, walking speed, and workout duration.

Flip Your Fat-Burning Switch!  You could shrink a size (or more) this month by adding high-intensity walks to your routine. You’ll burn more fat during and after your workouts. And there are options to fit everyone’s needs—

A 10-minute routine for busy days and an indoor option for rainy weather.
For best results, do at least 20 minutes of high-intensity walking (any combo of the workouts in this section or any of the hill or stair routines  will slim you down faster) on 3 nonconsecutive days a week. On alternate days, do moderate-intensity activity for about
30 minutes per session.

1 Treadmill Slimmer 30 Minutes
Treadmills are the perfect excuse buster— no need to worry about weather, traffic, or darkness. Seeing your speed increase as you become more fit is also a huge motivator.

Great Walking Workout, to blast more than
150 calories* in half an hour.
0:00–4:59 wArM-uP 3.4 MPH•
5:00–10:59 Phase 1 (repeat intervals below for 6 min)
60 sec speed interval 4.0 MPH
60 sec recovery interval 3.4 MPH
11:00–15:59 Phase 2 (repeat for 5 min)
40 sec speed interval 4.2 MPH
20 sec recovery interval 3.4 MPH
16:00–20:59 Phase 3 (repeat for 5 min)
30 sec speed interval 4.4 MPH
30 sec recovery interval 3.4 MPH
21:00–25:59 Phase 4 (repeat for 5 min)
20 sec speed interval 4.6 MPH
40 sec recovery interval 3.4 MPH
Cool-down 3.4 MPH
Start at a comfortable speed. Increase 0.6 mph from there for Phase 1 speed intervals. For each subsequent phase, increase your speed intervals by 0.2 mph.

2 Drop-It-Fast Sprint
25 to 30 Minutes
The quicker you walk, the farther you can go and the more pounds you’ll melt off. Here’s a fun routine that burns as many as 175 calories*.

The Workout After warming up for 5 minutes, walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. Note how far you went. Then turn around and walk back at a brisk pace, slowing your speed to cool down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, aim to walk faster and go farther than your initial turnaround point.

This is where a good, reliable Activity Tracker comes in handy. Your working on getting fit and losing weight right. So why not track your routines so you can work on achieving better results. Check out the Fitbit Alta Activity & Sleep Tracker and work on exceeding your personal goals.

Mega Calorie Burner 60+ Minutes
Hour-plus workouts can crank up your post exercise calorie burn nearly fivef-old, compared with a 30-minute walk. That’s on top of the nearly 350 calories* you’ll melt during your walk. This can also get you in shape to take on a bigger goal, such as a half marathon (13.1 miles) or a multi-day fund-raising walk. It’s also a great social activity
that allows you to slim down, with a group of like minded individuals. You can also Plan your route so you meet up with friends, and walk with each for part of course

Belly-Busting Walk 10+ Minutes

High-intensity workouts like these can shrink 5 times more belly fat than moderate intensity workouts.

To zero in on shaping your abs, use these toning tips during any walk:
Focus on drawing your abs in toward your spine. Try to maintain the contraction throughout your walk, but don’t hold your breath.
Imagine that your legs extend up above your navel. As one leg swings forward and back, that hip should follow. This slight hip swivel causes your lower torso to rotate, activating more ab muscles to tone your midsection faster.

Super Fat Blast 10 minutes
Crank up the intensity with metabolism-revving bursts of high-impact activities. You’ll burn nearly 70% more calories than if you walked at a steady pace.
0:00–2:59 Warm-up, easy to moderate pace
3:00–3:59 Brisk walk
4:00–4:29 Jog
4:30–5:29 Fast walk
5:30–5:59 Jumping jacks in place
6:00–6:59 Fast walk
7:00–7:29 Side jumps, feet together, in place
7:30–8:29 Fast walk
8:30–8:59 Jog
9:00–10:00 Cool-down, easy pace

The Stress Relieving Walk 10++++  minutes--No real time frame just walk but track your time and distance!
Revitalize your mind and body with an easy walk of any length that includes these stress busting techniques from Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of Healing Walks for Hard Times. 
Step 1 Focus on your feet. Feel the firm ground beneath you as each foot rolls from heel to toe. Try to hold awareness of your steps for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2 Turn your attention to breathing. Lift your torso to stand upright and increase lung space. As you inhale, imagine you are drawing in renewed energy. Exhale tiredness and pain. Let fresh life flow into your lungs and your cells.
Step 3 Mentally talk to yourself. Taking Fresh air in, Stale Air out as you breathe can help you maintain your focus which can provide you with more Energy, A Brighter Mood and just generally having a better outlook on the day. Even a 10-minute stroll can instantly recharge your energy by increasing circulation. Go for 30 minutes and you could get
a whopping 85% energy boost, research shows. And to really wake up your body and brain, try these stimulating walks that get your mind and senses working too. The good feeling may last up to 12 hours! Anytime you need a quick pick-me-up, try one of these
routines. These workouts can also help if your goal is to lose weight or firm up

Brainpower Booster Under 20 Minutes
Changing the direction you walk—forward, backward, or sideways—keeps your mind alert, increases your calorie burn, and activates some often-underused muscles, such as your inner and outer thighs. This routine is best done on a simi-flat surface such as a school track (most are 1 ⁄4 mile around).
The Workout
Lap 1: Start at the beginning of the curved part of the track. Walk as you normally would to warm up for a full lap.
Lap 2: Turn sideways so right foot is in front. Sidestep or shuffle around the curved part of the track.
Walk backward on the straight section.
Sidestep through the next curve with left foot in front.
Walk forward on the straight section.
Lap 3 Repeat lap 2, walking sideways, backward, sideways, and forward.
Lap 4 Walk forward, slowing your pace to cool down.
This is a 1-mile walk if you use a 1 ⁄4-mile track. You can do more laps to extend it or work up to doing half or even full laps of each type of walking.

