Increase Cardio to Gain Strength While Losing Weight

Treadmill, bike, stair climber, elliptical...which is right for you?Cardio exercises assist you to increase your heart rate by targeting the large muscle groups. This is why most cardio workouts involve upper thigh workouts – even as simplistic as walking and running. Once a moderate level of fitness is reached, we can’t get the same cardiovascular benefits just through leg movements and so the arms are engaged to keep your heart pumping and calories burning.

The categories of home exercise equipment we use for cardio exercises are listed below. If you own these machines and aren’t seeing as much progress, try incorporating arm exercises or increasing the speed of use to take your fitness to the next level.

  • Treadmill – Studies showing that exercise on the treadmill is superior over most other fitness equipment. You can adjust the settings to suit your fitness level or energy level in the workout. You’ll be able to walk, jog or run from the comfort of your own home regardless of the weather outside your door.
  • Stationary Step Machine – This class of home gym equipment burns calories, tones and enhances hips, legs and butts. You’ll also hear them called stair climbers and some come with an electronic display showing you (amongst other things) how many calories you have burned during your workout. Not recommended for the overly obese range or for those with weak joints.
  • Stationary Bike – Bikes without wheels that you can plant in front of the television set or computer to get a quick workout in at any time. Perfect for the home gym that doesn’t have much room to spare. According to recent studies a 30 minute workout on a stationary bike per day will maintain your current fitness level while conditioning your heart for more.
  • Elliptical Trainer – One of the most popular home gym exercise equipment available. The perfect home workout for anyone with stiff or weak joints.
  • Rowing Machine – Intense cardio workouts for moderate to hard core athletes. Easily folded and stored under a bed or in a small closet making them an excellent choice for a home gym. Some models have electronics to display and store calories burned, intensity of the workout or speed.

If you’re setting up your home gym for the first time and you aren’t sure which piece of equipment you want to buy first, I suggest getting a visitor pass to a professional gym or a one-month membership. Try out the equipment and see which one suits your style and needs best before committing to the purchase. Be sure to read our reviews (currently we are working through the treadmill models) and check out our current sales. Pedometers.org checks for the best deals online and factor in shipping costs and warranties to ensure you get the best value at the lowest final price.

Choosing A Pedometer to Lose Weight

Resolution time is upon us once again. So dust off those pedometers, we’re off to get some fit-inducing walks underway. Just by wearing your pedometer again and observing your daily steps and distance traveled will be motivational. I suggest if you are just starting out in your trek to better health, you wear it all day long for at least two weeks and journal your daily count. Once you have some new habits in place, you can wear your pedometer just for walking workouts.

If you don’t own a pedometer, or have never used one in the past, you might need a little guidance to choose the best one for your personality type, your needs, and your interest in fitness. At the most basic level, a pedometer will sense your body’s movement and count every step you take. Technology has taken this small device to do so much more though.

Once the steps are racking up, a pedometer will next convert those steps into distance traveled. It does so by learning the length of your stride. To do so you must program the pedometer to your average step (stride) length. Each model varies so you’ll have to read the instruction manual to get this accurately.

Here is a little explanation though to make sense of the measurement. Step lengths and stride lengths are often referred to as the same thing but in some cases they are different. Your step length is the distance from your heel print of one foot to the heel print of the other foot. Stride length is measured similarly by many pedometers but some explain it as the heel print of one foot to the next time that same foot imprints. Really this is a stride length of two steps, since the other foot has already touched down once.

Sometimes you can come across a fairly accurate guess-timate of stride length based on your height. For women the equation is your height x .413. For men the equation is your height x .415. This never worked for me but I have a longer than average inseam.

Enter the Multi-function Pedometer

Although all pedometers will count steps, there are others that record calories burned as well as estimating your speed and measuring pulse rate. Some will even tell you how much fat you burned and sync with your laptop or Iphone to chart your progress. If you like features in your gadgets get the best pedometer you can afford because all those charts, graphs and measurements will keep you motivated, I promise!

