Written by New York Times Bestselling Author Natasha Turner
If you can’t walk 60 to 75 minutes, which may be the amount of required time to be allotted for a fat-burning session, there are tricks you can use to up the work-load output and still achieve the results you are looking for with less time on the clock. I have tried all of these variations and they not only work, but they also help to keep my workouts interesting. I hope you will find these suggestions useful and dynamic too.
• Add hills (or a set of steps if you have no hills nearby) or intervals to your walks to increase the intensity and calorie burn. After a consistent pace to warm up – alternate 3 mins fast and 3 mins slow for the rest of your 60 min workout. Diabetic patients who do this versus walking at a steady pace burn much more fat and lower blood sugars more.
• Add ankle or wrist weights. I have one-pound weights for my wrists and two and a half-pound weights for each of my ankles. Be sure to buy weights that are soft, with a terry-cloth interior that rests against your skin, so they won’t cause chafing. Don’t do this if you have any injuries – check with your doctor first. You may want to stick with the ankle weights only.
• Add Nordic walking poles. By doing this simple act you will engage 90 % of your muscles and increase your workload. An August 2019 article from the Clinical Interventions in Aging, looked at the effects of an exercise and diet program in overweight people considering Nordic walking versus regular walking. The results were awesome. After 6 months both groups had significantly lower BMI’s, but only the Nordic group reduced total body fat, abdominal fat and leg fat. After 6 months, strength of the quadriceps and biceps improved only in the Nordic walking group. I also found this article from January 2020 discussing benefits of Nordic walking for elderly people.
• Download the Strava App so you can track how long and how far you walk. I use this to track my distance and average speed during the walk. I aim to walk 6.0 to 6.4 km per hour if I am walking at a steady pace. I would vary between this and faster if doing intervals. There are so many apps out there, I prefer this one but choose one that works for you.
• Record your walk info from your Strava app in your week at a glance agenda book. Old school – written format instead of your phone. My favorite is from Mead and it’s called weekly/monthly appointment book. Buy 2024 now – it has tracking for Nov and Dec of 2023. This is my favourite part. It’s so satisfying and motivating to see all of the workouts you have completed along with the distance, speed and time.
Here’s my suggestion of two powders to mix with water in a shaker cup before your walk:
• ½ scoop marine collagen + vitamin C, which provides 15 grams of collagen and 500mg of vitamin C per dose. Having the collagen before your walk is immensely beneficial as proven by University of Toronto researchers who found that 15 grams of collagen with vitamin C before a workout greatly improved athletes’ muscles, tendons, ligaments, performance and recovery. Ten grams did not work. I think walking after the morning shake is best because you get all of the benefits of collagen and protein on your muscles, tendon, bones and metabolism. You will also help to boost your thyroid and protect yourself from a rise in cortisol from not getting any nutrients needed in the morning usually within an hour of rising.
• 1 to 1.5 scoops of whey protein that provides 20 to 30 grams of whey protein. It’s the most absorbable source of protein have so it is the most bioavailable and advantageous when it comes to supporting muscle growth and preserving the muscle you have. It also has additional benefits on insulin balance, immune function, and antioxidant protection. If you prefer a vegan source of protein try pea and rice (Chocolate or Vanilla), which is a complete protein like whey, just not as readily absorbable.
• Bonus: Take 2 capsules of Green Tea plus Moringa. Green tea is proven to cause you to burn more fat during training. It increases metabolism and I know this firsthand because I sweat a lot each time I take it before a workout.