Head for the Trees! 5+ Minutes
A dose of nature can boost your mood and energize you in just 5 minutes. If you exercise in a natural setting and go longer (a lunchtime stroll in a park or an all-day hike in the mountains), you can improve your memory and attention 20% more than you can by walking in an urban environment. 
Firm Your Arms, Butt & Thighs By adding some toning moves or techniques to your routine, you can turn walks into total-body workouts and shape your legs and butt even faster. Aim to target each body area 2 or 3 times a week. For example, do the Sculpt
All Over once or twice a week, and do a lower-body and an upper-body routine (or two) on alternate days. Don’t work the same muscle groups on back-to-back days.

For speedier firming, do walking routines from other sections on in between days to melt flab and tone-up your muscles.

Double-Duty Toner
Try using a pair of walking poles as you take that stroll. Research shows they can boost calorie burn by up to 46% and get your arms and core involved for allover firming. The poles also help reduce the impact on your joints. 

10 Treadmill Booty Blast 25 Minutes
No outdoor hills to give your glutes a workout? Here’s a fun treadmill routine you can try!
Warm-up 0:00–4:59 2.5 0
Increase speed 0.2 mph and incline 1% each minute.
Gradual ascent
5:00–9:59 3.3 5
Maintain speed but increase incline 1% each minute.
Rolling hills
10:00–10:59 3.4 5
11:00–11:59 3.5 5
12:00–12:29 3.7 7
12:30–12:59 3.7 5
13:00–13:29 3.8 8
13:30–13:59 3.8 5
14:00–14:29 4.0 10
14:30–14:59 3.5 5
Steep climb
15:00–19:59 2.6 10
Maintain incline as you increase speed 0.3 mph each minute.
Cool- down
20:00–25:00 3.4 4
Decrease speed 0.2 mph and incline 1% each minute

Arm Shaper 20 minutes
Grab an exercise band and do these moves while you walk to firm your upper body.
The workout starts with 4 minutes of easy walking. Then pick up your pace to a moderate intensity and do the first exercise for 25 reps. When you’re finished, drape band around neck and speed up to a brisk pace, like you’re in a hurry, for 2 minutes. Repeat the 25-rep. toning/2-minute brisk-walking intervals until you’ve done all the exercises.
Cool down with 4 minutes of easy walking. You can make moves harder by placing hands closer together so you’re using less band, or easier by separating hands for more slack.

Shoulder Shaper Loop band around back. Hold each side with palms up, elbows bent in at waist, forearms angled out to sides

(A). Keeping shoulders down and back, press hands up and away from body to about shoulder height (B). Slowly lower to start position.

Chest Circle With band around back, extend arms in front, crossing wrists

(A). Circle arms out to sides

(B),Bend elbows, and bring hands in to chest. Repeat, crossing opposite arm on top.

Back Pulldown Hold band wide overhead

(A). Lower arms, keeping elbows bent slightly

(B), and pull band down behind head. Slowly return to start position.

Triceps Toner Hold band at shoulder height in front of you, hands wide, elbows bent 90 degrees

(A). Keeping
upper arms still, straighten arms and press hands out to sides

(B). Slowly return to start position.

Butt Firmer 16+ minutes
Walking uphill activates 25% more muscle fibers for faster firming than strolling on flat terrain. For best results, find a hill that takes 2 to 21⁄2 minutes to climb 
Warm up at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then walk up and down the hill; follow with 2 minutes of brisk walking on a level surface. Repeat the hill and level walk for your desired workout length. Finish with
5 minutes of easy walking to cool down.

Sculpt All Over 25 to 40 Minutes - This can be a fun way to get yourself in better shape, read below and see why.
During this workout, you’ll intersperse strength moves as you walk, for cardio plus toning. Using the lottery approach (below) from Lee Scott to pick your exercises will prevent boredom and challenge new muscles.
The workout Write at least 9 no-equipment strength moves (unless you’re walking indoors and have equipment handy) on pieces of paper. Vary exercises to hit all major muscle groups, such as walking lunges, bench push-ups, triceps dips, planks, and power jumps.

Drop them in a jar and draw 3 out before a walk. Warm up at an easy pace for 3 to 5 minutes, then walk briskly for 5 to 10 minutes. Stopnand do one of the strength moves. Repeat the brisk walking (5 to 10 minutes), followed by the next strength move.
Repeat once more to complete the final move. Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

Indoor Leg Toner 5 Minutes Do this quick workout anywhere there are stairs to double your calorie burn.

1. Walk up and down 1 flight normally.
2. Slowly walk up sideways, crossing bottom foot over top. Keep head up. Walk down normally. Repeat, facing the opposite direction.
3. Step up on first stair, then down, starting with right foot (right up, left up, right down, left down) 10 times.
Repeat, starting with left foot.
4. Climb stairs 2 steps at a time; come down quickly using each step.
5. Run up; walk down normally.
6. Repeat numbers 4 and 5 another 4 times.
7. At bottom, place right foot on first or second step, bend knees, and lower into a lunge. Keep right knee directly over ankle as you do so. Push off with right foot to return to start. Repeat with left leg. Alternate legs for 20 lunges, total.
Now that you have some routines to help you burn off those stubborn pounds. Don't forget to change things up from time to time. We all know that routines for exercise are great but we also know that a change-up in our routines can help trick the body into exerting those muscle groups to a higher level.  Just remember, exercise is a life-style, like life, don't let yourself get stuck in an exercise rut as well....... Now get out there and help yourself get FIT!



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