One of the newest features in pedometers are those that track both speed and distance. These devices use GPS technology which, when coupled with software to upload to your PC or online journals, is a lot of fun. Nike has even launched a foot pod that is embedded into your training shoes which also is stored online at their website.

Just the Basics Please – the Simple Step Counter

On the other hand, if simplicity is your game, the most basic yet accurate pedometer will be your goal. As for the numbers, you want to increase the count daily with a starting set (for the over 30 crowd) of 7000 for weight and health maintenance; 10,000-12,000 for weight loss and fitness; and 15,000 for athletic training.

How to Tell If Your Pedometer is Accurate

Accuracy becomes an obsession once you’ve owned a pedometer for a while. Dependent on your model of choice you may find that just wearing the pedometer in a different location may chance the accuracy of steps counted, or if you’re more concerned about distance traveled you may have to adjust your stride settings. Pedometers should be comfortable enough to wear all day – some will even count steps from your handbag or purse – but I prefer to wear mine on my hip with a safety leash. Safety leashes ensure your pedometer isn’t lost as you’ll soon find that you come to rely on the little gadget.

A great way to double check your pedometer for accuracy is to visit Google Maps: Pedometer. Just go there and chart your route, then compare the results with your own pedometer’s count.

Get Walking With Your New Pedometer

Keeping records for two weeks of your steps and distance keeps you motivated and here’s why. Every day you see that you’ve taken more steps than the day before and start to look for more ways to increase your step count. Walking up a flight of stairs, walking part way home, parking away from the grocery store are just three examples.

So let’s get busy walking shall we? I’ll walk with you, in my own little town and we’ll grow stronger, fitter and leaner every day. Even just the simplest little pedometer starting with just 5,000 steps a day is a great start – I know you’ll find it to be both motivational and addictive once you see the changes in your health and fitness level.

Walk Toward A Long and Healthy Life

A favorite walk to burn off calories with your pedometer.More and more people today are ending up at the mercy of their doctor’s knowledge to fix medical problems with pills and operations because they didn’t value their health when they were younger. The trouble is that fixing anything once it has broken always costs far more than maintaining it when it was working fine. And maintenance of your body and health is free.

Yes, free. You just need to put on a pair of walking shoes and put one foot in front of the other, every day. Walking is still believed to be the healthiest exercise for people of all ages, current health levels, and sizes. Easy to do and inexpensive to boot, if not completely free to every North American. It can be performed by any one, any where and any time.

Get up from your couch, move away from your desk, step back from the dinner table and start moving your feet toward a longer life.

All you need to do is make up your mind to do it, promise a commitment to yourself and your health, and start moving.

After a week of walking every day you may find that you are lacking in the will power to persevere. Dig deep inside your reasons to be fit and keep it at the front of your mind and the will power will take care of the rest. If you don’t have determination you may eventually give up before reaching your goal of better health, a longer life, or a slimmer body. If you have tired of walking for exercise then step up to brisk walking. Fast paces burn calories and is also easier on your knees and joints than running. When on a regular brisk, fast, or power walk there is less chance for an injury. Unlike jogging or running your power walk routine will have no ill side effects – unless you consider a stronger body an unpleasant end.

One way to stay motivated an on track is to pick up a top quality pedometer that tracks your progress and motivates you to do more day after day. There are many (you can see our favorite in the sidebar) available just be sure to pick one that has been reviewed by people who actually use one in their fitness routines.

Stay Fit at Any Age

Walk for Fitness at All AgesIf you’ve ever been on a dieting or fitness roller coaster you’ll have already learned that we need to work out or walk regularly to to stay fit. However our overly busy lives often keep us from our fitness program once we’ve met our goals.

This has often caused me to wonder why I keep running across research reports stating that we have more leisure time today than any other time in history. How can that be? I seldom feel as though I have leisure time and I know a lot of you are over-stretched and stressed out as well. Regardless of work obligations, looking after our homes and children (and in some cases our parents), we need to take care of ourselves and stay in shape. This becomes ever more important as we pass the age of 40 years when we find that we’ll have to work harder to lose five pounds or re-build muscle.

