Hey Angels and Alphas,
We all know a consistent walking routine can be one of the best ways to go about getting rid of excess belly fat and toning your body. But if you’ve recently hit your first weight loss plateau, don’t worry. From simply doing a leisurely stroll to omitting any efforts for strength training, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 most common walking mistakes you must avoid if you’re someone who wants to lose weight and burn fat through exercise.
#1 NOT UPPING THE PACE
Walking at a leisurely pace is surely better than no exercise at all. But that being said, research shows that brisk walking is your best choice for torching calories and losing weight. If you find it difficult to keep up the pace, try doing it for shorter intervals of about 2 minutes. This will serve as a steppingstone into HIIT and can help you rev up your metabolism and break through any weight-loss plateau.
#2 NOT CHANGING YOUR ROUTE
If you always still to the same old route, you should consider trying a new environment that can challenge you more. To boost your actual weight-loss efforts, a change of scenery a couple of days a month is definitely something you should go for.
This could be the beach, a hilly trail, an urban hike, or even a new park you’ve never went to before. Not only will this give you a mental refresh, but you’ll also be able to engage with a new terrain and work muscle groups that you don’t usually engage.
#3 NOT DOING STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training will play a massive role in your weight loss journey since it helps build muscle, which burns more calories as it is more metabolically active than fat, resulting in more weight loss at rest. Whether you do simple bodyweight exercises or go directly for the bars and dumbbells, strength training can help you build a strong core, develop glute and hip strength, and help you ultimately prevent injury… meaning you’ll be able to reach your goals sooner.
#4 POOR WALKING FORM
Poor walking technique will not only slow your pace, but also cause you to tire more quickly. Since this can have a massive effect on how far (and how long) you’re able to walk, you have to work on improving your form every time you step out the door.
On your next walk, pay attention to the big three:
Your stride lengths… some walkers simply tend to overstride. And if your steps are too long, your speed suffers. It also means more stress is put on your joints. To check your stride length, simply lift a foot and lean forward. The place where your foot naturally falls is where you should generally be striking the ground. Shorter steps will allow you to walk faster.
Your arm swings… swinging your arms will be a great way to propel yourself forward and get more power during your runs.
Standing tall… never slouch while you’re walking, even when you get tired. While you might need to strengthen your core to make this happen, you should always work on keeping your back straight and your head straight up.
#5 YOU’RE SEDENTARY FOR A LONG TIME
Studies have shown a direct correlation between obesity and sedentary behavior. Even if you are going out for your daily walk, it will be much harder for you to lose weight if you spend the majority of your day sitting down.
Setting an alarm reminder to get up and walk for about 5 minutes every hour has been shown to counteract the negative effects of sitting too much. Moving more throughout your day will also increase your step count, helping you lose even more weight and contributing to your overall health.