The power of Brisk Walking

Ok—so the other part of the Get Lifted Program is...daily Brisk Walking!

Daily Walking--at a brisk pace--has been found through a 13 year long study of 15,000 people (!!) by researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science...that Brisk Walking DAILY was the best form of movement to burn fat and keep it off.

The best form of movement to Burn Fat

Better than dancing or swimming...better than lifting weights by itself...better than HIIT workouts or running. Yes--brisk walking is the ultimate fat-burning form of movement.

The keys are though:

--to get into a daily FLOW with it

--add it in WITH your strength training workouts (and I'll explain more WHY below)

--walk at a brisk pace...with your arms able to swing freely at your sides...activate your GLUTES before you do it for the best power & booty bumpin' pleasure...have good shoes

--and do it for at least 22+ minutes a day to burn fat & keep it off!

Read on to discover why Brisk Walking is the other Workout--besides Strength Training/Lifting Weights--that you want to schedule and go for every day & week.

 

And before we get into the details of the beauty, pleasure & effectiveness of daily Brisk Walking...

Let's talk about the power of Movement in general for just a moment:

 

Why is Movement powerful? The reason may surprise you...

So, just like you need to be Eating for Energy…and eating foods that work with your body…in order to be able to get into a flow with movement AND get results from what you’re doing…

At the same time, you also really need Movement. The two go together.

And a lot of times we’re culturally taught to think about movement & exercise as a way to burn calories. However, it’s really hard to do that ("burn calories"). You just don’t burn that many calories—you can just make that up right away by what you eat next.

So, what’s a better way to think about the purpose of exercise and movement—is it’s a great way to get your metabolism working really well—sending all these different hormones and chemicals through your body that inform your body how to better use food—how to feel good.

Exercise is really important because it informs your body with how to use FOOD and because it:

--improves your cellular energy...

--improves your digestion & gut health...

--and reduces inflammation, too!

It's really important to "get into a flow" with your fitness--and the easiest--and seemingly the most effective--way to do this is to take frequent Movement Breaks and go for brisk daily walks!

And to get your Movement Meditation ON & build shapely muscle in your body AND burn fat while preserving (and building) healthful muscle mass...

The other kind of Movement I highly recommend incorporating into your weekly schedule is Strength Training.

Why Brisk Walk daily + Strength Train weekly

As Dr. Chris Masterjohn, nutrition researcher, summarizes why Burning Fat while maintaining (or building) Muscle is so, so important:

"You need an exercise program that provides an anabolic stimulus to convince your body that it’s worth keeping your muscle mass. Because muscle mass is energetically expensive to maintain and if you’re losing weight, you’re losing your energy stores…and if you’re not telling your body that muscle mass is really important…it’s going to say 'Hey, if I just cut out this muscle mass, then I don’t need as much energy.'"

And what you do want instead to is to preserve and even build muscle--as it's very metabolically active tissue--while burning fat at the same time with a weekly program of Lifting Weights combined with Daily Brisk Walking.

That's my recommendation for the stress & inflammation-reducing, pleasurable movement & body-sculpting while fat-burning win! 🙂

Getting into a FLOW with Daily Brisk Walking

And here, in Part 3 of this Get Lifted Quick Start Guide…let’s talk about how to get into a FLOW with Daily Brisk Walking…and make it fun & do-able for YOU.

And again—while it may be easy to brush off the idea that something as easy as Walking won’t be that effective for your health…science does indeed disagree (see long list of benefits, above).

And in our history as humans too—people have always walked a lot. Every day. So daily brisk walking goes with our nature.

AND—focusing on Brisk Walking every day to Burn Fat is much easier to maintain/sustain—rather than trying to do HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training).

 

Why you don’t need extra HIIT with this Get Lifted weekly/daily workout Plan:

In fact—lifting weights IS a form of high intensity workouts…and your goal is to get into a FLOW with lifting weights. So if you try adding in *extra* HIIT workouts, you can find yourself feeling really burned out instead and OUT of a flow, instead.

That’s why I don’t really recommend extra HIIT workouts to burn fat (like kettlebell swing workouts, hill sprints) on your *off days* from strength training. You want to focus on Actively Recovering from you strength training workouts instead…and get and stay in a consistent FLOW with doing them.

