Exactly How I Lost 18 Pounds And Almost 12 Inches Just By Walking

By The Editors of Prevention 

Kim Bray, 62, didn't believe that she could lose weight just by walking. She told Michele Stanten, a personal trainer, that she was "too old, too fat, and too out of shape to excel or benefit from walking."

But Stanten encouraged Bray to test out Walk Your Way to Better Health, a new plan from Prevention. Stanten's goal for Bray on the plan: increase her walking speed to jumpstart her metabolism.

[post_ads]"What many people don't know is that calorie burn increases exponentially, not linearly, when you crank up your pace," explains Stanten. So speeding up from 2.5 mph (24-minute-per-mile pace) to 3 mph (20-minute-per-mile pace) nets you an extra 36 calories per hour. But go .5 mph faster and you get a much bigger burn. Going from 3 mph (20-minute-per-mile pace) to 3.5 mph (17-minute-per-mile pace) blasts an extra 57 calories. Going from 4 mph to 4.5 (13:15-minute-per-mile pace) incinerates an extra 150 calories an hour. 

"If weight loss is your goal, then get your booty moving," Stanten says.

Bray started by walking five days a week, pushing her pace for two of those walks. "I never pushed myself before," she says. She had a goal pace for each walk, and when she achieved it, she felt a sense of accomplishment and was excited to do more.

The physical changes quickly followed. Within a little over 4 weeks, she was down about 8 pounds, and she was climbing hills more easily and fitting into some of her smaller size clothes. 

"It has been years since I could get into my smaller jeans and it feels awesome," she says. "I am tucking in my shirts and wearing belts again." 

By the 9-week mark on Prevention's Walk Your Way to Better Health, she had shed 18 pounds, 3½ inches off her waist and nearly 3 off her hips. Collectively, she'd shrunk 11¾ inches, and she reported that even some of her smaller clothes were getting too big.
"This program has proved me wrong. I can lose weight by walking," says Bray, who now doesn't mind walking alone, and rain, cold temperatures, and snow don't slow her down. She's now walking a 13½-minute mile—more than a minute per mile faster than she was before the program.

So how do you effortlessly increase your pace—and calorie burn—like Bray did? You need to focus on your walking technique, says Stanten. Below are three ways to ramp up the speed, according to Prevention's Walk Your Way to Better HealthCheck out the full program—which combines interval walking with simple exercises to help you drop pounds and slim your legs, hips, arms, and tummy—here. ​

Stand tall.
By elongating your spine and reaching your head toward the sky, you'll be able to gain more distance between your hips and rib cage. Now your legs can swing more freely. End result: You'll start walking more quickly without trying, and your calorie burn will jump.
Take baby steps.
"When your front leg is far out in front of your body, it acts like a brake and slows you down. With shorter, quick steps, your foot lands almost underneath you so you roll right over it," Stanten explains.

Bend your arms.
Stanten recommends bending your arms at 90 degrees, as if they were in casts. This allows you to swing your arms back and forth with more ease, and the faster you swing your arms, the faster your legs move.

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Health Magazine: Exactly How I Lost 18 Pounds And Almost 12 Inches Just By Walking
Exactly How I Lost 18 Pounds And Almost 12 Inches Just By Walking
Lose weight and take inches off your middle with this new walking program from Prevention!
Health Magazine
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