Although it’s not considered a killer workout like, say, marathon training, research shows that walking is still an awesome form of exercise and can lower your risk of dangerous conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. That said, when it comes to walking for your health, you can stroll or you can really walk.
Want to make every step count? We consulted the experts to find out how to power up your walking workout to burn more calories, tone up all over and banish boredom.
Tip 1: Know your heart-rate training range. You get the most out of your cardio workout when your heart is in your own personal “training range,” which determines how hard you should work for light, moderate and high-intensity levels.
Joan Pagano, a certified trainer in New York City and author of Strength Training Exercises for Women, suggests using the traditional, easy method of subtracting your age from 220, which should give you a rough estimate of your maximum heart rate (EMHR) — that is, how fast your heart will beat during all-out exertion. “Since nobody can sustain this level of exercise for long, we take 60 to 90 percent of EMHR to develop a training range with a continuum of low to high intensity,” Pagano said.