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Learn When to Amp up Walking Workouts

By Rachel Carver

Walking quick laps around your office or parking farther from the entrance can increase your step count. However, to cash in on health benefits such as weight loss, stronger bones, and a decreased heart disease risk, you need to step up your game.

Read on for some indicators that it might be time to increase the intensity of your walks.

You Don't Sweat

A moist forehead is a good indication that you're working hard. A gentle stroll around the block is relaxing, but it most likely will not cause you to sweat. Increasing walking intensity will activate your sweat glands. In addition to sweating, you also want to hit your target heart rate to indicate you are getting a cardiovascular workout. Strive for about 60 percent of your maximum heart rate. This number depends on your age.

You Don't Hit Weekly Exercise Targets

The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of intense exercise each week for adults. You can take a 30-minute stroll around the block five nights per week. But this approach might not be enough to hit that intensity goal.

If five 30-minute brisk walks sounds daunting, try breaking the time into chunks. Walk fast for 10 minutes over lunch or after work. Busy people can take multiple brisk walks throughout the week to get enough physically-intense exercise.

Conversation Is Easy

If you can carry on entire conversations without breathing hard on your walks, you need to speed up. Ideally, you should have to take a breath after just a few words while chatting with your partner or singing your favorite song. As your speed increases, you will have to take more breaths between words.

You Never Have Sore Muscles

Walking is not as intense as running or cycling. But you still need to challenge yourself. Some slight muscle soreness means you pushed your body. Debilitating muscle aches means you went too far and need to dial it back.

You Follow the Same Route

Following the same route is easy. It can be fun and comfortable. But your body adapts to the same route and terrain, lessening workout intensity. Find a hiking trail when the weather is nice. Turn down a street with a hill to create more of a challenge.

The Bottom Line

If you're not getting results from your walking program, don't despair. Small changes can go a long way. And remember that, if you're trying to lose weight, nutrition also plays a part in how your body responds. Creating a mindset of positively challenging your body will help you achieve results.

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

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