Walking Tips

Increase Your Steps

There are so many ways to increase your steps that the list is endless. However, there are a few things that you can do at work, home, with your family and in the community to increase your steps. The best thing is that no major skills are required, just put on your favorite pair of walking shoes.

At Work:
Stairs instead of the elevator
Walk at lunch
Take the long way to the restroom, water cooler or coffee machine
Plan a walking exercise challenge at work – get the boss involved in the rewards
Park your car as far away from your office as you can
Walk when on the phone and using a speaker or cordless phone
Invite a fitness instructor to come into your work for a lunch hour workout

At Home:
Take the family for a walk and explore your neighborhood
Walk a dog
Avoid using the remote control and get up and change the TV channel yourself
Walk your children to school
Make walking a challenge in your family and offer rewards
Get up and walk during TV commercials
When grocery shopping return the cart to the store and avoid leaving it in the lot
Plan active weekends
Make several trips up and down the stairs for laundry etc.
Get active in the community – take dance lessons or join a team

Interval Walk:
A great way to increase your steps and the intensity of your walk is to interval train. It involves incorporating light intensity walking with a more intense walk. You determine the intensity and how long you hold each interval. For example, try walking moderately for 5 minutes and then increase the intensity for 2 minutes. Return to moderate intensity again for 5 and repeat. Try it for 30 minutes. As you improve, try walking longer or even try running. You will burn more calories, make more steps and improve your cardiovascular health.

Remember, try to spice up your walking routine and avoid making it a routine. Also let your WalkingSpree Walking Buddies know what you are doing and blog your progress. Whatever you do have fun with it.

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Walkers should aim for 100 steps per minute

Pick up the pace to get a moderate-intensity workout, researchers say

NEW YORK – People who walk for exercise should aim for a pace of 100 steps per minute to ensure their workout is intense enough, according to researchers.

Many people who want to keep fit use a pedometer to keep track of how many steps they take. However, the device gives no information on how intensely they’re exercising — that is, whether their heart rate is being raised enough to improve physical fitness. {NOTE: The Omron HJ-720IT used by WalkingSpree members registers aerobic steps, steps taken at 60 steps/minute at a minimum of 10 minutes, so this will give you somewhat of a guage}

In the new study, researchers found that the average walker should aim for 100 steps per minute at a minimum in order to get a moderate-intensity workout.

Experts recommend that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, five times per week. If those 30 minutes are achieved in one session, that means taking a minimum of 3,000 steps per session. However, the researchers point out in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, walkers can also break those steps down into several shorter exercise sessions throughout the day.

“Because health benefits can be achieved with bouts of exercise lasting at least 10 minutes, a useful starting point is to try and accumulate 1,000 steps in 10 minutes, before building up to 3,000 steps in 30 minutes,” lead researcher Dr. Simon J. Marshall, of San Diego State University, said in a news release from the journal.

A simple pedometer and a wristwatch, he added, offer walkers a way to ensure they are working out intensely enough.

The findings are based on exercise tests given to 97 healthy adults with an average age of 32. In general, men needed to walk at a pace of 92 to 102 steps per minute to achieve a moderately intense workout for their hearts. The range for women was between 91 and 115 steps per minute.

“We believe that these data support a general recommendation of walking at more than 100 steps per minute on level terrain to meet the minimum of the moderate-intensity guideline,” Marshall said.

Copyright 2009 Reuters.
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Accelerate your Walking Workout

I have a great walking workout to accelerate your results this week:

1. Clip on your Pedometer (don’t forget to use your lanyard. The lanyard is essential to use to prevent losing your pedometer).

2. Start off with any easy pace, making sure that you’re keeping your arms bent and moving.

3. Make sure to contract your abs, stride strong and now.…..

4. 10-minutes into your walk (your aerobic steps are now activated), do 1-minute of squats making sure you sink back on your hips, keeping your knees behind your toes and exhaling when lifting. When done.

5. Continue walking for another 5-minutes.

6. Stop for 1-minute for a set of Push-ups either against a wall, bench or on the grass if possible. When done, continue walking…yeah…feeling great!

