Walking off the Pounds
By Michele Kralkay, DNM RHN
Whether you're a walking-workout beginner or you're ready for a challenge, this basic 4-week walking workout plan can help you lose weight.
WALK THE WEIGHT OFF
Looking to burn calories and build muscle? It’s as easy as slipping on your sneakers and going for a walk. This fitness plan comes with a new move each week to blast fat, build strength and beat boredom. Follow the advice on technique and gear, and you will be in the best shape of your life in a month.
Number of walks this week: 4. Time per workout: 25 to 40 minutes: This week, build your fitness base and burn more calories by taking more steps every time you walk. Up the ante everyday by adding an extra 5 minutes at a brisk pace (where you can speak fairly easily but are slightly breathless) and you’ll burn an extra 21 to 28 calories every time you walk. If you start with a 25 minute walk on your first day, you should be up to a 40 minute walk by your final workout.
Number of walks this week: 4. Time per workout: 30 minutes: Incorporate intervals this week. At the start of each walk, warm up properly to get loose. In the fast portion, push yourself to the point where you almost feel like it’s easier to run but keep to a very fast walk. On a scale of 1 to 10, it should feel like an 8 or 9 (talking is very difficult). Then slow down to a 4 or 5 effort level (you can breathe a little easier). Follow the walking schedule below:
Days 1 & 3: Start 10 minutes at an effort level of 4 or 5. Increase speed for 20 seconds at level 8 or 9. Recover for 40 seconds at level 4 or 5. Repeat 12 times. Then cooldown for 8 minutes.
Days 5 & 7: Start 10 minutes at an effort level of 4 or 5. Increase speed for 30 seconds then recover for 30 seconds. Repeat 12 times. Then cooldown for 8 minutes.
Number of walks this week: 4. Time per workout: 30 minutes: Mix up your routine with agility and balance exercises this week. After a 10-minute warm-up, perform one of the agility moves for about 30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of walking. Do about five of these two-minute drills (if you’re feeling up to it, add a few more). Finish your workout with a 10-minute brisk walk, gradually slowing to a cooldown at the end.
Number of walks this week: 4 (2 with strengthening moves). Time per workout: 25 to 40 minutes: Sculpt your arms, back and shoulders with a resistance band this week. Add our four strengthening moves to two 30-minute walks this week, either in the middle or at the end. (Avoid doing these workouts consecutively—take at least one day off in between). For the other two walks, choose a routine from the previous three weeks (focusing on distance, speed or agility).