AND, at the same time—you want to focus on brisk walking every day & taking Movement Breaks every hour, to break up chunks of sitting time.

So let’s dive into 5 keys to ROCK Daily Brisk Walking.

 

5 Keys to rock the power of Daily Brisk Walking:

1. Get started with 22 min—every day.

Start with 22 min & build from there with Daily Brisk Walking:

—21 - 45 minutes a day is what is going to help you burn fat and feel good. So as a general recommendation...I highly, highly recommend going for 22 minutes a day (even on the days when you lift weights too)…and get into flow with that.

And then—once you are able to do that with a level of joyful consistency…then keep increasing the minutes.

Some people find that 40 minutes is an excellent amount of daily walking to keep you trim and slim…so working up to a consistent 40 minutes a day would be your goal.

You can go as high as 60 minutes a day…and if you live in a city like NYC without a car (and you walk briskly) you likely may be walking more than this daily too. 🙂

**It can also be very helpful to go for two shorter walks each day--to get in more Walking!

You can start out with a goal of 22 minutes--and that 22 minutes can be all in one walk or in two separate walks.

Start where you are

So getting started with 22 min DAILY of brisk walking to burn fat & feel GOOD in your body...is my best general recommendation.

And however—I also have to say that you need to “start where you are” when it comes to movement & working out.

What I've seen with my initially frustrated coaching clients...is that one of the biggest recipes for failure to get into a FLOW, is picking a form of exercise that’s too strenuous. Your body likes a nice challenge. It likes to sweat. It doesn’t dig on strenuous.

Strenuous zaps your immune system. Strenuous means you need to spend several days resting and recovering. That’s the opposite of getting into a FLOW.

What you want is a pleasurable & do-able form of brisk walking & lifting weights that gives you benefits for where you are NOW (not past you or future you)…

Does 22 min daily seem to hard to achieve right now?

So if you've been pretty sedentary lately--then getting started with 15 minutes daily of Brisk Walking would be very powerful. You have to start where you are NOW with your current level of fitness...and aim to get into a daily FLOW with it.

The power of *consistency* & FLOW (doing it daily)...is where you're going to see RESULTS...not from going super hard & then not doing it the next day because you're tired.

So 22 min is a fabulous daily brisk walking recommendation...go for a little less (like 15 min) if you want to start with less...always aiming to achieve consistency & FLOW 🙂

And you can build from there!

22 minutes for Month 1...then 30 minutes in Month 2...and gently increase as your schedule and energy allows, if you can!

You can walk in one session a day--or go for two shorter walks each day--anyway you do it, it's uplifting & effective.

 

 

 

Make sense? Let me know if you have ANY questions over email too...

the power & pleasure of daily brisk walking

2. Activate your Glutes

See the 123 Booty WarmUp suggestion here.

Why activate your glutes before you brisk walk?

Ok, so the other day I saw a woman trying to hurry to cross the street as a car was turning & I was cheering her on, to get across the lane before this impatient car closed in on her (so rude)…and as I was cheering her on in my head, I noticed that there was literally no movement happening with her glutes; they were totally turned off, and she was bent forward and having to work so hard to try to hustle across the street 

There is a much more ease-ful & powerful way to walk…that involves Activating your glutes before you walk (or throughout the day with booty squeeze movement breaks)…and you will be putting these powerhouse muscles to work for you.

Posture researcher Dr. Stuart McGill also found through his clinical research that when people activated and strengthened their glutes, it reduced/eliminated low back pain, too.

 

For POWER

And you’re just going to have a lot more *power* with your walking movement when your glutes are involved. Your glutes are like your engine, and they allow you to achieve “explosive movement.” That’s why with sports like basketball, football, and soccer…people strength train their glutes to get that explosive power.

Anyways, because your glutes are responsible for *explosive movement,* that’s why Dr. Stuart McGill theorizes that they shut down or turn off if you’ve had an injury in another part of your body (or from lots of sitting too)…and he asserts that they don’t just “turn themselves back on again.”

