Good Morning Peeps!
Before I begin, I want to thank you all for being so patient with me this past week while Anna was (and still is gone). Having RBI in the gym was tough, but I (and she) really appreciated all of your understanding, love and attention. And if any of you disapproved, take it up with my wife, who has now had more vacations in the last 12 years than yours truly! I know, that’s my fault!
Anyway, here’s this week’s installment of Body Designs. Enjoy!
Many people claim that they walk for exercise. That’s fine. However, that doesn’t mean that all walking is exercise. Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind and adhere to if you want to make you stroll rock -n- roll.
First, make sure you wear a good pair of walking shoes and comfortable “workout” clothes. I can’t stress this enough. It’s like putting on your best business suit for an interview. You need to dress for success. If you just go out with whatever you have on, you won’t treat this time as exercise.
Next, leave your house or office, shut the door behind you and go! Take your earbud out and put your earphones in! Crank up the tunes and turn off the phone!
Watch you posture. Walk tall. Think of elongating your body. Hold your head up and keep your eyes forward. Your shoulders should be down, your scapulae should be retracted, your chest should be up and out; most of all, you should be relaxed. Does any of this sound familiar? It’s what you should always be doing when you’re what…, that’s right, exercising! Also, keep your abs and butt tight. Remember, if you don’t squeeze them, no one else will either!
Always make sure you’re hydrated before your “workout”. Bring cool (not freezing) water with you and a towel (to wipe off the sweat), especially when it starts to get hot (Isn’t it Spring yet?).
Start your walk at a slow pace. After a few minutes (two or three) stop and do a few stretches. Don’t bounce when you stretch. Hold each position for about 10 seconds. Repeat each two or three times. Then begin to walk your desired length of time maintaining your target heart rate (THR).
To determine your range do the following equation:
220 – Age – Resting Heart Rate x Intensity (.65 – .80) + Resting Heart Rate = THR
So for me (who always trains at the highest intensity :), it would be:
220 – 42 – 65 X .80 + 65 = 155 (THR)
If you don’t have or want to wear a heart rate monitor, just take your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply the amount of beats you count by six. That will provide you an accurate heart rate reading.
If your heart rate is too low, you need to pick up the pace and add minutes to your “walk” time. It is essential that you are at your THR or at least in your zone (somewhere between .65 – .80 of your maximum heart rate) for the desired time of your workout; or you’ll just be wasting your time.
End your walk (after you’ve completed the final minute of your goal) by returning to the slower pace you started out with. Continue for another two or three minutes, stretch (following the same rules explained above) and hydrate your body with water. Don’t drink those sugar…I mean energy drinks. You’re not doing a marathon. At least not yet.
For general health, shoot for 30 minutes at a “talking” pace; meaning that you have elevated breathing, but can still carry on a conversation.
For cardiovascular endurance, walk three to four days a week for 20 to 30 minutes at a very fast pace. At this pace you are breathing hard but not gasping for air.
For weight loss, walk a minimum of five days a week, 45 to 60 minutes at a brisk pace.
Once you can comfortably walk for 30 to 60 minutes five to six days a week you may want to put more “umpf” into your routine. You can do that by changing it up a bit. Try going up more hills. Try going faster. But remember, the key is to keep pushing the envelope. The more you can change it around the more your body will change!