Do you plan new health and fitness goals each year but but never seem to see them through?
Walking to fitness is good for your soul
Is it possible to design a walking to fitness program that will really work for you?
Yes it is but walking should be only part of your plan.
Let’s see why.
You will obtain spectacular results with your 2013 fitness plan if you incorporate these four elements:
- Crank up your metabolism by moving around a lot. I do this by:
- Running with my wife occasionally in the evenings. These are short run/walks that take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Weekend hiking. I highly recommend getting out into the woods and walking. You gain both the obvious physical benefit and some spiritual energy.
- Bike with the kids. Admittedly, I am waiting for warmer days to resume this activity.
- Play with the kids. Shoot baskets, play catch, kick the soccer ball or play Duck, Duck, Goose. Devin really likes Duck, Duck, Goose.
- Lift heavy things. Remember heavy is a relative term. What is light to me may be heavy to you. I lift heavy things a few times a week like:
- Swinging kettle bells. I recommend kettle bells to everyone. There may be nothing better to get you moving, building muscle and burning fat.
- Lift free weights including barbells and dumbbells.
- Do body weight exercises like push ups, pull ups and air squats. I do push ups and body weight squats on a regular basis.
- I climb around on playground equipment like monkey bars and swing set poles. I jump onto benches and run around in the fields. You should to.
- Sometimes I will pick up rocks and carry them or throw them around the yard. My neighbors probably think weird things about me. The point is, you do not need a fancy gym to lift heavy things.
- Sprint occasionally. I do this by:
- Sprinting occasionally. I shoot for once a week. Sprinting, like lifting, is also a relative thing.
- You do not have to run like Carl Lewis to get benefit from sprinting.
- Actually, I recommend you do not try to blast off at 100% effort. You will likely get hurt doing this.
- I sprint by accelerating into my sprint speed over the first 5 yards or so and then run at about 3/4 effort.
- Eat real food. Now this is something you need to do (or at least try to do) every day. Some keys to success that I use are:
- Start off strong. Do not eat a load of high glycemic carbs first thing in the morning. This sets up the glucose spike and insulin response that will have you craving more carbs 90 minutes later. This means:
- Honey nut cheerios with sliced banana and skim milk is not a great option. A ate this for years and thought I was eating healthy.
- Oatmeal is OK but not with 4 tablespoons of brown sugar. I used to eat oatmeal, non-fat cottage cheese, sliced almonds and the brown sugar all through the winter months.
- Now when I eat oatmeal, I add full-fat cottage cheese with the sliced almonds and feel much better.
- A good breakfast looks more like a traditional dinner.
- I go for some protein and fat first and foremost.
- This is what satiates your appetite and keeps you fueled long into the day.
- I’ll typically add nutritious carbs from vegetables (primarily) and perhaps some fruit.
- I cook in coconut oil to ensure I’m getting good fats and will often add olive oil or butter to the veggies just for good measure (and flavor).
- Don’t add sugar. Not to your coffee or tea; not on your nutritious grapefruit; not on anything.
- If you crave sugar constantly, you may be deficient in the amino acid L-glutamine. Buy an L-glutamine supplement and see how it works for you. Sugar cravings disappear very quickly when supplementing L-glutamine if deficiency of this amino acid is your problem.
- Fat adds flavor so adding quality fat to your daily diet may help to satisfy some of the carbohydrate cravings you currently experience.
- Know your products. Read the labels. Don’t consume high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is ubiquitous in today’s Franken-foods and if you have excess belly fat, this is likely one reason why. Look for HFCS in:
- Anything labeled “Low Fat or Fat Free.”
- Any food classified as “Low Calorie”.
- Anything artificially sweetened.
- Anything highly processed and packaged in a box or a bag.
- Unfortunately, this is 80% of the food you have right now in your pantry.
Walking to fitness is an effective way to crank up your metabolism.
Your metabolism dictates how much energy your body burns each day just getting you through the day. It is the efficiency of your internal furnace.
