With stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Natalie Imbruglia, Mel B and Dannii Minogue pounding the LA streets in droves, power walking is the latest trendy way to lose excess pounds and it’s no coincidence that these same women are also sporting their best bodies to date.
But the best thing about this latest Hollywood exercise trend to hit our shores is that, unlike most of the pricey fads our favourite stars follow, power walking is absolutely free.
So while the recession might have forced many women to tighten their belts it doesn’t mean their jeans have to get tighter too.
Power walking is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to get in shape. Walking briskly works on almost every part of the body from posture to muscle definition and really shifts the pounds.
It not only tones up the thighs, calves and buttocks, it can actually burn more calories than jogging at the same pace. Also, by strengthening the core abdominal muscles, power walking also flattens the stomach and will even tone upper arms – helping to banish those ‘bingo wings’ for good.
The key to turning walking into a workout is increasing speed. In order to do this it is necessary to use the hips and feet differently, but not the strange exaggerated wiggle that speed walkers adopt.
The arm movement is vital. The shoulders should be relaxed and arms loose at the sides before swinging them backwards and forwards. It might make walkers feel self-conscious at first, but once they get going it will look and feel natural and certainly boost their workout.
Strike the ground heel first, then roll over the ball of the foot and then push off with the toes. Keep the stride narrow keeping one foot directly in front of the other. Shorten rather than lengthen the stride to increase speed and watch the posture – focus the eyes straight ahead trying not to lean forward and breathe normally.
Providing they walk fast enough, participants should burn around 400 calories an hour. In fact studies have shown that by walking a minimum of 45 minutes, four times a week and at a pace that increases heart rate, it is possible to lose up to 18lbs in a year – even without a change of diet. Regular power walking also speeds up the overall metabolic rate and therefore prevents long-term weight gain over a lifetime.
Source: Daily Mirror
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