Walking Shortcuts

Wherever you're headed this September, you can slash your walking time in half and get the same or better benefits!

Swap your 30 minute walk for a 15 minute beach walk. Walking in the sand burns up to 50 percent more calories than walking on the sidewalk, track or street at the same pace. Why? The muscles in your butt, thighs, feet and ankles have to work harder to push off the sand. This forces you to expend more calories. Plus, the uneven surface of the sand requires you to stabilize your core, so you'll strengthen your abs without even realizing it. Just remember when walking on the beach, wear your sneakers so that you won't injure yourself. Sneakers support your foot and ankle on the sand's uneven surface.

Swap your 40 minute walk for 20 minutes in the pool walking. Just like on land, waking in water is an excellent low impact cardio workout, but it's a better multitasker because it tones your entire body and increases flexibility. Walking one mile in the water burns the same amount of calories as walking two miles on land. Since water is more dense than air, waking thru water provides resistance you won't experience on land. You'll tone the front and back of your leg as you push and pull them thru the water with each step. Since waking in the pool is a low impact activity, it's also a safe way to walk when coming back from an injury. Look for a pool that has a shallow area (4 feet deep is ideal) so that you can walk. You won't be able to pool walk while people are swimming laps so call ahead and find out when the pool is available for walkers.

July/August 2011 Weight Watchers Magazine

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