By now, you’ve seen the headlines on walking for weight loss. It’s one of the best ways to steadily burn fat, and it’s free! But what sort of walking routine should you try? How can you get the most out of your walk?
Denise Austin, fitness expert and creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine in partnership with Woman’s World, shared her secrets for the best fat-blasting, cardio walking workout. Find out how Denise stays on top of her fitness (and why her walks are so effective and pain-free!)
It’s all about the shoes.
“To get the most out of a walking routine, be sure to wear the right shoes,” Denise says. “They should be comfortable, provide plenty of arch support and not be too worn-out.”
It’s true — having the right kicks can make all the difference when you’re working out. Denise loves her Easy Spirit sneakers (Buy from Easy Spirit, $75), which are lightweight and designed with both comfort and style in mind. You can also check out our 21 top picks for running shoes. Here are some tips for how you can choose the best walking shoes for you!
- Shop in the afternoon. Your feet are slightly more swollen later in the day. Try on sneakers in the p.m. to help you find the right size and avoid shoes that pinch.
- Wear your old pair of sneaks to the store. Doing this will help footwear experts see which parts of your shoes are the most worn. An expert will then be better able to recommend a pair of sneakers that can best support your gait.
- Perform some moves. Take the sneakers for a test spin by doing a few squats. If the shoes have the proper amount of support, your knee will move over your foot, not inward.
- Check for stability. If the shoes bend easily along the arch, they won’t give you the lateral support you need for walking. Instead, the sneaker should bend at the ball of the foot. And when you twist the shoe, you should feel some resistance too.
- Check for cushioning. You will also want to double-check that any walking shoes you purchase provide you with an even level of cushioning, which will offer your feet the most comfort.
As for other tricks to make your walk a successful one, Denise suggests that you wear a pedometer. “Wearing a pedometer to track your steps can also be a great motivator,” she adds. “And don’t forget to bring a water bottle with you to help you stay hydrated.”
The Best Walking Routine for Women Over 50
Ready to get into a new walking routine? All it takes are three steps.
- Warm up. Start by walking for five minutes at an easy, relaxed pace — that’s about 2.5 to 3.2 miles per hour (mph) on a treadmill — which will help warm up your muscles and loosen up your joints. This is the time to get your form and posture down.
- Get walking. Now that your muscles are warm, pick up the pace! Begin walking at a moderate to brisk pace — if you’re on a treadmill, about 3.2 to 3.7 mph. Your stride should be comfortable. Pump your arms to get the blood flowing and your heart rate up. Continue at this pace for 20 minutes.
- Cool down. Finish your workout with five minutes of easy walking (about 2.5 to 3.2 mph) to let your body return to its normal temperature. Pat yourself on the back for getting up and moving!
According to Denise, a brisk 30-minute walk every day will help you burn about 43,800 calories a year! We hope this news inspires you to get in gear and develop a healthy, fun routine. It’s time to get moving!
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Fit Over 50.