All Entries For walking
It's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill. I love to run, hike and even walk with my pup, but I do it all outdoors all year round. Rain, snow, wind, heat—almost nothing can keep me from my outdoor workouts. For me, a treadmill is a "last resort" when I have no other option to get outside.
But I know that not everyone is as gung-ho about outdoor exercise as I am. Many people hate running in the cold or the heat. (Nothing wrong with that.) Others have no other option to work out, especially if they have to be at home with kids or don't live in a safe neighborhood for walking or running. And still some prefer the slightly cushioned surface of a treadmill, which takes away some of the impact of running, making it easier on the joints and even the spinal discs.
Whatever your reason, we've all turned to the treadmill from time to time. And the best way to prevent boredom and get great results from your treadmill workout is to incorporate intervals. Here's a simple workout I developed to help you torch calories with your trusty treadmill. Read More ›
Editor's Note: Coach Nicole partnered up with Family Circle magazine to create a walking plan to help you shed major pounds in a month.
Walking is a triple threat. It not only gets you where you're going, but also serves as a form of relaxation and, of course, as a route to weight loss. How do you make sure those extra steps lead to a smaller jeans size? Follow one of our three expert-designed programs to help you shed up to 10 pounds in one month. Just don't expect a leisurely stroll to success.
If you really want results, you've got to push the pace. Aim for roughly 4 to 4.5 mph and a Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of 5. (RPE is a self-measurement of how hard you feel you're working out, with 0 being no effort and 10 being heart-pounding, sweat-dripping super hard.) You'll also need to eat smart, but that won't be difficult thanks to our menu planner. Ready to become a slimmed-down sensation in 28 days? Let's get started with Coach Nicole's walking training plans from Family Circle.
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While I don't consider myself a "gadgets" person (I don't even have a single fitness app on my iPhone), there are a few gadgets I've loved over the years, such as my Garmin Forerunner, which is still going strong after many, many miles and half marathons. But I'm also a big fan of the Fitbit, which I started using a couple of years ago.
The Fitbit tracks some basic daily activity: how many steps you take, how far you've walked (in miles), how many flights of stairs you've climbed, your estimated calorie burn based on these stats, and how restful your sleep was (if you wear it overnight).
Compared to the Fitbit, which seems like a glorified pedometer, my GPS-enabled Garmin, which also has a heart rate monitor, real-time (and very precise) speed and distance tracking, pacing features and more seems like a sure winner. What would a runner like me—someone who is already active and motivated to stay that way—really get out of a Fitbit anyway?
Plenty. Truth is, I adore my Fitbit. I wear it daily, clipping it to my waistband the second I get out of bed. I check my step stats dozens of times throughout the day. And I use it more often than my Garmin since I only run a few days per week for a few total hours. I actually use my Fitbit even while using my Garmin (and every hour that I'm not using it). Here's why. Read More ›
Contest closed! The winner is:
A few weeks back, COACH_NICOLE blogged about one of our new favorite pieces of equipment here at the SparkPeople offices: the LifeSpan Treadmill Desk. We've been using this fun device to help bust afternoon fatigue and to sneak some extra activity into our days--and have experienced higher energy levels as a result!
Here is what LifeSpan has to say about the desk:
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Here at dailySpark, we've talked a lot about the pitfalls of sitting. Whether you have a sedentary job, sit through lectures as a student, or do your share of commuting or couch surfing, the research is clear about spending too much time on your rear: It’s bad for your health, your back and your waistline. And while it may be surprising (even a little depressing), these facts hold true even if you are a consistent exerciser. (Boo!) After all, even an hour or two in the gym can still mean 22-23 hours a day that you're not active at all, and it's those long periods of inactivity that can increase your cholesterol, contribute to weight gain and contribute to chronic pain for many people.
I've previously blogged about my own attempts to counter the effects of my desk job, from creating a standing workstation to sitting on a ball to trying more back-friendly chairs. So when our friends at Best Buy offered to send us a treadmill desk to test, we jumped—er, walked—at the chance.
Best Buy sent us the LifeSpan TR 1200DT Desktop Treadmill, which we set up in an empty cube at the office so that all employees who wanted to try working from their feet instead of their butts would have an equal chance to use it. So what's it like to work while you walk? Check out our video review, then hear from our other testers and get more details on this walking station. Read More ›
Whether you’re a runner, walker, cyclist or participate in other sports, you might have thought about signing up for a race. Maybe you’re not sure how to find one in your area, which one would be right for you, or if it’s really worth the effort. Why would I pay to walk or run with a bunch of strangers when I can do it for free in my own neighborhood? Well, there are lots of great reasons to try a race. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it! Read More ›
I’m not a 5K kind of girl. In fact, I use a walker and a wheelchair. I’m in severe pain most days and not what you would call "sporty." I do, however like a good challenge. When I was walking to strengthen my legs, my friend Mccourtt challenged me to walk a 5K. Well, it was on! So I set out to walk one.
Cindholm talked to me about pedometers on our first mall walk. I bought a good one with what I thought was a sturdy bull clip by Omron. It works very well but does have a tendency to fall off, so I recommend buying the safety strap with clip for it.
