Combining Walking With Other Exercise – What Works Best for Weight Loss?
We know that walking at a brisk pace (at least 3 mile per hour) is not only good cardio exercise, but it can help you lose weight. Did you know, however, that combining walking with other types of exercise, such as water sports, biking and weight training, can help you can achieve your weight loss goal quicker?
If you have bad knees, swimming and water aerobics may be ideal forms of cardio training for you. Not only are they low-to-no-impact exercises, they work your heart, lungs and many different muscle groups very effectively. To augment results, be sure, when swimming, to use various types of strokes to work different muscle groups and get the maximum upper and lower body benefit. If you enjoy doing water aerobics, add water weights to get even more benefit from your water training routines.
Biking is another low impact cardio exercise that is good for weight loss. Not only does it work the larger lower body muscle groups for maximum calorie burn, it builds up those same muscles so they burn more calories even when not exercising.
Anything you can do to make an exercise harder to do or to build muscle will burn more calories (see previous post about HIIT). When biking, go faster–even for short periods- or further. Or instead of biking with the wind, choose to ride against it; ride on a varied course vs just a straight, flat path; take the route that gives you the most uphill rides.
You’ll get better workouts and burn more calories. 🙂
To increase the effectiveness of walking, use either light wrist or ankle weights (or both for maximum calorie burn). Walking while wearing just one pound weights will significantly increase the number of calories you burn. Carrying weights must be done with some care to protect joints. I have also walked wearing a weighted vest, which alleviates this concern 🙂
Don’t forget your upper body!
Because walking and biking tend to specifically work the lower body muscle groups, consider adding in a couple days per week of upper body weight training per week to push your weight loss to the next level. You can use dumbbells, free weights or kettle bells; all tend to work your upper body, thus defining and toning those muscle groups. And if you are female, don’t worry about “bulking up”; it just won’t happen because you do not have the necessary level of testosterone needed to build huge muscles. Check out my book on amazon to learn more about strength training choices:
Mix it up
As with many things in life, variety in exercise is a good practice. Each exercise above has limitations as far as how much it can affect weight loss, but by combining them, you can augment the effect of each workout and achieve your weight loss goal more quickly. Once at goal, keep doing these exercises at a lesser intensity, or with less frequent moments of HIIT to maintain your weight loss.
To your health!