Walking But NOT Seeing The Results You Really Want To See?
Posted on April 13 2017
Ok, you’ve been walking now since this past summer. And at first you were very happy with the results you’ve been seeing after the first 3 months have come and gone. Your stamina has increased. You already paid the price of sore leg and calf muscles and now you can walk 3-5 miles without any sort of leg discomfort.
But now, 6 months later, while you are definitely in better shape than when you first started, your noticing that the weight loss has been falling off. You know about hitting a wall or a plateaued and you began some weight training in with your walking as well. You’re using your pedometer every time you lace up your sneaks. And you constantly hit your distance goals but still, that weight seems to be staying around like an unwelcome friend.
Well, now it’s time to try Aerobic Walking!
And just what is Aerobic Walking? Aerobic Walking Is a High-Intensity, Low-Impact Workout
Walking to meet your fitness goals is easy when brisk walking becomes second nature to you. But to get the absolute fitness benefits, you need to reach the next level. The slow end of the brisk walking scale is a mile in at least 18 minutes; the high end is a mile in 14 minutes, as fast as most people can walk without heavy exertion. Aerobic walking means walking a mile in 13 minutes or less.
But heavy exertion is not the point of walking for exercise—remember that consistency is far more important than intensity in reaching your fitness goals. So how do you increase your walking pace without dramatically increasing your physical exertion? Aerobic walking, of course!
Aerobic Walking Is All in the Swing
The key to aerobic walking is not in your legs but in your arms. Because your arms and legs act as natural pendulums while you walk, you can increase your walking pace by increasing the style and frequency of your arm swings.
The principle is fairly simple—if you increase the frequency of your strides, you must increase the frequency of your arm swings; otherwise, walking would be difficult, if not impossible. Try it yourself! Try walking quickly with your hands in your pockets, for example, or without moving your arms at all. It’s exhausting! Now try moving your arms faster than your walking pace—you’ll find that you have to walk faster to keep up with your arm swings!
To get up to aerobic walking, you need to find your own swing technique. Start by bending your arms while you walk briskly. You will soon find that your arm speed keeps up with your walking pace. You can master aerobic walking without looking foolish.
For the most consistent results, you need to calculate your ideal heart rate, which is based on your age and level of exertion. It might be time to step up your data gathering from your pedometer to a heart rate monitor such as the Garmin Vivosmart Wireless Heart Rate Activity Monitor) The Vívosmart HR has a 3-dimensional accelerometer which is used to count steps (compared to a pedometer which uses a 1-dimensional accelerometer). It uses the user’s height from their profile to calculate their stride length. Because of the 3 dimensional accelerometers, the Vívosmart HR knows when the user is moving faster, which increases the stride length to better calculate the distance being covered. This will go a long way to measuring your accomplishments and getting the right data from the heart rate feature that’s combined in the monitor.
Aerobic Walking Works More Muscle Groups
Aerobic walking brings your walking for fitness program to the next level. You will now be working out more muscle groups, both lower and upper body. About half the calories burned by aerobic walking are fats, the other half carbohydrates, so your muscle tone will become more defined. An ideal aerobic walking workout should last about 45 minutes, not including warm-up and cool down.
Start with your normal stretching routines. Keep in mind that stretching prepares your muscles but also prepares your mind.
Start walking slowly at first, gradually increasing your pace for the first 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes, increase your pace to aerobic walking pace. You should be breathing hard now, only able to speak in short bursts.
Using hand weights is also a great way to work your upper body strength while aerobic- walking. Try to keep up your aerobic walking pace for 30–45 minutes. Working out longer than 1 hour can make you feel fatigued instead of energized.
End your routine with a 10-minute cooldown, slowing to an easier pace. Then take some pride in the fact that you pushed your body in a good way. Within the next few weeks as your body becomes used to your new walking routines you’re going to see your weight begin to drop off. Naturally, after another 3 months, you are going to up your walking game a bit more to continue that drop in weight. This can be adjusted based on increasing your distance or increasing the hand weights used to generate momentum with your hand swings. You will be the best judge of what to increase.
So remember, your body will get used to your routines so make sure ever third week you change things up with different trails to use or hyping up your aerobic routines by increasing that burst of speed a bit longer, longer than you might at first feel comfortable at. But monitor yourself and make sure you’re not pushing yourself into the “Red Zone”
If you stick with this aerobic walking routine you should start seeing the results you were looking for.