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Effective Walking for Weight Loss

By Rachel Carver

As you begin your weight loss journey, you will need individualized strategies to decrease your scale number. Adopting sustainable habits such as intentional movement and drinking more water can help you shed pounds and improve your overall health. HIIT walking and incline walking are great exercise options to consider for weight loss.

Walking Benefits

Research suggests regular walking can:

  • Improve your mood
  • Increase energy
  • Keep your heart healthy

Once you've established a regular walking regimen, increasing the workout intensity can help you burn more calories. High-intensity interval training (High Intensity Interval Training, aka HIIT, and incline walking can challenge your body and make you stronger. Read on for some benefits of each one.

HIIT Walking Benefits

HIIT may sound intimidating, but this training is great for beginners. HIIT is a combination of quick, intense exercises followed by periods of rest. Research suggests this training can improve athletic performance and heart health.

HIIT can help you burn calories, build muscle, and burn fat. HIIT gives you an effective workout in a short amount of time, perfect for people with busy schedules. Choose workout intervals that fit your needs and adjust them as you get stronger.

Start with 20 seconds of speed walking followed by 30 seconds of slower walking. The terrain you choose determines your resistance. Find a hiking trail, a park path, or a neighborhood sidewalk. Mix up your walking route to keep things interesting.

Incline Walking Benefits

As you might imagine, incline walking involves walking up hills on purpose. This walking is great for your hamstrings and glutes. It also increases the heart rate to burn more calories.

Find a hill at the park or in your neighborhood. If you increase the incline on your treadmill, try not to hold on to the sides as you walk. This can decrease the effectiveness of your workout and makes the information on the screen inaccurate. Walking outdoor hills means you will have to go up and down the hill. Downhill walking places more pressure on your knees, which can lead to knee pain for some walkers.

What to Choose

Because HIIT walking helps you quickly burn calories, many people use it for weight loss. It can also sometimes burn more calories than incline walking. However, overtraining is possible with HIIT walking. Spread your HIIT days throughout the week.

Incline walking can also decrease your scale number. But proceed with caution if you have knee or joint pain.

Evaluate each option and your own needs and wants to find what works for you. You might even switch between HIIT walking and incline walking. And this approach can be effective as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northbrook, Ill.

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