For some, walking may seem too simple to be an effective form of exercise. But if you play your cards right, this familiar movement can be a lean, mean, weight-loss-generating machine. While a casual 10-minute stroll won’t do it, you don’t need to spend hours on your feet, either.

“You should aim for about three to five sessions of cardio a week that are around a half hour,” Courtney Meadows, an NASM-certified personal trainer and fitness coach, said. “For beginners, even walking 10 minutes a day is a great place to start. Increasing your walking time by just five minutes will get you there.”

Courtney suggests walking at an easy pace for five minutes or more to warm up and get your body ready to burn fat.

If you can, it’s best to use a heart rate app when walking to make sure you’re in the right zone for fat loss,” Courtney explained. “After the warmup, you’ll want to get your heart rate to 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate,” which you can find by subtracting your age from 220. “You’ll want the majority of your workout to be in this stage with a five-minute cooldown,” she said.

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