How to Walk As a Metabolic Boost

Brisk walking helps improve your heart health.

Brisk walking helps improve your heart health.

Aerobic gym classes and fancy cardio equipment have their uses, but a brisk walk can get you the same result. Why run when you can walk? The medical journal “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology” found that walking is just as effective as running in reducing the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, when the energy expenditure is equal. With one stride after another, you can rev up your metabolism and walk off the excess weight.

Wear the appropriate footwear for walking. Any pair of sneakers will suffice but preferably, wear kicks that have a thick flexible sole and arch support that improves comfort and prevents foot strain during your walks.

Choose your walking course carefully. If you're walking outdoors or on a treadmill, incline your treadmill or walk on a hilly path. This increases exertion, thus increasing your energy expense and metabolism.

Warm up by walking slowly for five to 10 minutes. This will warm up your blood and improve the flexibility of your muscles, which will help prevent injuries such as muscle cramps and hamstring pulls.

Take a brisk walk of at least 10 minutes at a time, twice a day. Walk at a pace of 3 miles per hour or more; a 160-pound woman can lose about 270 calories walking at this pace for an hour. Calculate this by completing each mile in 20 minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), brisk walking is a form of moderate exercise. The CDC recommends you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week.

Walk with the correct technique. Swing your arms freely and slightly bend your elbows. Walk with your back straight, abdominals tightened and your head upward, facing forward. Roll your feet from head to toe.

Cool down at the end of your walk for three to five minutes. This will help bring you down to a resting state. Walk slowly for at least three minutes.

Tips

  • Drink plenty of water during and after your exercise routine.
  • Avoid walking on patchy grounds and areas with potholes and cracked sidewalks. They increase your chances of sustaining an injury.
  • Consider a diet of green vegetables, lean protein such as chicken breast, complex carbohydrates and fruits to support your exercise efforts.
  • Consider cycling, rowing and running as alternative cardio exercise if you want to change your exercise routine.

Warning

  • If you haven't exercised in a while, consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
 

About the Author

Jason Eaton has been a writer since 2010, and has contributed to several magazines and clinical journals. He has worked as a pediatric dietitian and clinical researcher in the United Kingdom. Eaton holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics, as well as a Master of Science in human nutrition.

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