This nursy plays dirty and does it with pain...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Foot

DON'T you wish we can just eat and not worry about the things we eat appear, perhaps on our hips or on our thighs and worse, on our bellies??? I am one of those that used to be able to eat anything in sight and not gain an ounce until I hit the big 40 then everything went downhill from then on... hehehe!!! Not only do I need to watch my food intake nowadays but I do need to watch my level of activities to keep some decent numbers on the scale... less food, more activities... that just does not sound like a rational mathematical equation, does it??? Nonetheless, that seem to be the ratio I need to live by.

The western world might be of fast paced mode but everything is of automation so manual, physical exertion is of minimal existence. So if you want to sweat (which could mean losing some weight), you have to intentionally do it. Back home in the Philippines, we exert physical efforts almost at all times because there was less automation, at least when I was living there. I had to wash clothes by hands, put them up on the clothes line to dry, swept and washed the floor manually because we did not own a vacuum or floor mop. I had to do a lot of walking because I did not own any vehicle. So for years and years I weighed anywhere from 98 to 109 pounds with my height of 5'4" - I was screwny.

The biggest stumbling block for me is that I am not crazy about exercises as in regimental tasks. I am very active in that I do a lot of physical work as in yard work and house work and whatever project I find around the house. I love to use my hands... (yep, even with those things that you are thinking about!!!) and that was how I was getting by with not going to the gym.
One of activities I like to do is walking. I just think that there are endless benefits from walking. Besides a form of exercise, I find it as my way of relieving stress and my commune to my inner peace and solitude, and lastly, my way of checking out the neighborhood, the plants, the animals and those walking/jogging/running hunkies ... hehehe!!!

Walking may sound easy but to get the full benefit from it, one has to remember a few things. First, you want to wake up your muscles and let them know you plan to be active for awhile. Walking at an easy warm-up pace for 5-10 minutes tells your muscles they can't just sit back and burn up the available sugars, they need to call on the fat reserves. This is why you should not start off at a high speed - when you do that, your cells don't get the signal that this is a long-term activity, so instead they burn up sugars only.

The speed to walk for optimal fat-burning is a "determined" pace. At this rate, you should be breathing noticeably but able to carry on a conversation in full sentences. Heart rate 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. Walk at this speed for 30 minutes at a time, once you have built up to that duration. Walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism. Walking an hour a day is also associated with cutting your risk of heart disease, breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes and stroke.

Walking with racewalk style at paces under 13-minute miles will burn more calories per mile. This if you are already walking 20 miles a week as described above. To achieve more results purely from waking you may want to build speed as well as duration, about 30-60 minutes at 50-70% of your maximum heart rate is recommended. Start with walking at an easy pace for 5-10 minutes. Stop and do some stretches and flexibility exercises. Walk at your target heart rate for 30-60 minutes. Cool down at a slower pace for 5 minutes. Finish with some gentle stretches.

For longer walks, walk 30-60 minutes at your target heart rate and slow a bit to complete 90 or 120 minutes at a comfortable pace. If your schedule doesn't permit it, break it up into walking twice or three times a day for shorter periods. Always warm up for 5 minutes at an easy pace no matter what duration you will be walking. For weight loss, walk most days of the week.
Time spent walking per week should be 5-10 hours. On your non-walking days, try some strength training exercises. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off. But be sure to get back walking the following day.

Walking shoes are your most important item of gear. The best shoe for you is the the one that fits you best, the one that gives you the proper support, flexibility, cushioning, and compensates for any stride problems you may have, such as overpronation. Each person's feet are different. I did invest in 2 pairs of walking shoes. As a nursy, I am on my feet 12 hours when I am working so if you are looking for slenders legs ... that will not be mine... hehehe!!! Mine are probably as strong as yours if not stronger, many years of being on my feet kinda did that.

If you are short on time you want to get the most out of your walking workout. How can you accomplish this? By burning more calories during your walking workout. Here are some ideas to help you accomplish just that. The easiest way to burn more calories walking is to simply walk faster. If you are just walking around for now, pick up the pace and get your heart pumping. Start by walking faster for a few minutes, then giving yourself a break while walking at your regular pace. Keep going back and forth between the two speeds. Before you know it you will get used to the new pace and will be able to keep it up during your entire walking workout.
Here's another great way to burn more calories - pick a hilly terrain for your walks and spend more time walking uphill. Adding even just a short little incline to your walk, can make quite a difference in both the amount of calories you burn and also how challenging your walk will be. You'll have plenty of water with you to re-hydrate yourself during the walk, and when you do, your weights get lighter and you burn more calories. This is also a great way to tone your upper torso, shoulders and arms while walking.
Happy trails!!! See you out there!!!

5 comments:

NursyE said...

I apologize for that "off" comment feature. Now it is on...

Elyani said...

For years I used to walk Fatso in our neighborhood. Leaving the house he instantly knew we would turn left and headed to the residential area where he normally marked his territory along the ways. I miss those days where he chased the cats or trying to catch the birds and enjoyed my walking so much. That did help burned the fat for sure. Now I am not so enthusiastic going for a morning walk like I used to.

Belle TH said...

thanks E. i noticed quite a while ago and attempted to notify you but failed.

i wish i can walk often but my job tires me so much by the end of the day which leave no energy for walking. walking is, by far, the best exercise.

yesterday, my daughter and i walked along the park in flip flops. i know we were supposed to wear good walking shoes but we managed to walk without getting blisters. and along the way, i took pictures of her.

NursyE said...

With the left knee being broken, walking is pretty much the only exercise that I can do and like to do. I try to do this after work so it is out of the way. I am tired after work a lot of times but I have to do it...

momoftwo said...

Like NursyE, walking is the only form of exercise that I do. Before I had Layla I never did exercise, too lazy hehe

I usually take my time walking,so it means I barely burn those calories? Maybe that explains its longer to drop those extra lbs? I usually walk 15-30 mins if I have the time.