Treadmill walking is one of the easiest ways to get in shape and burn fat. In fact, mile for mile, you can burn as many calories walking as you would jogging. Walking is also one of the best stress relieving exercises and anyone can do it, regardless of fitness level.
Want to start a treadmill walking program? Here are 5 tips to help you get the most walking bang for your buck:
1) Get your arms pumping.
Bring your upper body into your workout by pumping your arms. This is an easy way to burn more calories while walking. If you want to tone up and use more arm muscle during your workout, try carrying 2 - 5 pound handweights.
Bonus Benefit: pumping your arms propels you forward and helps you move faster - which means more distance covered and more calories burned!
2) Build in incline intervals.
Walking on an incline is one of the fastest ways to drastically skyrocket your calorie burn. But you don't have to spend your whole workout on an incline. Try building in 30 - 60 second intervals of incline walking on your treadmill every 5 to 10 minutes.
If you're walking outside and can't control your incline, try stopping every few minutes and doing 10 - 15 squats or lunges to tone your lower body.
Bonus Benefit: Building in intervals will also help your body continue to burn calories post-workout.
3) Increase your pace, not your stride
Got short legs? No problem! Instead of increasing your stride (and possibly pulling something), increase the number of steps you take. This also increases your speed which means more distance covered and more calories burned.
4) Invest in a pair of excellent walking shoes
Walking in poor shoes can cause damage to your feet, knees, hips, joints and back. Wear poor shoes and you may not be walking for a long time!
If you want to feel great after a walking workout (and be ready for the next one tomorrow), make sure you have the best possible walking shoes you can afford.
Bonus Benefit: A solid pair of walking shoes can actually help you lengthen the time that you walk, which again means more calories burned.
5) Take plenty of time to warm up and stretch to avoid injury.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do for stress relief and long term fat loss. However there's this little thing called shinsplints that can threaten to put you out of walking commission for a while.
Many walkers and runners struggle with this problem. This constant repetitive flexing of the shin muscle can create soreness when a walker increases their speed or distance.
To help ward off shin splints or other muscle injury, take plenty of time to warm up before you really get into your workout.
Also, make sure you stretch. Pointing and flexing your foot helps stretch and build the shin muscle. Ankle rotations also help with this. Stretching properly will definitely keep you happy and walking for a long time to come!
So there you have it - 5 essential walking exercise tips. Keep these in mind and you're guaranteed to enjoy many stress-relieving, fat burning walks!
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Kathryn O'Neill is a contributing writer for www.buyingatreadmill.com, a website that walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the best treadmill for you.
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