You have to activate them and re-ignite that mind-booty connection!

So before you Brisk Walk in Intervals…go for a short Booty Activation warmup (more about how to do this below)…and you’ll be able to build leg & glute muscle with this movement too. You’ll def notice an increase in strength, and muscle activation, in your legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and ankle strength all get “pumped up” from this movement.)

And again, when you activate your glutes prior to Brisk Walking in Intervals…it just makes it way easier to move (and I think squeezing & releasing your glutes feels really good too :))

Activate your GLUTES before you start walking…to make it easier & more effective, too!

Before your walk, do a few Booty Activation and Upper Body activation moves to help you feel connected to your glutes, hips…and to have confident, ease-ful posture

3. Walk at a BRISK pace & swing your Arms

You want to walk at a brisk pace--that's slightly challenging for you to maintain--so that you can keep your heart rate up. Let your arms swing naturally at your side--even if you're walking on a treadmill.

This gives you better posture and makes it more of a full-body workout, too.

For this reason, I usually wear a backpack or an across-the-shoulder bag...or put stuff in my pockets...and avoid carrying anything when I walk.

Be sure to drink water while you walk (or before and after).

And if you walk outside--look for SHOES that are good for walking & that go with the current weather. I love KEEN sandals for brisk walking in the summer...sneakers for the fall and spring...and walking boots for the winter. I'm all-season outside walker because I have a big dog and a small apartment 🙂

If you use a treadmill at the gym or at home--then a pair of good walking sneakers will rock for every season.

I recommend brisk walking on flat paths or ones with small hills. Big hills can really slow you down and tire you out. You want to keep up a brisk pace.

You can also add in some "intervals" by picking a store or street sign in the distance and challenging yourself to walk more quickly there...and then walk a little more slowly after that for the same amount of time...before doing the other more brisk interval again. 

Doing Intervals isn't necessary at all to make it effective though. The main keys are to:

Walk at a challenging pace and track the amount of time as you go!

4. PLAN for Success

I want to invite you to check out the Brisk Walking Planning Worksheet at the top of this page. ^^^

In it, you'll find a worksheet to brainstorm locations to walk.

I do think it's powerful to PLAN your brisk walking time for each day. What time of day would work best for you? Where could you walk?

What would be comfortable to wear? What shoes can you use right now to get started with? Do you need to carry a backpack or an across-the-shoulder bag?

With walking outside--I don't recommend listening to a podcast or music personally--I think it's better to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. When I walk outside, I call it going for a "Beauty Walk"--and I actually entertain myself by looking for things to appreciate as beautiful...

Things like flowers, babies, dogs, the shapes of sunlight & shadows, furniture in store windows...

As Louise Hay has written too: the more beauty you notice around you...the more beautiful you feel!

It's great to just focus on the beauty you can see, staying aware, focusing on your breath & letting your arms swing freely at your side...and not letting your phone or other things distract you during your walk.

This makes it a powerful opportunity to get into a "movement meditation" (although always aware of your surroundings & walking with confidence & brisk speed)...releasing stress & bringing on the creativity and positive feelings. Great for helping to re-balance your adrenals, too!! 🙂

If you're walking inside on a treadmill--then I do think it could be nice to listen to a podcast or music at the same time. So potentially, you could plan some good listening things for your treadmill brisk walks, too! 🙂

 

Best time of day to Brisk Walk?

Well, anytime to go for a brisk walk is a good time, really. However, with that said…how about:

Lunch!??! 

There is fabulous research that suggests that a Lunchtime brisk walk is great for increasing your happiness, your motivation, and your “get stuff done” ability.

This Scandinavian research team not only looked at the cumulative effect on personal happiness and productivity after a span of time (10 weeks of walking at lunch)…but they also tracked how going for the brisk walk at Lunch allowed people to feel immediately better.

Free your mind & increase you energia…

Wayyyyy more effective than working through your lunch hour…take a brief brisk walk outside and enjoy your afternoon productivity at work much, much more.

Plus, get your daily fat-burning ON with your brisk walk too. When would be the best time for you to plan a daily brisk walk?

Check out the Planning Worksheet above...

