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WALKING FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Exercises are good for your workout program because they help tone flabby muscles while also burning calories.
But aerobic exercise is best to burn fat. A great way to get an aerobic workout is to walk.
Walking is the easiest and most effective exercise we can use in our workout routine. But you need to know more than one foot in front of the other to get the most from walking as aerobic exercise.
Because of how the body draws on fat stores versus other stored energy sources, the first thing you need to do is increase the time you spend walking. While we've said that 30 minutes of exercise is good for fat burning, when you walk, you really need to bump this up to at least 45 minutes, but ideally an hour.
Obviously, it might not be possible for you to fit an hour of walking into your busy schedule, but try walking every day allowing a few days for an hour and a few days at 30 minutes. Alternate them, however. If you walk an hour on Monday, walk half an hour on Tuesday, etc.
If you're only going to be walking for 30 minutes, increase your speed. A leisurely stroll isn't going to give you that aerobic workout that your body needs, so step it up a bit. But don't overdo it. If you can't talk and walk, you're over-exerting yourself and you should back off a bit.
You can also introduce some type of weight for you to carry when you walk. This could be something simple like a small weight, or you can go to the pantry and pull out a couple of cans of corn! Keep them in your hands as you walk and move your arms back and forth in your strides. Adding weight will also help tone your arms - an added perk!
If you're walking outdoors, perhaps in your neighborhood, take along a walk-man and play some upbeat music to keep you walking. Not only is it entertaining, it keeps you going as well!
And remember, that all walking counts - even if it's during a shopping trip to the mall!
OTHER FORMS OF EXERCISE
There are all kinds of ways you can work exercise into your life. You can workout anywhere doing all sort of things.
Playing with children, for example is a great way to get some exercise. When you get down on the floor and play "horsey", you are giving yourself a heck of a workout - and it is fun for the kids!
Throw a ball around in the backyard and really get into it! Jump on a trampoline, or just play tag! Exercise like this not only give you the physical benefits, it can remind you of the joy of youth and put a real smile on your face!
At work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you park in a parking lot, park as far away from the door as possible so you have to walk further.
Use your imagination and you will find ways to exercise almost anywhere!
Many people love the idea of being in a gym surrounded by sweaty people who are lifting weights and using the stair-stepping machine. If this is what you like, by all means, get into the gym.
Weight training gives you the opportunity to sculpt your body by pushing your muscles toward working harder than they normally would.
We suggest that you get the advice of someone in the gym like the trainer or owner to give you some exercises to start out with. They will be the experts in the field for you and will know what works when you're just beginning a weight training program. They can also help guide you when it's time for you to "step up" your regimen.
Aerobics classes are another great way to get a terrific workout. You can find classes like these in many, many places, but mostly in gyms and workout studios. Keep in mind that there will be a fee to take these classes, but it might very well be worth it to have the camaraderie that comes with other people sweating along with you!
We highly recommend looking into taking water aerobics. Exercising in the water has so many benefits. You have less stress and strain on your joints, plus the natural resistance of the water will work your muscles more than if you were taking a class "on land".
Water aerobics can be done by just about anyone -young and old alike. It's a great alternative to strength training and you won't have the problem of excessive sweating that many of us just hate! You'll get an amazing workout and it'll be fun too!
Many people - the Hollywood elite included - are beginning to advocate Pilates as a very effective weight loss method. This exercise regimen was developed in the early 20th century, but has just now come to global popularity.
Pilates is more than exercise program, it is based on the principles of many different types of movements. It takes some of its movements from yoga, acrobats, stretching, and more. Plus, Pilates concentrates a lot on the mind as an exercise tool.
We can't tell you how to do Pilates because it's so involved. That would be a whole other book to write! But there are many helpful tools out there that can help you with a Pilates program if you think that the route you want to go. Look for online web sites, videos, and classes in your area. Once you learn the basic movements, you can then practice them on your own!
So now we know about exercising in order to lose weight, but let's get back to the most important hurdle in trying to lose weight - the food!
Many people think that when they decide it's time to lose weight, they have to count every single calorie that touches their lips. This really isn't necessary. In fact, it could become quite tedious and cause you to give up.
So how do you know how many calories you've taken in during a 24 hour period? Estimate! Count portions instead of each individual calorie. This is where effective meal planning comes in!