Walk yourself slimmer and healthier in 4 weeks

Nancy Heijnis
17 April 2023
Reading time: 10 minutes

The beautiful weather is coming! So grab your sneakers or hiking boots and head out. Enjoy nature, the fresh air and get moving. The great thing about walking is that you can start right away.

Walking is very healthy.

Walking helps to improve your mental and physical condition and stamina. Moderate-intensity walking is just as effective for reducing the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes as high-intensity running, according to research. Plus if you do it right you will also fall off nicely. So what are you waiting for?

What’s in it?

You can burn about 200-300 calories per walk. After these 4 weeks, your condition and stamina will certainly improve so that you can easily increase the duration, the number of kilometers and the speed of the walk. You can also find ways to make it more challenging, such as adding weights. Challenge yourself.

Correct posture while walking

It is very important that you walk with good posture. Stand up straight, with your shoulders back slightly, abs slightly tensed and your chest forward. This should not feel cramped, you should be able to breathe comfortably in a normal natural way. so that you can continue to breathe comfortably in a normal natural way. Your arms should move with the pace. This way you can also increase the pace more easily.

Build up walking

Do not let them get to you. Listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel right to go for a walk for 30 minutes on the 1st day, you shorten this and build it up. For example, start with 15 minutes first and then gradually increase this by 5 minutes per day. It’s about the end result and that is ultimately a healthier, fitter and hopefully slimmer body. Feeling mentally and physically healthier should be the main goal.

Walking pace and load

What is a good walking pace and how can we describe the intensity on a load scale of 1 to 10 RPE. You are at intensity 5-6 when you talk but still breathe faster. For example, if you start walking at an intensity of 7-8, talking can become a lot more difficult. You can then give short answers but no longer talk the ears off someone’s head. If you start running at a higher intensity then the talking is really over, your heart rate is higher and of course your breathing is a lot faster. You decide what pace feels right.

Preparation

Including simple exercises in your warm-up routine prevents injuries and prepares your muscles for walking.

Examples of exercises to loosen the muscles:

  • Hop, 15 to 30 sec. Rest 15 sec. and repeat 3 to 10 times
  • Knee to chest pull up to 90 degrees at an easy walking pace. Alternate right and left
  • Bring your heel to your buttocks (without jumping) at an easy walking pace
  • Gently swing your leg sideways.
  • Swing your arms calmly and relaxed from front to back at an easy walking pace

If you’ve warmed up a bit from these exercises, you can perform a number of stretches. This is especially important for your calves and thigh muscles. Never stretch to the point where it hurts. You should only feel a tension in your muscle. Never stretch springily, but keep stretching. Usually between 10 and 30 seconds.

Examples of exercises to stretch the muscles:

  • Stretch your short calf muscles by taking a small step forward. Heels on the floor and bend the leg that is now behind a little bit until you feel tension on it.
  • You stretch your upper legs by grabbing your ankle and pulling it towards your buttocks and holding it for 10 seconds. Alternate and repeat about 3x. Intermediate 20 sec. rest.
  • Hamstring (back thigh) put 1 leg forward and try to touch your toe with your hand until you feel a tension. Keep back straight. Hold 20 sec. and 15 sec. rest. repeat 3x.
  • There are many more exercises you can use to prepare. Look these up and see which one you like.

Hiking plan

To help you get started, we’ve created this 4-week plan.

Lose weight (4 week plan)

1Speed Up Walk20-30 min
2Step Up Walk40 min
3Hill Walk20-30 min
4Speed Up Walk40 min
5Step Up Walk
20-30 min
6Hill Walk20-30 min
7Rest
* Repeat for 4 weeks


SPEED UP WALK

By picking up the pace, you naturally increase your heart rate and intensity. Begin this workout with a 5-minute warm-up to get your body moving intensity 3. Followed by 20 minutes of effort.

  • 4 minutes: Walk at a steady, fast pace intensity: 5 (you can talk, but your breathing is faster).
  • 4 minutes: Move at a steady, smoother pace (intensity: 7 (answering short questions just manageable, but having a full conversation is no longer possible).
  • 2 minutes: As fast as possible. (Conversation is no longer possible).

STEP UP WALK

Begin this workout with a 5-minute warm-up to get your body moving (intensity 3), followed by 30 minutes of effort. During your STEP UP walk, the intensity should be between 6 and 7 and you should be able to have short conversations. As the month progresses, this walk will feel easier.

HILL WALK

Find a good hill/slope. There is probably one somewhere in your area where you can walk up within 3 minutes. Walk up the hill at an intensity of 7. Return to the start (going down the hill) at an intensity of 5. Try to run this approximately in a cycle of at least four times. Then walk out quietly.

ADD STRENGTH WORKOUTS DURING A WALK

You can make your walks even more challenging by adding strength-building exercises. Squats, planks, lunges and push-ups are examples of exercises where you only use your body weight. You can of course also use resistance bands and small dumbbells that you use while walking.

cooling-down

Just like a warm up, it is smart to also pay attention to a good cooling down. A cool down ensures that your heart rate and breathing gradually decrease. Walk at a slower pace for about 5-10 minutes. Walk quietly and relaxed and throw everything nice and quiet. You can also gently stretch your muscles. See these warm-up stretches.

Finally: healthy eating

Of course you can’t walk and perform if you don’t eat well. If you go for a nice walk to lose weight, then you also have to make sure you eat healthy. Well-balanced healthy, fiber-rich, protein-rich diet. A good nutrition plan should therefore not be missed. Of course it makes no sense to go for a walk and then stuff yourself with unhealthy high-calorie products. If you want to lose weight, you also have to take a good look at your diet. Replace a meal with a lot of carbohydrates for a meal with more proteins. That sweet snack with a protein bar, for example. House of Nutrition has many nutritional supplements that you can use to apply in a nutritional plan.

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