I knew I needed help, so my nephew Josh and I would take walks over the summer for training, walker in tow. He is quite the taskmaster! I would do anything for him, so when he says he wants to go, I go! That’s good inspiration. I would count steps at first--miles were far away. We rested frequently, as my walker has a seat and I drank a lot of water.
Vettechinhippie helped me train three times a week, walking with my walker through shops and malls. We did errands, walked all of the aisles of some stores, and took rest breaks frequently. Eventually my pace got quicker and my legs stronger. Vettechinhippie is a very sweet friend who worked out with me through thick and thin, whether I had a painful day or she had many errands. We adjusted.
BB_4_ME helped me train in the water and on recumbent machines at the gym to strengthen my muscles. She is a great source of positive energy. She is full of ideas and has been through chronic pain herself, so she is familiar with modifying exercise to fit individual needs.
Kind_heart101, my husband, then set up my iPod to do very accurate step, distance, and calorie counting for me. After seeing how much pain I was being caused by my training, and how tired he got trying to train with me ONE day, he declared I couldn’t do a 5K. I declared if I did, I got a Tiffany bracelet!
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Crank up your workout with these moves designed by Leslie Sansone, group exercise leader and Walk at Home fitness trainer. Intersperse this series up to six times during a 30-minute walk, or use these exercises as a warm-up before you head out.
Step left foot out to the side. Bring right foot over to meet left foot. Step right foot out to the side. Bring left foot over to meet the right foot. Repeat several times before going on to the next move. (Counting while doing this may be difficult, so do however many feel right to you.)
Get more great moves from Leslie Sansone!
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By Elena Rover, FITNESS Magazine
Use these lower-body toning moves during your regular walking workout to sculpt and lift your butt and thighs and burn more calories on your walk.
Tone Your Rear While You Walk
Surprise: Your average walk is not a workout for your derriere. "Walking on level terrain does not require you to fully contract the gluteal muscles, so it doesn't do much for toning them," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts. That's because the work is mostly in your quads and hamstrings.
The Routine "For the best butt toning on two feet," says walking pro Tina Vindum, walk for 5 minutes, do one of the supereffective shapers shown here, then repeat until you've done all four exercises. (If your route has hills, tackle these moves every time the path hits an incline -- or a set of stairs -- for maximum butt-blasting benefits.)
Get the rest of the workout here. Read More ›
There are two kinds of people in life: those who love the treadmill and those who can't stand it. In case it wasn't already obvious from this blog's title, I'm in the latter group! I will run outdoors in a foot snow, below freezing temperatures, 90-degree heat, and even torrential rain before I will run on the treadmill. But I do draw the line somewhere: ice. When conditions are icy (OK, also if temps hit single digits), I'm not willing to risk injuring myself by running outside. Luckily, this winter has only forced me inside (count 'em) three times, and with spring on the way, I have my fingers crossed that I won't have to use the treadmill again until next year.
Usually, I can only muster about 10 or 15 minutes on the treadmill before boredom wins and I leave the gym feeling frustrated with myself. So I had to come up with some new ways to make the most of the treadmill. And to my surprise: These tactics really worked. I'm not talking about listening to music or watching TV either. If you really want to have fun on the treadmill—or at least pass the time more easily—this is how you do it. Read More ›
I've never been someone who likes to walk for exercise, mostly because I'm so slow. I'm amazed at people who race walk, since I'm convinced I'd have to break into a jog before I could ever walk that fast. I hope that's not a bad indication of my life expectancy according to new research, which claims the walking speed of older adults could determine how long they live. Read More ›
Walking is a great form of cardiovascular exercise. It doesn't require any equipment and can be done anywhere, anytime. Walking can help strengthen your heart, but might also sharpen your mind. New research shows that walking could help slow the progression of Alzheimer's or even help prevent onset of the disease in healthy individuals. Read More ›
My daughterís preschool is less than Ĺ mile from our house, so most days (weather permitting), I push my son up in our double stroller to get her. I feel bad enough driving her to school (my kids donít get up early enough to walk in the morning), but I usually try to combine it with other errands so that our environmental impact isnít quite as terrible. Read More ›
Strength training exercises are important for all of us to do, but they can be extremely helpful for walkers since they allow for greater muscle balance, flexibility and range of motion.
Upper body strength training exercises are just as important to incorporate into your workout routine as lower body exercises as they help to build stronger muscles needed to maintain good form and posture when walking, especially when fatigue begins to set in. A strong core also allows for better posture which allows for greater lung expansion so that your body can receive more oxygen with each breath.
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So who doesn't like a challenge? We, here at SparkPeople, find that challenges are actually a great motivational tool in helping our members reach their goals. So if SparkPeople members are motivated by the challenges, could this work for our politicians and their staff members in our country's capital? After all, many of us our motivated by the mere thought competing against others which isn't always a bad thing.
Seven weeks ago a competition like no other in Washington, D.C. went out to members of Congress, their staff, as well as the Capitol Police. This friendly competition had nothing to do with political affiliations in the least. The competition you may ask--to see which Capitol Hill team could cover the greatest distance walking over a six week time period commencing on June 16th and ending on July 28th. The reward--the honor of being named the 'Top Walkers on the Hill' and receiving one of two highly sought after Blue Shoe trophies.
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