The plain fact is, sometimes you just can’t carve out 45 minutes to an hour to spend on exercising. Not all at once, anyway.
The good news is — you don’t have to!
Burn Fat in Your Spare Time
It turns out, you get the same calorie-burning benefits if you break up the long walk into, say, 3 – 4 walks of 10 – 15 minutes each.
That’s a brisk walk to work, another on your lunch hour (when you need to get out anyway), and one more after supper. Take the dog out around the block, or walk the kids to the park. Just don’t do your walk to the donut shop, and it’ll be fine…
Burn Fat Off Faster
The other very useful thing I’ve learned this week is the fastest way to burn off fat and calories by walking.
Your body will burn calories most efficiently — the most calories for the amount of effort expended in the walking time — if you walk at a brisk pace.
That means 4.5 miles per hour.
Yeah, like people come with a speedometer! Just time it out on the running track at your local school, or measure off a mile of road in your neighbourhood, to get a feel for the speed you’re walking at different levels of exertion.
This advice comes from the Harvard School of Public Health and the American Heart Association, too. It’s all about heart health and maintaining your bone density to ward off osteoporosis, as well as the weight loss benefits.
Those science guys seem to know their stuff, but it can make for heavy reading. I like the way that Selene Yeager, author of Perfectly Fit, explains it:
For optimum calorie burning, I recommend aiming to walk at about a 4.5-mile per hour (mph) pace.
Fitness scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered that if you walk at this pace, you can burn almost as many calories (201 per 30 minutes, based on a 140-pound woman) as someone jogging at about the same speed (223 calories per 30 minutes) because you’re using the same amount of energy to stay in motion.
Of course 4.5 mph is a fast walk; if you haven’t been walking regularly, you shouldn’t expect to hit that speed right out of the gate. Start at a slower pace and use the same fat-burning walking form to work up to this speed.
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