Are you stuck at a plateau?  You’re increasing your steps but after a few weeks you’re still having trouble buttoning up your fat pants?  Don’t feel let down. You need to change things up a bit.  Right now, the HIIT program (High Intensity Interval Training program) is very popular, but you don’t need to adapt that kind of physical regimen into your daily walking program.  But let’s see about borrowing a little snippet from it.  

 The HIIT program is based on working out at a high intensity for a brief amount of time, then scaling back (a resting period) while your body recovers from working out at that high level. 

 Let’s take your walking workouts to the next level and get those pounds off of you so you can see the results of your hard work.  One of the most common mistakes made by walkers who want to lose weight is getting stuck in neutral. Even if you're taking thousands of extra steps according to your pedometer, if they're always at the same comfortable pace, you won't drop an ounce. You need to shift your walks into high gear!

 First we are going to increase the number of steps you walk each day by ¾ of a mile or appox. 7,500 steps.  Seems like a lot right, but it can be done and you will get used to it.  One thing you will need is a reliable pedometer or activity monitor with a heart rate reading, such as the Fitbit Charge .  Now that you have one, you will need to determine your baseline.To get your baseline figure do the following:

 First, figure out the average number of steps you take a day. To do this, wear your pedometer from the time you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Don't change your daily routine or walk more than usual. Do this for 3 days, ideally 2 weekdays and 1 weekend day. Total your steps for the 3 days, and divide by three to get your baseline.  To establish your new daily step goal, add 7,500 steps (about 3/4 miles) to your baseline.

 Next determine your Target Heart Rate- To calculate, subtract your age from 220. That's your maximum heart rate (MHR). Then, keep your pulse between 60 and 80% of your MHR. If you're 40, for example, your MHR is 180 beats per minute. Your target range is 108 to 144 beats per minute (180 x 0.60 and 180 x 0.80). These are only estimates; always consider how you feel as well.

Checking your pulse can also be determined by your heart rate monitor, your Fitbit Charge can give you all the above information easily.  Having this information will keep you on track to working at your best levels.

 Starting your New Walking Routine:

Now, you're ready to go. Wear your pedometer every day, and gradually increase your steps from your baseline by a couple hundred a day, enough to achieve your step goal in about 2 to 4 weeks. Steps can consist of going for brisk walks of varying lengths or simply adding more steps to your day through daily activities.

 Once you reach your step goal, walk at least 4,000 of your steps per day within your target heart range. Break up your higher-intensity walks throughout the day-2,000 in the morning, 2,000 after work-or gradually work up to the 4,000-step target.

 To reach your target heart rate try a variety of strategies. Keeping in mind the interval training, short bursts of very fast walking followed by a short recovery pace. You will find that walking in hilly areas accomplishes this kind of training naturally. Don’t forget take alongyour four legged coaches to help keep you at a steady, brisk pace as well.

 Many pedometer walking exercise program participants felt daunted at first by the high number of steps required each day. But most found that with a little planning, rethinking of everyday habits, and creativity, those step goals could be met--and were worth the effort!  

 If you keep at this, you will meet your goal of continued weight loss. Remember the key is to vary your walking and challenge yourself to an increasing number of walking spurts to keep achieving your goals.