These Winter Walking Tips Will Help You Stay Fit During the Colder Months

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From prevention
Don't let cold temperatures stop you from losing weight this winter. Take action (pun intended) to make sure you can stick to your regular exercise routine throughout winter - this is not the time to turn everything upside down. Once you've got used to running outdoors all summer, switching to a different activity in cold winter winter can make your weight loss more difficult, says John Jakicic, Ph.D., director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute and Research Center for physical activity and weight management from the University of Pittsburgh. That's because finding a new activity can mean organizing your day differently, or doing something you're not so comfortable with - all during an already chaotic and stressful time.
Hiking in winter can be especially good for your health. For starters, a study in the American Journal of Human Biology found that people burn 34% more calories hiking in cold weather than in milder conditions. Think about it: trudging through snow or going into the wind costs more energy.
Plus, a winter stroll is a refreshing change, says Alan Mikesky, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. The invigorating cold air can clear your mind and reduce stress, which can be helpful for weight loss. No matter what weather you face, this guide is designed to help you stay on your feet throughout the winter months. It may be difficult, but we promise it's worth it: you will look amazing in the spring, you will feel great mentally, your bones will stay strong, and your running muscles will not scream when you make your way to you first Excursion in warm weather.
How to increase weight loss with winter hiking
Walking can really help you stay fit - but there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Remember, it will take time and effort.
The U.S. Department of Health recommends that all adults complete at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week. However, when trying to lose weight is all relative - you have to burn more calories than you absorb. To give you an idea, a 150-pound person who runs 4 miles per hour (15 minutes per mile) burns 324 calories in an hour. Use the Sing-Talk Test to find out if you are moving at a comfortable, moderate pace: “A person should walk fast enough that they are too agitated to sing, but not so fast that they cannot can speak, "says Dr. Robert Sallis, co-director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, California, and clinical professor of family medicine at the UC Riverside School of Medicine.
Vary your walking speed.
Add quick intervals to this steady, moderate gait to take your calorie expenditure to the next level. Research shows that including more intense intervals in your workout will help you lose more weight.
"Increasing your cadence by a few minutes and returning to a normal walk are great benefits," said Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., FACSM, dean of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte . "Regardless of calorie burn, intensity has been known to benefit your cardiorespiratory system, so it's a good idea to shake things up when you can."
Follow a healthy diet.
Exercising more doesn't really change what or how much you should be eating. A person can eat more calories in five minutes than can be burned in a full day, ”says Dr. Sallis. "If your only goal is to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories." Use a calorie tracking app to monitor your food intake. Remember, both the amount of calories and the quality of calories count. Prioritize fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, and cut down on red meats and processed foods.
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Fall in love with winter hiking
Still not convinced that winter hiking is for you? Here are five ways to make yourself love the season:
Enjoy a new world: Listen to the icy branches ringing in the wind or look for animal tracks in the fresh snow. These changes, which only occur in winter, can inspire you.
Meet up with a friend: Make a standing appointment so that every Wednesday morning, for example, there is a block of time to go out with a buddy, suggests Natalie Dorset, founder of The Laughing Runner coaching in New York City. If you can't meet in person, make a commitment to call while you walk your route. "Accountability helps us get involved," says Dorset.
Have fun: strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis - two ways to “walk” on snow that can more than double your calorie consumption. Tobogganing also counts on all uphill trips!
Be a listener: "Find a podcast or audiobook that you really want to hear," advises Dorset, "and allow yourself to only listen to it while you exercise."
Give yourself five: Tell yourself that after 5 minutes you can stop. Chances are you'll move on when you're bundled up. (If you still want to quit, go ahead - at least you've done something.)
What to wear for winter hiking exercises
You will be a lot happier and more energetic if you can stay warm and dry. When you go outside, you should feel slightly chilled, but not cold. During your workout, you want to feel warm, not hot and sweaty. Follow these steps to be comfortable from start to finish.
Be smart about fabrics. Leave that old college sweatshirt in your closet and treat yourself to something new and fluffy. Synthetic high-tech fabrics make a big difference in comfort. Well worth the investment. Consider applying multiple layers so you can take them off or apply more as needed. You may want an inner layer of synthetic fabric like CoolMax to wick away sweat so you stay dry. a middle or insulating layer (or two) of lightweight fleece fabric like Polartec to keep you warm; An outer layer made of waterproof, breathable material such as Gore-Tex protects you from the elements and allows sweat to escape.
Choose the right socks. "Woolly socks, or winter running socks that suck, keep your feet dry and warm," says Dorset. Keep thin cotton socks for the winter.
Change your kicks. "Basically, you're looking for a shoe that says it's a trail shoe or winterproof," says Dorset. She says special materials like Gore-Tex, inner and outer layers, and added traction in the form of good studs or spikes make a huge difference in keeping your toes warm and keeping you upright on slippery terrain. "If you can't just spend the money on new shoes for the winter, there are cold-weather insoles that you can use to transform your regular trainers. Often they are Gore-Tex, felt or wool," adds Dorset. "I often use my normal trainers with good socks and a pair of Yaktrax for extra grip on snow and ice."
Wear a scarf or mask loosely over your nose and mouth to prevent stinging ice-cold air when you breathe in. This is especially important if you have asthma or heart problems.
