I live within walking distance from the local park. I try my best to get at least 30 minutes of walking in on a regular basis. This park is pretty big and if I do a full round it's over a mile long.
I know that walking is good for me but I've noticed that my leisurely stroll in the afternoon doesn't produce the weight loss I want. This is because my regular walks aren't really doing much to impact my fitness levels.
You see I've been engaged in what they call steady-state exercise. Basically, steady exercise is when a person engages in activity at a consistent speed or motion for an extended period of time. So when you get on a treadmill or elliptical and just walk on it or run for an hour you're engaging in steady state exercise.
The problem with that is that steady-state exercise isn't really optimal for fat loss. There is a much more effective way to impact your body through exercise and it's called high-intensity interval training (HIIT). We've discussed high-intensity interval training before. As you may recall, this type of training can impact stubborn fat cells in the abdomen like no other workout can. High-intensity exercise usually involves short bursts of activity followed by short rest periods. I used to think that HIIT training was optimal when done on a treadmill but I heard a recent interview that changed all of that.
The guy introduced me to interval walking. This form of high-intensity training that can be easily incorporated into your daily walk. Instead of walking at the same pace for 30 minutes to an hour, you switch things up by adding short bursts of intense power walking, jogging, or sprinting (depending on your fitness level). He cited studies where interval walkers were shown to burn fat and build muscle at greater levels than "normal walkers." If your goal is to ramp up fat burn, then steady state exercise isn't really your friend. As a matter of fact, HIIT was found to burn fat 9 times more effectively than regular exercise. Nine times!!!! Working out at a high intensity, even for short periods revs up your metabolism so you continue to burn calories at a faster rate long after your workout is over (the afterburn effect).
Since I've learned that interval walking is a thing, I've been taking full advantage. I'm already seeing positive movement on the scale. Just a simple little tweak and I've improved my results in a noticeable way. If you're an avid walker, but you want to increase your fat loss, then switch things up! Start by bumping up your exertion levels. Incorporate power walking, jogging or sprinting with your walk and experience the difference.
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