Walking is one of the best multitasking exercises you can do, as it burns fat, tones you up, reduces stress and gives you more energy.
In fact, walking can be your first port of call when it comes to energy boosting. A briskness of pace will help transport oxygen to your muscles more efficiently and get your heart pumping. A California State University study found that the more people walked each day, the more energetic they felt, and the better their mood.
Want to experience all the benefits of walking? All you need is a pair of good walking shoes, some lightweight, breathable clothing and the enthusiasm to lace up and give it a go!
Exercise guru, Nicki Waterman, shares her nine walking tips to speed up weight loss and tone up fast…
1. Focus on walking with purpose
Bouncing slows you down and puts extra stress on your joints. Keep your body stable when you walk and focus on the heel/toe movement. Power walking – where you move your arms as well as your legs, will increase your fat and calorie burn.
2. Tighten your butt
When you walk, increase the burn by squeezing your butt muscles together. This strengthens your lower back and shapes your rear. Imagine clenching a R200 note between your cheeks!
3. Lean a little from the ankles
As you speed up your walk, there’s a tendency to slump from your waist. This isn’t ideal for your lower back, pelvis or hips. Hold your ribs high and contract your abs. You’re doing it right if you feel as if you’re falling forward a little into each step.
4. Pay attention to your posture
Try to stand up straight when you walk and avoid looking down at your feet. This discourages you from contracting your abs and stepping powerfully.
5. Tread lightly
Heavy landing can cause painful shin splints (muscle pain along the shin bones). Think “light” as you step and if you start slapping your feet then slow down your pace.
6. Tighten your abs
Pull in and up, as if you’re zipping up tight jeans. This core move offers much-needed support for your lower back and improves your posture and stride.
7. Alternate your pace
One of the best ways to walk for weight loss is to focus on power as you walk up hills, and elongate your stride as you start to descend.
8. Keep on pushing
Boost intensity by going faster, adding hills to your route or walking a little longer each time you head outdoors. Or walk four instead of three days a week. But don’t do all of this at once; plan to increase intensity or duration slowly each week.
9. Take short steps
To walk faster, don’t take longer steps. The best way to speed things up and burn more calories is to take shorter, quicker steps.