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Bust through a walking plateau

Bust through a walking a plateau.You’ve been walking regularly for a while now, and you even have your favorite routes burned into your memory. But something isn’t working like it use to with regard to weight loss or other milestones. Unfortunately, even the best of us hit plateaus with our exercise routines. The good news is that busting out isn’t as hard as you’d think.

Try these methods to get yourself going again:

Mix it up: Instead of walking and walking and walking some more, try adding some cross-training to your session. I like to walk a couple miles, then flip on an exercise DVD that focuses on either cardio or strength, then cool down by walking a few more miles. Beats the boredom and sneaks in much-needed strength training that many of us neglect.

“HIIT” the treadmill: Intervals can be difficult to create or stick to on your own. So, head to your gym and hit start on that pre-programmed interval workout on the treadmill. You can choose either speed (fast walking or even a jog) or hills. And if you’d rather craft your own workout, try this 10-minute quickie guide as your jumping off point.

Practice plyometrics: If you walk in a park or other area where you might have convenient stopping points, drop and try some basic plyometric moves every half mile or so. If you’re unfamiliar, these types of moves are intended to get your muscles working harder than normal. Think of them as little bursts of power that will eventually show up as better toned, stronger arms and legs.

Walk to play: Use walking as your transportation to a park or recreation center to play a quick pickup game of basketball, a round of tennis with a friend, or perhaps volleyball/soccer with a local league. You’ll use all sorts of muscles — including your brain — in different sports, so be careful and ease into anything new to avoid injury.

Add miles: If you have trouble finding time to walk farther, which could increase your calorie burn and help with weight loss, try breaking your workout into two sessions instead of just the one. Wake up early and walk a couple miles. Then head out again later in the day when you normally exercise for the rest. Adding just a couple double sessions each week will help you see benefits from more lost pounds to added endurance.

Walk long: Alternatively, you can choose to add a long walk to your routine once a week. I like to do these types of time-intensive workouts on the weekend when I don’t have as much going on. Make a goal to walk for an hour or more. Hiking is a wonderful way to get in all this time on you feet without going crazy. Plus, when you have a goal in mind (like reaching a summit), the whole thing is much more exciting.

How have you busted through a walking plateau?

Written by Ashley Marcin.

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