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Tips to Make Your Walk a Workout LifeMojo Home|Invite|RSS|SMS|Help|Login / Register HomeMy JourneyMy Journey HomeGoalsPlanTrackMeasureReportsAnalysisBody AnalysisLifestyle AnalysisLifestyleLifestyle HomeTop RatedNutritionFitnessWellnessMotivationHealth GuidesHealth Guides HomeHealth TipsCalories BurntNutritional ValueHealthy RecipesGlossaryHealth InsuranceCommunityForumsRoutesHealth StoreHealth Store HomeShopping Cart LifestyleLifestyle > Tips to Make Your Walk a WorkoutTips to Make Your Walk a WorkoutBy LifeMojo Team / December 27, 20100 CommentsShould you wait for your doctor to tell you to go for daily walks after he diagnoses certain health problems? Or should you take a preemptive approach before anything pops up? Most of us tend to take workouts as a punishment rather than as a fun. That is why, we do not miss an opportunity to frame various excuses on our failure to do workouts! But do you know that walking is the simplest form of workout which does not require any special equipment. Just a pair of good quality walking shoes would be fine enough to aid you in your walking process. Those who take walking as an enjoyable activity can keep diabetes, obesity, heart problems and other diseases at bay. Here are some ways by which you can transform walks to effective workouts: Set a baseline: If you have been inactive for a long period of time, then you should start with 20 minutes of walking sessions for three times a week. This is for the beginner level and as you get habituated with walking, you can lift the baseline to 30 minutes of walking per session for five times every week.Monitor your heart rate: The difficulty of a workout can be measured by the heart rate percentage. You can either measure it by checking your pulse or with the help of a heart rate monitor. According to the recommendations of the health experts, you can start out at around 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (roughly equal to 220 minus your age). By a simple "talk test" you determine the intensity of your workouts. If you are able to talk in short sentences but unable to sing then you're on the right track in terms of the intensity. But if you can't converse comfortably and you feel yourself out of breath, then you need to lower down the intensity a bit. Use a pedometer: It is better to wear a pedometer to monitor the total number of steps you take each day. Your objective would be to add another 500 steps to your daily count in the coming week. Your ultimate target would be to reach 10,000 steps every day. Maintain a walking journal: This is the diary where you can keep records of your progress. This would motivate you further. Walk with a partner: Walking with a partner is a great fun and you won't even feel the discomfort after travelling a good distance. Further, when a person finds his friend highly motivated to walk for a longer time, then he also gets inspired by him and walks a greater distance. Go for charity walks: Participating in races or going out for fundraisers adds a new goal to your basic purpose of walking. Increase your speed with time: You should give emphasis to both time and distance. For example, if you walk through a distance of five kilometers and in doing so you take two hours, then the purpose of walking fades away. So speed is important to make walk an effective workout. Research has proved that race walking or speedy walking makes use of more muscles and hence aids in burning of more calories. You can lose up to 400 calories by walking at a speed of seven kilometers per hour (around 4.3 miles per hour). Walk on different surfaces: It is not mandatory that you would only have to walk on grass. Walking on trails or around a rocky surface demands greater effort from the muscles and hence aid in muscle strengthening. Consider walking on snow and sand as a challenge!Mount up: You can walk up the hills to increase the intensity of your walking. Same effects can be achieved while working out in a treadmill by lifting the incline. But if you walk in a drooping fashion, then the body becomes perpendicular to the treadmill and this nullifies the effect of walking up the incline! So walk straight!Make use of Nordic Poles: While walking you can also involve the muscles of your upper body part by the use of Nordic Poles (similar to ski poles). The poles aid in the increase of cardio workout and at the same time can bring down the pressure on the knees while walking downhill. Compared to regular walking, Nordic walking involves applying force to the poles with each stride. Use resistance: You can carry a weighted backpack to add resistance to your walking. Make a point to see that the weight is uniformly distributed by using water or sand as filling material in your backpack. Ankle and hand weights are not necessary because these can lead to injuries by changing the way you walk.