Losing weight is a challenge for most of us. Each one of has to figure out what works the best for ourselves. Walking can be one part of your healthy lifestyle that will help maintain and in the right intensity help you lose weight. You should keep in mind that overall weight loss means that you have to burn up more calories than you eat, creating what experts call a net calorie deficit which leads to overall weight loss.
The Fat Burning Zone
The fat burning zone is the intensity of exercise you need to burn more fat than protein and carbohydrates. According to Ong Hean Yee a cardiologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, ” The fat burning zone is a theory that your maintain your heart rate at just 70 – 80% of your maximum heart rate during exercise to burn more fat.”
Your maximum heart rate is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. A person who is 62 would have a maximum heart rate is 220-62 which would equal 158. The fat burning zone in theory is 158 * 70% is 111 (rounded) for the bottom of the fat burning zone. The top of the fat burning zone in this example would be 158 * 80% = 126 (rounded).
Heart rates from the 81% up to 100% are considered to be aerobic in intensity.
Measuring your heart rate
The traditional way of tracking your heart rate is with two fingers. Find your pulse on your wrist or neck and count the pulses for 10 seconds. Then you multiply that pulse by 6 and you get the number of heart beats in a minute.
There are activity trackers that are popular that will measure your pulse. The great thing about these devices is that they monitor your heart rate all the time. The activity trackers have an application where you can review your heart rate over a period of time. My activity tracker’s application is on my cell phone and syncs to my tracker.
There are chest strap monitors that can record your heart rate as you exercise. In my opinion my fitness tracker gives me a good enough reading for my purpose.
If you want to lose weight and burn fat you should do a fat burning walk at least 5 days a week. Be sure to give your body a day off. You can still go for a walk in your off days but don’t push yourself into the fat burning range. Your body needs a chance to rebuild itself.
Be sure to stay hydrated and get a good nights sleep. These are part of building a healthy you.
Building your Walking Time
You be the judge, if you are not used to walking then start with a 10 minute or 20-minute walk. Overtime increase your time goals to 30 minutes and if you can carve out the time, a 45-minute walk. Remember the longer you walk nonstop, the more fat you will burn.
Weight Loss Workout Plan
Build your own plan, the one that works for you. Your ideal plan will include variety. Personally, I get bored with the same old routine, so I am continually changing things up.
Here is a sample of my what I might do for a week.
Sunday: This is my day of rest, if I take a walk it is merely a stroll around the local fair grounds which takes about 20-25 minutes.
Monday: A 30-minute walk in one of local parks. I love the scenery.
Tuesday: A 30-minute walk using a walking video from the internet in my living room.
Wednesday: A 20-minute walk mowing my lawn with a push mower. I usually follow sometime during the day with a 20-minute stroll around one of the local parks.
Thursday: A 25-minute walk to a downtown area where I volunteer. It takes 25-minutes to walk back home.
Friday: Depending on the what I have planned for Saturday, I may just take it easy and have a short 20-minute stroll.
Saturday: My walk is usually longer, my wife and I like to hike (a hike is along walk). The time we spend can range from a few hours to 5 or 6 hours for the day. We do take breaks. These type of walks can be challenging with the ups and downs of the trail, along with lack of a smooth surface. But both my wife and I love to do these walks.
Walking for weight loss can be done, with the right intensity. So put on those comfortable walking shoes, keep hydrated and have fun.
Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite walking workout schedule for fat loss looks like.
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