The superior strategy dictates that if we’re in shape it is far easier to maintain that state than have to fight our way back after a month of letting life get in the way or worse, working out too hard and pulling a muscle or spraining an ankle on our walk.

In the last five years I’ve been following the advice of author Tosca Reno as we’re similar in stature and age. Tosca recommends staying on track by making intelligent and clean eating choices, to eat five or six small meals a day, and drink plenty of water. This style of eating literally fuels your body with a steady flow of energy, keeps your metabolism humming along and minimizes the risk of suffering from highs and lows throughout the day.

How frequent you eat is as important of what you eat. You need a balanced diet of carbs, protein, fiber and fats to maintain your energy balance. Tosca suggests eating carbs with a protein in the morning and working through your food choices to fresh fruits and vegetables with proteins by the end of the day. I can’t give the full systematic eating program in this short article but she has written many books on the subject, the latest of which is “Your Best Body Now”.

Aside from eating, hydrating and remaining consistent in your workout schedule you might also consider the shoes on your feet – especially if you need a little extra motivation to stay active. Since different workouts require different shoes make sure your sneakers are in good shape and suitable for the job at hand. If you love to power walk or jog you’ll already know that the average walking or jogging trainer will give you about 500 miles before they wear out. Even less if you have any deviation in a neutral gait (many of us do).

If you are worrying or wondering about your stride and gait but aren’t committed to visiting a podiatrist or orthotic specialist, you may find that by taking your old sneakers into the store you might be able to get some free advice about a more suitable style for your needs. Specialty fitness stores may be able to retro-fit a new pair of sneakers with special insoles to balance your gait and therefore reduce the chance of injury. For years I hadn’t known of the risks involved by wearing the wrong shoes for the exercise but after many years of reading and sharing with other enthusiasts I now realize.

The Right Fitness Equipment for You

When I first started on my quest to get into shape I bought DVDs, running shoes, a pedometer, a treadmill, and had to hold myself back from purchasing all the late-night advertised fad equipment on television. Now that I’m in shape I realize that I could have saved myself a lot of money if I’d just started out with some good shoes and a pedometer.

If you’re just starting out on your own weight loss or quest for fitness, you’re probably in the same boat. Which equipment should you buy? Which is the best deal? Which will be the most suitable for your goals and current level of fitness? After all I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of friends buying expensive treadmills only to have it collect dust and laundry in their bedrooms for years afterward.

For these reasons, choosing the right fitness equipment is for you is an important topic to consider. We can save a lot of our time and money by doing a little bit of research and understanding our goals before we whip our our wallets.

So let’s have a look at the various types of equipment and see how they fit with your budget and your workout style.

Home Weight Set

If you want to burn off fat and tone your muscles you’ll need to incorporate some weight training into your exercise routine. However you might not be ready for, or have room for, a full bench set. You can start small with just a few dumbbells in various weights to strengthen arms and abdominal muscles. These workouts help with posture and balance and your body’s ability to burn fat (metabolism). Light weights are also a good place to start in your fitness regime as nothing is more pleasing than seeing your arms toning up and your pants fitting looser as your abs get toned.

Treadmills

Out of my top 10 friends I think I am the only one to use my treadmill regularly. The treadmill helps you to run or walk while staying in one place during inclement weather, potentially dangerous outdoor surroundings, or if you just want to exercise in solitude. Running or walking on a treadmill is an effective way to get your daily 10,000 steps in easily. You can watch television while you walk or run, you can surf the web, or you can crank it up and run hard without the shock and strain on your ankles, knees and lower back. Make sure you have tried a treadmill before you buy one though. In my experience people either love them or hate them – and I don’t want to see you spending $1,000 or more on a piece of equipment that does nothing but make you feel guilty for not using it.