7. Continue walking for 5-minutes increasing your intensity, either by walking faster or a jogging…oh yeah!

8. Slow down and for (you guessed it!) 1-minute Walking Lunges or Stationary Lunges

9. Now if your goal is 20-minutes of cardio end with a BIG FINISH by sprinting/jogging or running for 1 minute. Burning?..Oh yeah…Increased Calories…Definitely!

10. If you want to continue on change your walking with 1/5 combo (1 minute of walking/sprinting/running followed by 5 minutes of walking).

11. Make sure you cool down, followed by stretching. YEAH YOU DID IT!Cool

If you have any questions for me, I’m now online for live chat support every Friday from 4:30 – 5:30 (pdt), so don’t hesitate to log on or email me.

Fitfully yours,

Lisa (aka Trainerlisa)

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Micro Steps for Micro Media Challenge

I initiated this challenge to find creative ways to fit more steps into my day. I’m hoping you will step along with me. If you use a pedometer and use social media, this challenge is for you. For every tweet, facebook status update, blog comment, text message, friend feed activity or any other form of micro media that you participate in today, take at least 140 steps. If you participated in 10 micro media actions in the day, that’s 1400 more steps that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

This is an exercise to show you how small steps can add up over the day and make a positive benefit to your health. If you have time to write 140 characters in a tweet, you have time to take 140 steps.

Let me know how well you succeed on your micro steps challenge:)

10 stepping tips that we twittered previously;

1. Pacing the office during conference calls can be a great way to get in extra steps and improve oxygen to the brain.

2. Use the bathroom on the opposite floor that you are on in your home or in your work place.

3. Use a retractable leash when walking the dog. It will free your arms so you can pump more vigorously and burn more calories.

4. Keep a pair of walking/running shoes in your car or office so you can take advantage of any small period of time to walk.

5. Walk down the office hall to talk to co-workers instead of sending emails will increase your step count. This could mean 500 extra steps!

6. Sitting at your desk is a good time to do flexibility exercises like head rolls, shoulder shrugs and stretch your quads and hamstrings.

7. Setting targets is an important part of reaching goals. If your target is 6000 steps this week. Next week increase it by 20%.

8. Taking the stairs instead of elevators is an excellent way to add steps, strength train and improve cardo too.

9. To boost weight loss success, work up to 12,000 – 15,000 steps/day (add 2,000/week) and consume 500 fewer kcal/day.

10. Have kids? by walking around the field instead of sitting to watch your kids play sports, you can easily increase steps by 2000 steps/day.

On a side note, I’ve taken to keeping a jump rope in my office and alternating some of my step sessions with jump roping to give the metabolism an extra boost. It’s a way to mix up the routine a bit more in the office space and doesn’t take up too much room.

Ok, I’m off to tweet this and then do my 140 steps:)

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Walking Right – A Review

Here are some tips on making your walking experience that much better!

Start slow and easy
No matter whether you are a seasoned walker or new at it…always begin your walk slow and easy. When you walk remember to walk only as far as or as fast as you find comfortable. Next time you will be able to go for longer or faster.

Use proper technique to avoid injury and setbacks
Walking is a great exercise because it’s so simple to do. But if your posture is poor or your movements exaggerated, you increase your risk of injury. Walk tall and relax your body. Keep your gaze up to the horizon and enjoy the scenary,

Walking Right - Source Mayo Clinic

Walking Right – Source Mayo Clinic

Measure the intensity of your workout
As you walk, measure the intensity. Knowing your level allows you to increase the intensity to maximize your workout or slow down to avoid overdoing it. You have these options:

  • Talk test. If you’re so out of breath that you can’t carry on a conversation with the person you’re walking with, you’re probably walking too fast and should slow down.
  • Borg scale. This method is a self-assessment of your perceived exertion. You rate how hard you think you’re working on a scale that ranges from 6 (no exertion) to 20 (maximal effort). Aim for at least moderate intensity (12 to 14) as you walk.
  • Monitor your heart rate (pulse). To find out if you’re exercising within the range of your target heart rate, stop exercising to check your pulse manually at your wrist (radial artery) or neck (carotid artery). Another option is to wear an electronic device that displays your heart rate. Your target heart rate will depend on age. Resting heart rate average is 72 beats per minute.

Keep track of your progress
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration. Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year.

Reference your walking using the WalkingSpree pedometer activity tracking. If you need help let one of us know! Your walking history can all be found when you upload and sign in.

Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

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