Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wellness Wednesday! Hitting Your Stride

Learn how to burn more calories while walking. I found this article in Parenting magazine, September 2010 issue.

Hitting Your Stride

No matter how fit you are, walking is in your wheelhouse. Layrysa DiDio, Mom Squad fitness expert, tells you how to torch more calories and build more muscle with every walk you take. Find your level below and then, well, step to it!

Level 1: You already walk purposefully for exercise. Every five minutes on your route, do this drill:

Walking Lunges. Take a long stride forward and bend your front knee no more than 90F; drop your back knee to the ground. Switch and repeat 12 times.

Side Steps. Face sideways and sidestep for ten repetitions, turn and repeat, continuing forward on the path.

High Knees. Keeping your chest high, lift your knees up toward your chest as you step forward. Repeat 12 times.

Level 2: You walk as much as you can, but only as part of your lifestyle. Focus on increasing speed and power:

Pick a practiced partner. Walking with a buddy who is more in shape than you are will push you to work harder.

Push yourself. Time how long your usual treks take--then try to beat 'em!

Power walk. While walking, pitch your body forward slightly, clench your fists, and pump your arms, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Pull in your navel and tighten your abs.

Level 3: You only walk by necessity. (like to the bathroom or around the mall). Try to ramp up your motivation.

Keep it simple. Start with a doable goal of ten minutes per day, without worrying about pace or distance.

Buy a pedometer. You'll walk to best your previous day's steps--seriously, it's human nature.

Walk with a friend. Studies show that people who have support in their exercise goals are more likely to achieve them.

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