In fact, by doing interval walking for a mere 20 minutes every other day, you can shift your metabolism into high gear so that you burn more calories and fat in less time than if you were working out at a steady pace.
And there’s a bonus: With interval training, the higher the intensity of the exercise, the longer the afterburn; that is, you will continue to burn more fat and calories after you have stopped exercising! Below are seven tips to help you get the most out of your interval-training session:
– Wear shoes that will give you proper support, such as walking shoes, cross-training shoes, or running shoes. Avoid cotton socks and choose synthetic athletic socks instead; these will wick away moisture and keep your feet dry and blister-free.
– Begin each session with a short walk at a slow or moderate pace. This allows your muscles to warm up before you start doing your intervals.
– Be mindful of maintaining good posture while you’re walking. Tighten your abdominals and keep your chest lifted and your chin parallel to the ground (leading with your chin while walking can result in neck and back pain).
– With each step, strike the ground from heel to toe and feel your buttocks (glutes) contract. This strengthens your buttocks and hamstrings (the backs of your legs) as you walk.
– Wear a watch or carry a stopwatch to keep track of time so that you can complete the designated number of intervals per session.
Remember that doing a little is better than nothing. Do what you can at first, and then gradually increase your periods of intensity and total distance. If you’re not up to doing higher-intensity interval training on a given day, be sure to take a recreational walk for 15 to 20 minutes.