You can increase this efficiency by moving around more each day. Take the elevator, play with the kids, ride your bike to the corner store and/or institute a walking program. It all works.
It’s simple. Move more. Sit less.
Your metabolism will increase which means you now burn more calories on a daily basis just going through the motions. This is a good thing.
The spiral of success. Lift weights and build muscle. Your new muscle burns more energy than the old fat so your metabolism increases. Your furnace is burning hotter and consuming more calories. Body fat is reduced.
Muscle density up. Body fat down. It’s a beautiful thing.
You can use weights, rocks, elastic bands or your own bodyweight. Just be sure to include some full-body training into your overall fitness plan.
Resistance exercise is the most efficient exercise you can perform for total calories burned per unit of time.
When I have one of those days where it’s getting late and I’m tired and have not worked out yet, I’ll do some quick resistance training.
Something is always better than nothing and pumping iron may be the best thing to do.
Consider Push ups and Body Weight Squats while watching the news works. Sometimes I’ll do Wall Squats and Plank super sets during a sporting event.
Muscle burns a lot more energy than fat. Adding muscle is probably the single biggest factor you can address to increase your fat burning potential.
Be efficient with your time.
Perform multi-joint lifts using the large muscle of the legs, back and shoulders to get the most from your resistance training.
Bigger muscles use more energy and complex movements involve more of the body in the exercise.
Stick with the basics like Squats, Deadlifts, Power Cleans, Overhead Presses and Push Ups.
These work the big muscles, burn a lot of calories and you get the added benefit of core stabilization which build your abdominal area. What more can you ask?
If walking to fitness is the key to revving up your metabolism, then sprinting is the secret to torching body fat.
Sprinting is an explosive, muscle building exercise that recruits much of your body into the movement. It bears no resemblance to its cousin; long, endurance running.
If you want to get fit fast, add a sprint routine to your workout.
- Run 40 yard intervals at about ¾ effort.
- Walk back to the starting line and go again.
- Try to work up to 6 or 8 sprints.
It is a great workout that takes about 20 minutes. Sprinting works wonders.
You should really consider adding a sprint day.
Nutrition will be the key to your success.
Make no mistake, what you eat is far more important than what you do. It’s too bad because breaking bad eating habits can be very challenging. Doable, but difficult at times.
Imprint this message in your brain and don’t forget it: You cannot out-train a bad diet.
Don’t think you’ll just add a little extra into your workout to counteract the effects of crappy food.
It doesn’t work that way after the age of about 25.
The key to a good diet is:
- Eat real food that is recognizable from nature. Fruit, veggies, meat,fish, fowl, eggs, berries, nuts and seeds.
- Eliminate highly refined, cheap carbohydrates. All that stuff in boxes and bags in your pantry is not doing you any favors. Remember this:
- Carbs break down into glucose
- Glucose stimulates the release of insulin
- Insulin stores any excess glucose as a triglycerides in your fat cells
- You want to minimize insulin spikes to manage fat storage
- Eat good fat from animal sources; eggs, fatty fish, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, butter and nuts.
- Yes this may be counter to conventional wisdom and your current beliefs but good fat is good for you. Your body would rather burn fat as fuel than carbohydrate so feed it accordingly.
- Fat does not make you fat. Remember this one too.
The secrets of walking to fitness:
- Walk more and perform any and all activities that move your body through space. Move more and sit less. Crank up your fat-burning metabolism. Do this every day.
- Pump some iron; do bodyweight exercises or any form of resistance training. Build your muscle mass and increase your fat burning efficiency. Twice a week is all you need.
- Sprint once a week. Walk to the park, warm up to avoid injury and run your sprints in interval format. Walk home. You will love the results.
- Eat real food everyday. Don’t worry about periodic regression and junk food cravings. I have them. You will have them. It happens to everyone. You’ll get better at it over time.
- As long as the majority of stuff you consume is natural, wholesome, real food, you will win the battle. And remember: You cannot out-train a bad diet.
Walking to fitness is a great plan if you build a complete regimen around it.
A complete program is the secret to success.
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