From FITBIE.com (TNS)
More of a stroller than a sprinter? You’re still getting a solid workout. Study after study confirms that being active throughout your day is an effective way to stay slim, and realage.com, which offers a test that assesses your “real” age in terms of how your body is aging, claims that taking at least 10,000 steps a day is the equivalent of subtracting 4.6 years from your chronological age for women and 4.1 for men.
What’s more, logging lots of steps may improve your diet choices: A recent German study found that taking a walk can even stop sugar cravings.
But while a regular walking routine is a great way to stay in shape, nearly all fitness experts agree that mixing up your workout is crucial if you want to keep seeing results in the mirror and on the scale. An obvious way to increase your aerobic activity and challenge your body in new ways? Pick up the pace.
Want to take your walking workout to the next level? Follow this advice from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, author of 5 Pounds.
- Brisk walking, meaning a speed of about 4 miles an hour, clearly burns more calories and increases oxygen intake more than a 2-miles-an-hour stroll. Gradually build up your speed by increasing the pace for a minute or two, reverting to your accustomed rate for 5 minutes, and so on. Over time, increase the length of the faster-walking periods until you’re maintaining that rate overall. Compared with jogging, faster walking is easier on the hips and knees and diminishes the risk of injury.
- Jogging isn’t the best choice for everyone. Unlike brisk walking and running, which are more horizontal in nature and therefore not as likely to jar your torso, jogging involves moving your body up and down, which taxes your joints more. For some people, if done too long or too often, it can lead to injury. On the other hand, if you like to jog, be sure to wear shoes that give you the right support. If you’re a runner, feel free to continue and/or blend it with walking.
- Short bursts of fast running burn the most calories of all these activities. Research shows that a combination of sprinting and walking is even more effective than jogging. Like walking, sprinting is more likely to encourage good posture than jogging. Sprint interval training is a subcategory of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates low-intensity (walking or jogging) and high-intensity (sprinting) aerobic activity. As you get stronger and fitter, you can try a single 30-second burst a day, then two bursts a day, and finally three a day. Then you can increase the bursts to 45 seconds and later 60 seconds long. Always warm up before sprinting by taking a short walk or run. Again, listen to your body.
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