5. TRACK for Success

Time it & then Track it in the Booty Pump APP!

First--I do recommend TIMING your daily brisk beauty walks—since the amount of time you walk daily is a big part of this fat-burning strategy.

I personally use the timer on my cell phone.

Then--I recommend logging/tracking your daily brisk walks in the Get Lifted APP, too!

This way, you can see your progress—and gradually increase the amount of time you walk each day, too.

 

How to Track your Brisk Walks in the Get Lifted APP

—I didn’t make this “Day 2: Daily Brisk Walking” every day in here, because I didn’t want it to look too confusing—I want you to be able to clearly see the Strength Training workouts too!

However—I do recommend logging your Brisk Walking each day—and again, I do recommend doing it DAILY. In order to log these Brisk Walking workouts in the APP:

1. First open the Get Lifted (Trainerize) APP

2. Then click on “Calendar” in the bottom menu

3. Then click on the day of the week…and a new menu will open.

4. Then in this new menu, click on the green circle with the walking show in it: “Cardio”

5. A new menu will open—click “Walking” here…then it will add it your Calendar.

6. Next, Click on the Open Green Circle next to the word “Walking” in your Calendar…

7. Then click “Track” (one of the bottom green buttons) and enter the time in minutes that you briskly walked…and then click “Done”

Fabulous!

Let’s talk about the power of combining Strength Training WITH daily brisk walking…(and the power of movement in general, too!)…

Ok, so I detailed how to rock the beauty, pleasure & effectiveness of daily Brisk Walking...

Let's talk about the power of combining Strength Training WITH daily brisk walking…(and the power of movement in general, too!)…

 

Why is Movement powerful? The reason may surprise you...

So, just like you need to be Eating for Energy…and eating foods that work with your body…in order to be able to get into a flow with movement AND get results from what you’re doing…

At the same time, you also really need Movement. The two go together.

And a lot of times we’re culturally taught to think about movement & exercise as a way to burn calories...

However, it’s really hard to do that ("burn calories"). You just don’t burn that many calories—you can just make that up right away by what you eat next.

So, what’s a better way to think about the purpose of exercise and movement—is it’s a great way to get your metabolism working really well—sending all these different hormones and chemicals through your body that inform your body how to better use food—how to feel good.

Exercise is really important for informing your body with how to use FOOD and:

--improving your cellular energy...

--improving your digestion & gut health...

--and reducing inflammation, too!

It's really important to "get into a flow" with your fitness--and the easiest--and seemingly the most effective--way to do this is to take frequent Movement Breaks and go for brisk daily walks! 

And to get your Movement Meditation ON & build shapely muscle in your body AND burn fat while preserving (and building) healthful muscle mass...

The other kind of Movement I highly recommend incorporating into your weekly schedule is Strength Training.

 

Why you want to Lift Weights & daily brisk walk:

As Dr. Chris Masterjohn, nutrition researcher, summarizes why Burning Fat while maintaining (or building) Muscle is so, so important:

"You need an exercise program that provides an anabolic stimulus to convince your body that it’s worth keeping your muscle mass. Because muscle mass is energetically expensive to maintain and if you’re losing weight, you’re losing your energy stores…and if you’re not telling your body that muscle mass is really important…it’s going to say 'Hey, if I just cut out this muscle mass, then I don’t need as much energy.'"

And what you do want instead to is to preserve and even build muscle--as it's very metabolically active tissue--while burning fat at the same time with a weekly program of Lifting Weights combined with Daily Brisk Walking.

That's my recommendation for the stress & inflammation-reducing, pleasurable movement & body-sculpting-while-fat-burning win! 🙂

get into a FLOW with lifting weights + daily brisk walking

More Inspiration to Brisk Walk...

Our ancestral ROOTS with Movement:

Now that we've covered these 5 keys to rock daily brisk walking...

I do think it's important to mention that taking up a habit of daily walking may seem challenging at first--but it can become very easy to incorporate, as it's built into our very nature as humans.

And again, that Daily Brisk Walking transforms your body via your metabolism (on both a cellular & digestive level)...and that thinking that you're Burning Fat because it "burns calories" is not mentally fun, I think, and actually not true either.