Rowing Machines

Rowing machines aren’t my favorite fitness equipment but many of my friends swear by them. They offer the benefit of an all-over workout with minimal joint impact. In fact they are excellent for the clinically obese and senior citizens. You can start at an easy pace and as your grow stronger, increase your row speed. Fast rowing is great for burning off calories and increasing your heart rate while strengthening your arms, abdomen, back and shoulder muscles.

Stationary Exercise Bikes

They’re everywhere and they come in all sizes and price ranges. You’ll find old ones at yard sales or even in your parents basement, as they are one of the best low-impact cardiovascular machines available. These exercise bikes don’t do much for your arm strength or toning but they are great for your heart and legs. You can watch television while exercising and you don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car or inclement weather. Stationary bikes are easy on your joints and are perfect for people who have more than 20 pounds to lose. Most bikes have varying levels of difficulty so you can crank up the workout as you become more fit.

Pedometers

My pedometer has been my best fitness friend for years. It keeps me accountable for activity during the day and inspires me to get walking on less active days. This is one purchase that I have never regretted. Even today I own a few different models and keep one in my purse, one in the car and one in the house – charged up and ready to go whenever and where ever I am.

Small Changes to Boost Metabolism

I recently revisited my fitness strategy and part of that included a re-evaluation of my current shape. In order to do this you have to ‘get real’, be brutally honest with yourself and take nearly naked photos. You’ll next want to look long and hard at those pictures, defining your trouble spots and make a date to begin training or altering your diet. Or both.

You’ll need to think long and hard about the possible choices you have to reach your new goals. Decisions on your fitness and health, the food you eat, how much you’ll need to exercise, and your perception of your finished weight and body shape goal.

So many people will just diet and hope that does the trick to slim down and change a body’s shape. Unless you are under the age of 25, just changing your diet won’t work. You need to include exercise in your strategy. Without exercise your body accumulates more and more fat cells. Besides making you uncomfortable about the way you look, that extra fat has many health risks as well. Just 10 pounds extra on your body increases your risk of developing much more serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancers and a propensity to heart attacks.

It’s easy to increase your daily exercise and this site is full of great ideas but I’m sure you can come up with your own. Ideally you should start with a slow 20 minute walk every day, consistently, and then look for other small ways throughout the day to move your muscles. Take the stairs, park at the far end of the parking lot, walk on a treadmill while watching your favorite shows at night. Increase your exercise once you feel yourself getting stronger by jogging, taking a cardio class, or join a gym.

If you’re still not seeing enough progress you’ll want to clean up your diet. Not by counting calories or following some fad diet plan, but by limiting portions, eating more regularly to increase your metabolism, and getting off the processed foods completely. Be conscious of every single bite you put in your mouth. Avoid fast foods as though they were poisonous – they are!

Increase Your Metabolism While Walking Off The Weight

Walking with A Pedometer Increase Metabolic RateThere is a lot more to walking for weight loss than simply putting 9,999 steps in front of the first one. In fact you can increase your walking skill while losing weight and increasing your metabolism (which will serve you well for a long time).

Improving your ability and durability during walks will improve the way you look and feel.

Although walking for fitness might seem like a simple activity, people often develop bad habits in their walking that make walking more difficult and less effective.

Add inclines in your walk. Walking up a hill works a different set of muscles and increases your heart rate in the process.

Vary your stride. Walk with a lighter step and alter your walk with bouts of faster walking. Walking with a lighter step reduces jarring and is easier on your joints than a hard step. Walking faster increases your heart rate and helps you burn more fat.

Watch your stance. Keep your waist and weight over the stationary leg of each step. In a sense you will be holding your hips back from the stepping leg. When you walk, let your knee go forward and then your hips. Be conscious of every muscle’s movement in every step you take.

Check your muscle tension, especially the back of your neck. When you walk quickly, see if you can notice tension in the back of your neck and focus on releasing that tension by relaxing your neck.

