Put on your shorts, put on your trainers and succumb to the charms of athletic walking. “The best way to lose weight,” says coach Lucy Knight, author of the book “Walking to lose weight”. The requirements of this practice can burn a maximum of calories. Its cardiovascular virtues improve the muscle tone and redraw the silhouette. We try, especially since it’s spring!
Walking and losing weight is possible!
At first glance, the idea of simply walking to “melt” may seem absurd, even deceptive. It is not so ! Lucy Knight explains: “Like any physical activity supported, walking pushes the metabolism to burn calories and convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy rather than fat reserves.” And it is good to remember that our weight depends essentially on the simple ratio between calories consumed and those burned. Weight gain results (almost) always from the imbalance of this equation. Conversely, if you burn more calories (through proper exercise) than those you consume, you should quickly slim down.
Increase your base metabolism
In our race to lose weight, we often forget another fundamental principle: the more the body increases its muscle mass, the more we burn! The higher this mass is compared to fat reserves, the higher the basal metabolism (the minimum amount of energy the body needs each day). Clearly, muscles burn more calories than fat. Hence the interest of muscle to slim down.
As such, the sports walk fulfills its promise: a regular practice, coupled with a balanced diet, of course, melts fat and muscle the body. Two to three sessions of 30 minutes guarantee visible results from the first 3 months.
Walking at a brisk pace
To lose weight when walking, you have to walk fast, “that is to say between 7 to 9.5 km / h,” says Lucy Knight. Concretely, you have to walk a kilometer and a half in 10 to 15 minutes, no more. Keeping this pace is the key factor to optimize the body’s ability to burn fat. Because when he works between 60 and 70% of his heart rate, he must tap into his reserves to find the necessary energy and build muscles that in turn increase the basal metabolism. Result: we burn more calories throughout the day and that’s exactly the goal!
The right technique to “burn” while walking
Notice to future walkers: to get the most out of the sporty walk, the body has to work like a well-tuned machine, and the movements follow each other without tension or effort. However, the sporting walk requires at the same time many parts of the body. Mastering the whole thing is not rocket science, but you have to focus on each one. Little technical lesson “step by step” with Lucy Knight.
THE GOOD STRIDE
The most common mistake to accelerate is to lengthen the pace, which is not natural. Be careful, you must find a stride that does not disturb the fluidity of your movement.
- To begin, do twenty steps straight, shoulders and open chest open. If your head swings too much and you feel a slight stretch in the front leg, it means your stride is too big. Walk again and explore. Lengthen your strides, then shorten them. When you feel comfortable, it’s the right one!
- Speed up the pace, not by lengthening your stride but by taking faster steps. Do not try to go too fast, increase the pace until you are well. You will get used to it little by little.
By changing the stride, you will notice that you swing more than usual. It’s a movement that becomes natural once you have adjusted the length of your stride. Your pelvis and hips gain mobility. Be careful not to exaggerate the movement. It must just facilitate fluidity, without being too pronounced.
THE GOOD STRIDE
To walk well, a good stride is important. The heel must touch the ground first, and it’s the toes that provide the dynamic thrust that propels you. Practice breaking down the movement.
- Take a step forward. When the heel touches the ground, the ankle should be bent at an angle of about 45 °.
- Unroll the foot along its length and place your weight on the front.
- At the moment this foot is flat, lift the plant with the other foot and toes, and go forward the back leg, without dragging the foot, or raising too high.
A WELL PLACED BUST!
You do not only walk with your legs, your whole body participates and the bust particularly.
- The head must be in the neutral position, neither raised nor lowered. Your chin should be parallel to the floor. The ideal is to set a point in front of you, 5 or 6 meters, without looking too much on the ground, except when needed, of course.
- The shoulders should remain flexible and unobstructed throughout the walk. You must be able to swing arms easily.
- For a toned torso, use the abdominals that hold the lower back. Tuck the navel and retrovert the pelvis forward (the opposite of “cambrez”) to align the lower back and leave your hips moving.
The technique of the arms is essential in sports walk. It is they who help you propel you forward and accelerate.
- Keep your arms bent at 90 °. When you start walking, swing them around, keeping them close to your body. (The left arm, advance along with the right foot and vice versa.) The movement comes from the shoulders. The hand should not go higher than the chin and should not go over the hip when it comes backwards.
- Do not close the fists, the thumb should be in contact with the fingers, without tightening.
Walking is an aerobic exercise, that is to say with oxygen. When you walk, the blood brings oxygen to the organs and muscles that work and can, thanks to this fuel, burn fat and convert it into energy. If you intensify the effort, you must breathe more deeply to provide extra oxygen, otherwise you may run out of steam. By training in deep abdominal breathing while walking, you increase your breathing capacity.
Other virtues of walking for health
In addition to refining ourselves, walking also has countless health benefits:
- Improvement of breathing capacities (and therefore of tolerance to effort)
- Improvement of venous return and elimination of toxins
- Labor joints
- Muscle reinforcement in lower muscles, upper muscles (for Nordic walking), stomach and back
- Prevention of breast and colon cancer
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Psychological benefits (walking acts positively on stress, anxiety and depression)
- Improvement of the cardiovascular system
- Decreased cholesterol level and blood pressure
Brisk walking alone has no impact on weight loss, because the lifestyle is also to be taken into account. If you want to lose weight while walking, you should have a balanced diet, by limiting the consumption of fatty and sugary foods. You can walk at any time of the day, but it is best to do it on an empty stomach in the morning. So, forget about your car and go for a walk to lose weight.