The writer of a recent New York Times article explored our Paleo roots & if there is an optimal movement plan (and diet) for humans…he found:

"One thing hunter-gatherer populations have in common is a very high level of physical activity. Many walk between five and 10 miles a day. Yet paradoxically they do not have higher energy expenditure levels than the average American office worker. That suggests that health authorities should consider recommending exercise primarily as a way to improve metabolic health, but not necessarily as a calorie-burning antidote to obesity, the authors said."

Truly if you’re trying to exercise to burn calories—using some calorie “off set math”—that is going to be quite impossible to do!

So again, I’m going to invite you not not worry so much about “calories”…what we want to focus on is improving our *metabolism*…by improving our cellular energy AND our digestive metabolism…with effective & pleasurable movement & energizing food.

Don’t worry though—Brisk Walking on the daily has actually been proven to be THE most effective form of exercise to Burn Fat:

Moving your booty, especially with brisk walking and strength training, activates a cascade of hormones & neurotransmitters that tell your body how to better use your food in ways that include improving insulin sensitivity…helping to prevent/reverse metabolic syndrome…and reducing inflammation, which in turns helps you feel sharper, clearer & happier too (brain health)...

Lifting Weights + daily Brisk Walking

Building muscle is fabulous of course bc it slightly raises your metabolic rate to build it & maintain it…it makes doing everyday tasks A LOT easier…and I’ve also found that dense muscle has this almost magnetic, attractive energy to it.

You pulse with life.

Plus, lifting weights makes brisk walking easier to do ((especially with a booty activation & building focus, woot!)...

Plus, lifting weights really sculpts your body...and allows you to keep your muscle mass as you lose your body fat.

And, it’s an excellent form of Movement Meditation—where you’re getting into connecting your body, your breath, counting in your mind, enjoying music, breathing deeply.

There are so many benefits to lifting weights—that I do recommend doing both…brisk walking daily...and lifting weights with a minimum effective dose strategy like my Booty Pump PLAN 2x or 3x a week!

Plus, research has also found that exercise (including brisk walkingstrength training, as they both make you sweat a little and get your heart rate up a bit)...can actually curb your hunger.

And Brisk Walking also helps many other health challenges/conditions as well...Daily Brisk Walking has also been shown to lower your risk of:

--Type 2 diabetes (how it does this is detailed below)

--Dementia and Alzheimer's

--Hormonal imbalances

--Thyroid disorders

--Varicose veins

--Depression and anxiety

--Arthritis

--PMS symptoms

--Fatigue

--Constipation

There are just SO many benefits to daily brisk walking + minimal-effective-dose strength training!

 

Burning Fat is just one of them. (But it’s a great one :))

Again, both are meditative and reduce stress. You can find ways to make it fun while you’re doing it.

And after you finish doing it--exercising/moving your body makes you feel super satisfied & accomplished! Afterwards, there’s this GLOW. This feeling of accomplishment. Of honoring those deeply help promises that you’ve made with yourself. This internal pleasing sigh of relief.

Eating for Energy is important too!

And you do want to be strategic with your food choices—it is all about the TYPE of food that you’re eating—you want it to work WITH (not against) your body--to reduce inflammation, work with your natural cortisol cycles, and feel energized.

You also want to eat in a way that maximizes & supports your digestion/gut health…plus it’s  an endocrine-disrupting world out there—and you want to take steps to support your thyroid & having a healthy hormone balance.

I’m going to break it down with some simple strategies to do just that!

 

In the Eating for Energy Action Guide, I break down why it’s so important to eat food that 1) gives you solid energia…2) allows your digestion to rest between meals…3) and helps reduce inflammation in your body too, so that your Movement can have effect.

If your body is caught up in a cycle of constantly dealing with food that causes inflammation, then it just don’t have the resources to put energy into burning fat….and inflammatory foods actually instruct your body to make more fat cells.

So it’s better to sidestep this all together—and get into a flow with eating a non-inflammatory diet as much as possible, woot.

All right--so I already shared my best tips to get started quickly with rocking these fat-burning daily brisk walks--and at the same time, I think it’s important understand how Daily Brisk Walking affects your body.

