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Tips to burn fat faster w/ walking program

December 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
How many times have you heard someone say they are doing a walking program, but they're not seeing any changes in their body? If you do the same old thing, you're going to get the same old results. Here are seven smart steps to step up your program so you can burn that fat.Exercise physiologist Jason Karp said the first thing is to increase the intensity.

"Instead of just taking a nice stroll in the park on a sunny afternoon, they can mix periods of easy walk with periods of harder walk, and they're going to rev their metabolism and get a lot more out of it," Karp said.

Karp is a fan of interval training, utilizing small bouts of increased effort through walking or running with your standard program, but he cautions not to jump out of the gate too fast. He said for a person who has gone 40 years without running, the best way to start is to mix walking and running.

"So maybe they walk for five minutes and run for a minute and walk for five minutes and run for a minute," Karp said.

Over time, decrease walk time and increase run time to see results.

Personal trainer Julia Morichelli says you can also integrate by having a jump rope with you.

"If you see a boxer run, they always have jump ropes with them, and they jump rope in between," she said.

Morichelli is a fan of fitness toys to train the brain and the body. Along with jump rope, move to music as studies show we work harder and longer with tunes we love.

You can also pack a pedometer to monitor steps taken, and then challenge yourself.

"If yesterday you took 2,000 steps, try to increase it by just 500 steps," Morichelli said.

Exercise tubing is also easy to tote, and it's good for muscle conditioning during intervals to rev up the system.

"The more muscles that you use during the workout, the more calories you're going to burn and ultimately the more fat you're going to lose," Karp said.

And don't discount those funny looking Nordic Poles that burn on average 20 percent more calories along with creating more movement.

"A lot of times putting that pole is ... forcing us into spinal rotation, and that's probably the most important thing," Morichelli said.

Where you walk and the way you walk also makes a difference. Morichelli suggests walking at the beach one day if you can, then at the mountains another day.

Then be mindful of rolling from heel all the way through to your toe with an exaggerated effort to get your glutes engaged, which can help take stress off your knees.

"When you're pushing off the heel, you're going to engage the glute ... more than the fancy schmancy funny sneakers out there," Morichelli said.

Finally, remember that you have to up your game periodically, and be progressive in your approach.

"We become much more efficient with the activity, so that's why some people don't see results because they do the same thing over and over and over again for month after month after month," Karp said.

For anyone with questions, Karp will answer them at jason@runcoachjason.com.


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