In following articles we’ll discuss other ways to improve your metabolic rate overall while walking your way to fitness.

Easy Exercise Program Increases Metabolism and Speeds Weight Loss

Understand just the basics about metabolism and you can speed your weight loss. Master your metabolism and you will improve your endurance. What a good exercise program does is increase your metabolism while you’re getting fit to then remove excess fat while leaving your fluid levels intact. The end result is lean muscle strengthened, and an increased metabolism that will carry on burning fat for a long time to come.

As always…check with your doctor before beginning any weight loss program or exercise regime.

If you build your exercise and intensity (slowly) you will burn fat and increase muscle – which, in turn, increases your metabolism. Here is a sample program of consistency and moderation in an easy exercise program.

Start with a few stretching exercises and a brisk twenty minute walk, followed by more stretching exercises.

If you own a pedometer, chart your progress over the course of a week – increasing your steps or distance traveled daily.

Once you are up to, and comfortable with, 15,000 steps a day, it will be time to work on your upper body strength. Tricep dips, push ups and crunches are simple exercises that everyone knows how to perform. Do as many as you can today, and increase your repetitions every day.

Alter your strength training with walks throughout the week. When you’re ready for a new challenge, move onto some lower body workouts after your walks by doing repetitions of squats or following a DVD step workout.

As you lose weight and start feeling more fit, keep stretching but add in the walks, the upper body workouts and the lower body workout and your metabolism will start kicking in and working for you all day. In time you start feeling better about yourself as you do more. You may even want to incorporate or revisit other exercises in your program that you enjoy. Swimming, cycling, spin class at the gym, whatever you choose as long as you enjoy it and it keeps you moving!

The Exercise Metabolism Connection

Have you, in the past, started a rigorous exercise program, started eating several small meals a day, or started taking a supplement that promised to boost your metabolism? If so you have been thinking about, learning about, or attempting to alter your metabolism.

So which one works? The truth is, they all work in conjunction with a weight loss program of eating correctly and exercising regularly.

Exercise, eating strategically, and ensuring that your body has catabolism-friendly supplements are three of many generally good weight loss ideas.

If your methods of increasing your metabolic rate didn’t prove the results you’d hoped for it is likely that you are just missing one or two parts of the metabolism puzzle. You don’t need to be a scientist or struggle through medical journals to learn the ins and outs of your metabolism though. This article and others like it on Pedometers.org will help to get you on track.

On your walk to better health it is important to not risk your future health. To ensure it you’ll want to understand strategies, and techniques of increasing your metabolism while walking to lose weight – or any other exercise program. Although there are many ways to do so, the ten easiest ways will be discussed over the next few articles. You will find them all within the ‘Metabolism’ category here.

Each of the ten tips are classified in one of three categories: exercise, lifestyle and diet. However you will also notice while you read that some of the tips are equally valid in one of the other categories. As an example of this, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is also a lifestyle choice. Therefore I suggest you read every section or article to get the most value and the best weight loss results.

Since exercise is one of my favorite topics, we’ll start there…

You can’t skip exercising if you want to increase your metabolism to lose weight unless you’re born with an unusually overactive metabolism. Any cardiovascular (aka aerobic) exercise will work as long as you notice an increase in heart rate and body temperature. With the added benefits of blood circulation and oxygen intake/carbon dioxide exchange, your metabolic rate increases.

The other side of exercise, strength training, increases metabolism by building muscle. Why does this work? Well a pound of muscle will burn more calories than a pound of fat. Therefore the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn in any activity – sedentary or aerobic.

Just remember that if you workout to build muscle and then quit exercising those muscles over time, your muscle fibers deteriorate you lose the high metabolic rate that burns calories so efficiently. Adjust your intake to ensure you don’t pack on the pounds again if you stop working out.