Here’s an awesome summary from Dr. Mercola about what happens to your body when you Walk Briskly:

 

Walking Produces Beneficial Biochemical Changes in Your Body

"For starters, when you take your first few steps, your body releases chemicals that give your body a quick boost of energy. Once you get going, your heart rate will increase, from about 70 to about 100 beats per minute. This boost in blood flow will warm up your muscles. As you move, your body will also increase production of fluid in your joints, thereby reducing stiffness.

Walking for six to 10 minutes can raise your heartbeat to about 140 beats per minute and trigger your body to start burning up to six calories per minute. While your blood pressure will rise from the exertion, this increase is counteracted by chemicals that help expand your blood vessels, such as nitric oxide. This expansion in turn allows greater amounts of oxygen-rich blood to reach your muscles and organs, including your heart and brain. Over time, taking regular walks will help lower your blood pressure if it tends to be high.

Walking for 11 to 20 minutes results in an increase in body temperature and sweating as blood vessels closer to the surface of your skin expand to release heat. At this point, you start burning about seven calories per minute. The increase in heart rate also causes you to breathe deeper. Epinephrine (adrenaline) and glucagon also begin to rise at this point to boost muscle activity. Epinephrine helps relieve asthma and allergies, which helps explain why walking and other exercises tend to have a beneficial impact on these ailments.

At 21 to 45 minutes, you'll start burning more fat, courtesy of a drop in insulin. This is also when you'll start experiencing greater physical and mental relaxation as your brain starts to release "feel good" endorphins. Walking has also been shown to boost memory and creative problem-solving, so taking a walk when you're puzzling over a problem may allow you to come up with better solutions. One Stanford University study found walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent, compared to sitting still.

After 30 to 45 minutes, you're really oxygenating your whole body, burning more fat, strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system, and boosting your immune function. Provided you're walking outdoors and the weather complies, an hour of sunshine will also help boost your mood and provide a number of beneficial health effects associated with vitamin D production.

Those struggling with depression would do well to get out of the concrete jungle and into nature, as nature walks have been found to be particularly beneficial for your mood by decreasing rumination — the obsessive mulling over negative experiences."

(Walking on a treadmill at home or at the gym is great, too!)

 

Count your Steps vs. Time your Walks

And from this research--this is why I'm recommending that you get your daily Brisk Walk on for at least 22 minutes a day (and work up to 40 min daily too :)).

I find this recommendation more valuable than "counting 10,000 steps"...which has been revealed to have been a marketing ploy to sell pedometers's in the 1960's in Japan, and doesn't have any research behind this exact number as being beneficial.

Plus, it's much easier & cheaper to simply time your brisk walking workouts...and the data is there to show that brisk walking...(plus Eating for Energy)...for a set amount of time on the daily:

is a research-proven way to burn fat & keep it off!

(and so may other benefits previously listed, as well)

Improve your Digestion, too

Plus, getting into a FLOW with movement has been shown to positively change your Gut Flora too! Which makes dealing with cravings soooo much easier…and positively influences your digestion, your subsequent energy levels, and your emotional clarity as well.

(Your gut & brain are tied together…and when you eat/move for one…you’re also eating/moving for the other, too!)

Improved digestion & brain health?? I'll take it! 🙂

The power of a little Sweat

In fact exercise & sweating a bit is a great way to get rid of many toxins…to clear your mind & build your feelings of self-confidence & clarity…to get lots of stuff moving in your body: like bile, lymph, blood, oxygen…all of that good stuff.

And the truth is is that if you want to get into a treasured, pleasurable FLOW—a consistency with exercising movement—you really do need a solid base of ENERGY. And you can get that base of energy from FOOD…and taking movement breaks, as you can!

All right!

So welcome—congratulations on giving this gift to yourself!

And I applaud you in your desire/goal of wanting to feel good…wanting to have energy in general…and energy to get into a pleasurable FLOW with movement, too.

Let’s do this! 🙂

Daily Brisk Walking is fabulous...download the worksheet above & make a PLAN to rock this! 🙂

Plan your daily Brisk Walking & weekly Strength Training workouts...for the win!