Sarah Dussault is an official brand advocate for Bel Brands in 2013. While she receives compensation for participation as a brand advocate, opinions are her own.
Walking is an excellent low-intensity activity that is easier on your joints than running. It is also enjoyable and has the same mood-lifting effects of all types of exercises. Amp up your walks this fall to maximize the benefits with these four ideas:
Add some technology
Embrace your inner geek with a new piece of technology to track your total steps and distance. Devices like the Jawbone UP, Fitbit, and Nike+ Fuelband all calculate the number of steps you are taking throughout the day. Some of them even come with the ability to compete against friends and family to see how your activity stacks up. The trackers are also helpful to calculate how active your days really are and how many calories your body might require to lose or maintain your current weight.
Bring along your pup!
One study showed that people who took their pets for walks 5 days a week for twelve weeks boosted their walking speed by 28 percent. This inevitably will burn more calories and increase your aerobic capacity. Another suggested that dog walkers are leaner, suffer fewer chronic illnesses and are happier overall! If you do not own a dog, offer to walk a neighbor’s or volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Try some walking intervals
Add in intervals to maximize your walks. Whether it is a faster-paced walk or light jog, mixing it up will keep boredom at bay. Try creating a playlist consisting of songs with varying tempos. A moderate walking pace is 120 beats per minute, which is also the tempo of 70′s classic, “Staying Alive.” Walk to the beat of this song during your recovery intervals. For the faster more upbeat songs, try power walking or jogging. Music has been proven to help you exercise longer and even harder. Curious what the beats per minute are for your favorite songs? There are a few apps to help! One of my favorites is jog.fm. Don’t forget to power up with a pre-workout snack like half a bagel thin and whole-grain toast with a wedge of The Laughing Cow cheese.
When weather doesn’t permit
When the weather just doesn’t cooperate or you’ve been unable to fit in your workout before dusk, pop in a DVD to get your walk on. Leslie Sansone has built a large following for her challenging at-home walking DVDs like Belly Blasting Walk and 5 mile Fat Burning Walk. Not only will it spice up your typical routine in the park, but it will also prevent you from making excuses when nature does not cooperate! Re-fuel afterward with this Yumberry Cheesecake Smoothie from Roni Noone made with Smooth Sensations Cream Cheese Spread Strawberries & Cream 1/3 less fat.