Some Specifics About The Metabolism and Exercise Connection

The basic weight loss principle behind exercise is catabolism. By changing your body’s composition (i.e. more muscle than fat) it requires more energy and catabolism will break down cells to deliver that energy to you. Based on that logic, once you have gained a moderate comfort level with walking or other aerobic exercise you might want to look into some interval training. Interval training is a high-energy, calorie burning, exercise plan implemented on an infrequent basis.

As an example, if you walk every day try adding a twenty minute jog to your program every second day. It will increase your metabolism by building muscle and oxygen intake. Another example, if you have achieved a stronger fitness level and you jog, try adding a one minute sprint every twenty minutes that you jog. Do you see the trend here? Anything that will give your body a bit of a jolt or rush will work.

Interval training can last longer than a minute but for most people this is based o your current level of fitness. Those who are extremely fit may benefit from interval training of 30-40 minutes at a time.

As with all exercise changes, check with your doctor for specific advice and don’t overdo it with interval training. Your goal here is to become healthier and stronger, and lose weight in that process.

Of course there is much more to learn about interval training but that introduction will get you started. A hint to keep you interested in interval training is that by adding some variety to your exercise program you can give your metabolism another jolt. The variety ensures that your body doesn’t get into a comfortable groove and continues to burn calories at a faster rate.

Remember that any activity that causes your temperature to increase, your heart working harder and deeper breathing will increase your metabolism and aim for those increases regularly.

Two Tips for Walkers Who Want to Lose Weight

Walk this Way to Lose More Weight

If you’re here you’re probably wondering how to make the most out of your daily walks when you’re trying to lose weight. I do have a few tips to share with you that will help you burn up to 30% more calories and take off more weight for every step taken.

First of all you can’t just stroll along for an hour and consider that walk a fat burning exercise. You will need to walk on an incline, include stairs in your routine and/or walk at a safe clip on a decline as well. Simply walking on flat terrain is alright for long term weight loss when you are incorporating walking into your daily fitness routine, but it won’t do you much good for fast and lasting weight loss.

If you are walking in your home (for instance while watching your favorite television show every night) you will want to consider purchasing a treadmill that has an incline adjust feature. Set it to a 10 or 15 degree incline and test it out for a few weeks. I think you’ll notice a difference. Not only will you be getting all the regular benefits of walking but you will also see the excess pounds leaving your body.

Another great tip when walking as a weight loss exercise is to breathe deeply during the duration of your walk. The more oxygen you inhale, the more calories you burn. This won’t be helpful if you are buddying up with a friend on your daily walks (and if your friend likes to chat) but whenever you walk alone or walk the dog, take deep breaths like this: take a deep breath for 5 seconds, then hold it for 5 seconds, and then exhale for 5 seconds. That’s all there is to it. If you have a pedometer that also has a stop watch feature or a timer, use it to keep track of the number of minutes on your walk you can sustain deep breathing. (If you start to feel light headed then work at it until you can build up to 5-5-5. Nothing more dangerous than a fast walker who is dizzy!)

Try these two tips for the next week and chart your progress on your bathroom scale. I am sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Weight Loss Is Just A Walk Away

Walking for Weight LossWalking – one of the simplest exercises – is also one of the best exercises you can do to achieve weight loss.

If you’re just starting to consider getting in shape, losing some weight, and taking charge of your health, walking is a great way to kick off your planned program. Regardless of age, regardless of current physical condition, nearly everyone can walk off the weight – even if just at the beginning of a full blown, back to health, program.

Whenever you embark on any new exercise program you’ll first want to check in with your doctor to inform him or her about your plans. Your doctor may have some helpful tips and guidelines based on your current state of fitness, your age, or any illnesses you may have. Either way – whether you go to the doctor or not – it is always a good idea to take it slow to start.

To begin a new walking program you’ll want to first get a pedometer so you can track your progress. You don’t need anything fancy to get started but having a heart rate monitor and the ability to upload your daily steps to your computer via USB cable are two nice features I couldn’t do without. You’ll also want a pair of comfortable and supportive walking shoes.

