And you faithfully tracked your steps, distance and the number of calories burned by using a great pedometer. But now, you’ve been thinking of taking your fitness routines up to the next level. Working in, a more purposeful weight training program to augment your walking.
Now, you’re not going to give up your walking altogether, just add in two days a week of pumping some iron. Trainers and fitness coaches have known for years that in order to get a balanced body workout, you need to do both cardio and weights. You don’t have to go crazy with working towards a sculpted, toned, chiseled physic, but by just doing two days a week of light weight training you will be surprised that you might start to drop a few more pounds and see your body change slightly in all the right places.
The advantage of using a lighter weight for doing your exercises is if you’re not quite in shape when you start, there is less chance of your injuring yourself. Be advised that because you're using a lighter weight, you’re going to need to increase the reps you do for various exercises.
Researchers have found that lifting light weights for more reps is just as effective for building muscle as lifting heavy weights for fewer reps. The key is lifting to the point of fatigue. In fact, bodyweight exercises can often be just as effective, or more effective, than committing solely to iron.
Keep in mind that "Muscle never turns into fat, and fat never turns into muscle,” says Rachel Cosgrove, author of various books on body training. Muscle will, on the other hand, help you burn fat. Research has found that an intense regimen of strength training results in more calories burned in the 16 to 24 hours after your training session ends. Which is what we were talking about earlier above when we said you will be surprised that you may drop a few more pounds by adding weight training into your weekly walking routines.
Something to remember, you’re not going to start out grabbing weights, such as dumbells for instance that seem already too heavy when you pick them up. Don’t be embarrassed to pick up a pair of weights weighing 2lbs each. Remember its better to start out small then work your way up to a heavier weight. Keep in mind that after doing a set of exercises and you don’t feel that you’ve been exerting yourself enough, then next time double the amount of weight and see how you feel during, and after you finish your routines.
Below are a few examples of weight exercises that you can experiment to see if they fit your overall body conditioning.
Overhead Press: it or stand, abs engaged, and hold weights just over the shoulders, keeping elbows bent like goal posts. Press the weights overhead, without arching the back, concentrating on the shoulders. Lower down until weights are at ear-level, and repeat for 1 set of 12 reps.
Double Arm Dumbbell Rows: For this back exercise, bend at the waist to about 45 degrees, keeping your back flat and holding medium-heavy weights in each hand. Squeeze the back as you bend the elbows, pulling them up toward the torso in a rowing motion. Lower and repeat for 1 set of 12 reps.
Biceps Curls: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding medium-light dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms out. Bend your elbows and curl weights towards the shoulders. Lower and repeat for 1 set of 12 reps. You can also use a kettlebell for this one.
Triceps Extensions: Sit in a chair or on your ball and hold weights straight up overhead, palms facing in. Bend the elbows and lower the weights down until they're next to the ears. Straighten the arms, squeezing the triceps and repeat for 1 set of 12 reps.
The above are just a few examples of how you can augment your walking regimen with adding two days of weights. Now, I mentioned above that you’ve been great about tracking your progress while you’ve been walking. Now that you're looking to add other exercise routines to your fitness program. Your’ going to want to make sure you're tracking everything you’re doing. I really recommend you’re getting a “smart” activity monitor and since you’re going to keep working your way to a fitter you, why not get one that also monitors your heart rate as well? After all, in order to continue to improve, you need to know how well you’ve been doing. In this way, you can continue to set new goals for yourself that you can work towards. The activity monitor that I think fits the bill, is the Polar A370 Strapless HR Fitness Wearable The A370 is an intelligent, powerful wrist-based fitness tracker with continuous heart rate readings without wearing a chest strap. This allows you to get accurate data on your heart-rate without the annoyance of needing to place a strap around your chest! You can even use the A370 as a heart rate sensor by pairing it with your favorite fitness app. The A370 utilizes your smartphone's GPS capabilities to provide you with critical data while you train. Exercise and activity data is automatically sent and is available to be used in services where you allow it. Connect your Flow account for example to Apple Health Kit, Google Fit, and MyFitnessPal.
So with your making the decision to expand your regular walking program by adding weight conditioning training, you can keep up on just how well you are doing, with just one device, makes perfect sense.
Stay the course and in a few months, I’m sure you’re going to be very happy with the leaner, fitter you that stares back at you from that mirror!