My nightly walk was a lifesaver throughout the last few (pandemic) years. I became very familiar with the well-trodden paths near my home, and I’d switch between neighborhood routes and park trails to bring variety into my life. Even as things have returned to normal, my nightly walk gives me peace of mind and has become a mainstay in my life.
Walking offers a breadth of benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. Walking supports and improves your physical and mental health. It’s an effective and efficient way to maintain a healthy weight, stay strong, and even live longer.
However, walking alone won’t do it if you want and need to drop a significant amount of weight. A one-hour stroll only burns about 267 calories for the average person. (1) You’ll ultimately see trimming benefits, but they’ll come very slowly, which can be discouraging.
But with a few minor adjustments, you can unlock significant weight-loss potential. I’ve since learned how to supercharge my evening walk to make it a fat-burning and body-trimming workout.
Here I am two months later, 15 pounds lighter and I feel more physically fit than I have in years. I also look good in the clothes I had relegated to the back of my closet.
Walking is simple; it’s free, and nearly any person can do it. For fitness beginners, walking is a fantastic way to start exercising. For fat burning, experts suggest walking for at least 50-70 minutes every other day.(2)
The Right Shoes
And you must wear the correct shoes! Wearing proper walking shoes promotes more distance, speed, and endurance. The right shoes are fundamental to maintaining the correct walking technique and preventing injury. Walkers often overlook this simple step and, as a result, suffer from preventable injuries to their feet and knees.
Finding the right walking shoes is surprisingly simple. Most staff in athletic shoe stores have been trained to advise you on the best type of shoe for your physical activity.
Tip #1 – Incline and Decline
Mixing up incline walks with flat terrain burns more calories and gives you a full-body workout.
Over one hour, a 155lb person can burn up to 65% more calories walking on a hilly path.(1)
Walking on an incline works out different muscle groups – toning calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, thighs, and several muscles in the upper body.
You may assume that walking uphill is the most difficult aspect of the incline – and you’re getting a break on the downhill. Not so! Walking downhill can be quite challenging when your body gains momentum. Your muscles must contract to slow down your stride and reduce the impact on your weight-bearing leg, which builds strength in your legs and core.
I live in Southern California and am (fortunately) surrounded by beautiful hilly trails. I have a list of routes that involve enough incline and decline for a good sweat every time I walk.
Tip #2 – Engage Your Core
If you’ve ever taken a fitness class, you’ve undoubtedly heard, “engage your core.” Your core consists of the muscles surrounding your torso, including your abs, obliques, pelvic floor, trunk extensors, and hip flexors.
Engaging your core is an isometric exercise that supports your back and posture. You’re also burning more calories and slimming down your tummy when you flex your core while walking.
With every step you take, gently squeeze your glutes, and pull your navel towards your spine. While exhaling, keep your navel pulled in as if you’re trying to zip up a tight pair of jeans.
Tip #3 – Upper-Body Strength Training
Upper-body strength training while you walk is an effective and efficient way to tone and chisel your arms and upper back and burn extra calories. Two simple exercises to perform while walking include shoulder-blade squeezes and lateral pull-downs.
Make your arms like a goal post, bent at 90 degrees. Squeeze your elbows towards your back like you’re trying to make your shoulder blades touch- then release. Squeeze for five seconds and release. Repeat for a block of 3 minutes while you’re walking. This exercise is also a great stretch.
Lateral Pull Down
Start on a diagonal, reaching your arms up and out. Bend your elbows as you pull down your arms. End the pull down at the height of your shoulders while you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Relax your shoulders as you reach your arms back up to the starting position.
Each move should take about 5 seconds or about ten steps. Repeat the exercise for a block of 1 minute. Try to do five sets on your walk.
Tip #4 – Make it Social
Bringing a friend with you on your next walk – chatting away and walking with somebody – motivates you to walk faster and to go further. Getting into the routine of walking with a friend makes you more accountable. If you’re going solo – bring your cell phone and use the time to catch up with family and friends.
My four-legged best friend, Rigby, and his enthusiastic response when I get his leash ready is motivation enough for me.
Nothing Motivates More than Seeing Results
I didn’t just add a supercharged walk to achieve my weight loss. I adjusted my diet to exclude sugary treats and minimized simple carbs like bread and pasta. I incorporated intermittent fasting, and I have been diligent about eating only between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm.
I also recommend taking our Stonehenge Health® Dynamic Turmeric™.
Extra weight causes inflammation, leading to higher cholesterol and increased blood pressure. Turmeric helps suppress inflammation, so your body functions more optimally. Turmeric also helps reduce joint inflammation, improves mobility, and reduces discomfort while you walk. Less joint and inflammation pain encourages you to live a more active lifestyle. (3,4)
Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Turmeric is a powerful blend of 1,650 milligrams of organic turmeric curcumin complex with concentrated 95% Curcuminoids, plus BioPerine® to maximize absorption.
By eating a healthy diet, committing to 60 minutes of supercharged walking at least four times a week, and adding Dynamic Turmeric to your daily routine, you too will be encouraged to stay on track. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goals.
3. Turmeric | NCCIH (nih.gov)
4. Turmeric, the Golden Spice – Herbal Medicine – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)