Begin by going for a 10 minute walk 3 times a week. Although this may sound overly cautious, it is the safest way to begin any new weight loss program. Now that you have started your new walking program and you have made a commitment to yourself to stick with it, start adding 10 more minutes to each walk every week. Should you experience difficultly breathing do not become discouraged, just walk a little slower until your heart and lung function catch up to your journey into better health. Again, it may be prudent to check back in with your doctor.

Within the month of your new walking program you will begin to see your hard work pay off. You will have more energy and your clothes will start fitting much looser. With just a 30 minute walk every day you should also be experiencing:

  • See an increase in your overall fitness level.

  • Notice changes in the tone of your muscles.
  • Feel better and look better.
  • Discover an increase in energy levels.
  • Feel less stressed.
  • Get better nights sleep.
  • Be in a better mood and less prone to depression.
  • Notice a difference on the scale.
  • Find that muscles, joints and bones are stronger.

There are many benefits to a walking program! As you can see it leads to much more than just weight loss. The longer you stick with the program, the easier it becomes. Before you know it you’ll be just like me and have developed a new, positive, lifelong habit.

Walking Regularly But Not Losing Weight?

Recent research suggests that most walking programs will have minimal effect on weight loss all due to lack of consideration of metabolism. How can this be so when thousands of people every moment are initiating daily walks into their already busy schedules to help them get or stay fit?

The primary reason that research of walking programs don’t show evidence of weight loss or an increase in health is that ‘on the books’ the number of calories burned off during a walk is relatively small in comparison to other workout programs. As an example, a two mile brisk walk burns only 90 more calories than staying at home. Ninety calories equates to the caloric value of a low-sodium, low-calorie bowl of chicken soup.

Furthermore it would take nearly three months of a regular walking routine of three brisk walks a week to lose roughly 500 grams of fat.

Research also suggests that “a lack of time” is given as the most popular excuse for not exercising, and that it becomes quite unlikely that people would be able to find time three days per week for a walk.

With all that said you’re probably wondering what then, is the best method of exercise for weight loss.

If so, there are more factors to consider than just the exercise you’re considering. You must factor in your age as well as your lifestyle and learn at least a little about human metabolism. You see, after age 30 we all lose between 200-300 grams of muscle tissue per year – this causes our metabolism to slow down. When your metabolism slows, excess body fat accumulates where the lost muscle tissue once was. Considering that almost all body fat and dietary fats are burned within muscle tissue you can see how this becomes a downhill problem and an uphill battle as the years go on.

To reverse this natural function, you might consider adding some strength training exercises (to rebuild some of that lost muscle tissue) to increase your fat burning engine – your metabolism – capability.

Here’s where this gets really interesting…once you have regained some of your health and fitness level again, research proves that up to 44% more body fat can be lost when a strength training program is implemented – in comparison to no change in your physical routines but only restricting caloric intake (a diet).

All things considered it is muscle that is the secret weapon to fighting fat. Muscle mass burns fat, increases metabolism, improves the shape of your body and gives you more strength. With more muscle tissue and less fat on your body, you will have a slim and sculpted physique. You will find it is easier to stay slim and look younger as well. Research again proves that a fit body gives the appearance of youth and can shave years off your true age.

So while you’re walking, or in conjunction with your walking program, consider every muscle and consider different ways to increase your muscle mass. Muscles hold the key, the secret to your metabolism and burn that fat throughout your body. By flexing your muscles you are kicking your metabolism into gear and the effects are longer lasting than just the workout time. You will continue, over time, to burn a higher amount of fat all day long.

Here’s another benefit to building muscles that not too many people talk about…the more muscle you have the more you increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin. Insulin greatly enhances your ability to lose weight. Many of our nation’s overweight are moderately to highly insulin-resistant as long as they are lacking in muscle tissue. Two to three strength training sessions per week are all it would take to correct this resistance and begin the fat burning process. Plus, with a higher metabolic rate you will be able to consume more calories throughout the day while losing weight and without any fad diets.