Buy an inexpensive pair of ski or hiking poles to keep your balance if your hiking route is particularly treacherous. The bars also help you burn extra calories as your upper body works out too.
Don't forget your hat, gloves, sunglasses and sunscreen!
Dust off your treadmill
Your best winter weight loss partner might be your treadmill: in a study conducted by Jakicic, women who used a treadmill at home lost twice as much weight as women without a treadmill. There could be several reasons for this. First, when a blizzard is brewing, temperatures drop dangerously low, or it's dark outside, jumping on a treadmill is easy. When your treadmill is in constant sight, it serves as a visual reminder. "Even if you choose to watch TV instead of exercising, being aware of your treadmill may be less likely to have a snack," Jakicic says.
In addition, a treadmill takes the guesswork out of training. It ensures your speed and distance measurements are accurate so you can better measure your calorie expenditure and track your progress, says Bobby Kelly, owner of Results Only Fitness in Phoenix, AZ. When considering other indoor exercise equipment (such as a stationary bike or elliptical machine), keep in mind that walking is a natural movement so you can feel more comfortable and exercise better on a treadmill. If you are concerned about boredom, follow these tips to make exercising on the treadmill more fun.
Have a dance party: create a band with fast and slow songs. "Have fun with it - nobody needs to know you still love disco," says Kelly. "Time will go by - and so will you - as you go to your favorite stroke."
Treat yourself to a deal: use a deck of cards to label the jacks as "sprint", the queens as "hills", the kings as "slow pace" and the aces as "moderate pace". Shuffle, flip one, do what it says for 1 minute, then flip another. Keep going until you've finished your workout and remix if necessary, suggests Kelly.
Grab your spouse: Couples can still work out together on a treadmill, too. Do a series of three resistance movements, such as: B. Bicep curls, squats and abs while your partner is walking, and then switch. Take turns until you've both trained.
Use the TV: Speed ​​up the TV when a commercial comes on. Or pick a character and speed up for each 2 or 3 minute segment she shows on the screen.
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No treadmill? No problem!
If the weather is bad, wait for a call or have a sick child or parent to care for - and not a treadmill - to fit into your daily walk. We asked Carol Espel, an exercise physiologist and fitness and program director at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami, FL, and Memer Kladis, former assistant director of the Indianapolis National Institute of Fitness and Exercise, to develop muscle-building "walking." Routine that you can do around the house. This routine mimics the walking movements and targets the walking muscles so you can stay flexible and walk in tip-top shape.
Leg circles (to keep the hips flexible and strong): Holding on to a wall for support, lift your right leg out in front of you, and bend your knee to form a 90-degree angle. Your thigh should be parallel to the floor as if you were marching. Rotate your leg at the hip and circle your leg to the right as far as possible. Do not move any other part of your body. Slowly lower your leg, then bring it back to the front position. Make 10 to 12 circles. Repeat with your left leg. For variety, flip the leg circles by first lifting your legs to the side and then rotating them forward and down.
Hip circles (to keep hips flexible and movable): Stand about 2 feet from a wall with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing forward. Lean against the wall and place both hands on the wall for support. Bend your knees slightly and circle your hips clockwise as if you were a belly dancer. Make 10 to 12 full circles, then rotate your hips counterclockwise.
Heel Gaits (to strengthen the shin and to aid in the heel-toe technique): Walk by balancing on your heels only. Your feet should be bent and your toes should be pointing toward the ceiling. Take a lap in your living room. Try these for variety, with your heels pointing in or out slightly - this targets the shin muscles differently.
Toe Walks (To Strengthen Your Calves And Help The Heel Toe Technique): Walk by balancing on the balls of your feet and lifting your heels off the floor. Take a lap in your kitchen or living room. Try these for variety, with your toes pointing in or out a little - this targets the calf muscles differently.
Windmills (to keep the shoulders flexible and moveable): Circle each arm in turn, forward, up, back, and down. Alternate 10 to 12 windmills with each arm, then reverse direction.
Step lunges (to strengthen quads): Place your right foot on a lower flight of stairs and your left foot on the floor a few feet behind you. Lower your body until your right leg makes a 90-degree angle. Make sure your right knee stays above your ankle. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position and focus on pushing up through your right heel. Do a set of 8 to 12 reps before switching to your left leg.
One-legged curls (to strengthen hamstrings): Lie on your back with your arms by your sides, your right knee bent, and your foot flat on the floor. Place your left foot on a standard size kid's ball (12 to 18 inches in diameter). Support yourself on your back, arms and right leg and lift your pelvis a few inches above the floor. Dig your left heel into the ball and slowly roll it towards you. Stop and slowly push the ball back to resist the ground as you roll. Do a set of 8 to 12 reps before switching legs.
Pelvic slopes (to strengthen the glutes): Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your heels on a low chair, step, or box. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Pinch your bum tight and slowly raise your pelvis as high as it is comfortable. Pause, then lower slowly without touching the ground. To repeat. Perform 8 to 12 inclines.
Aerobic Steps (for cardio): Try climbing stairs or using the lower step for a few minutes of step aerobics (increase intensity by adding arm movements). A bonus: just 10 minutes of climbing stairs can boost your energy levels by more than 50 mg of caffeine (the amount found in about half a cup of coffee).
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