Does Walking Tone Your Butt?
Fitness walking has many physical benefits but if you’re interested in looking great in your jeans, the question that you’re probably asking is if walking tones your butt? The short answer is yes and here in this article, we’ll tell you just how to achieve your goal. But first let’s discuss a few of the benefits of having a toned butt. Having toned buttocks muscles is about more than just looking good. The muscles in your butt also offer support to your hip joints and the trunk of your body.
As one of the largest muscles groups in your body, having strong buttock muscles helps you to run faster and work harder in both sports and daily life. And since these muscles are essential for keeping your pelvis in natural alignment, they help to minimize the risk of injury when exercising.
The muscles of the buttocks, also called the glutes, are actually three separate muscles. The gluteus maximum is the largest and is beneath the cheeks of the butt while the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius are around the top portion of your hip bone. Together, these muscles support your body and help you perform a variety of movements like running, walking, sitting, jumping, and climbing the stairs.
What’s great about walking to tone your butt is that, since the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, toning it won’t only just increase your stability and lower body strength, it will also greatly affect the shape of your backside. Walking is one great way to tone your glutes, but we’re not talking leisurely strolls. Fast walking, also known as fitness walking, is what you’ll need to do if you want to see the biggest change in your buttocks muscles.
You can do this outside, preferably in areas that have some hills for added resistance, or on a treadmill set to an incline. To fitness walk, simply stand up straight, eyes looking straight ahead of you, and bend your arms a little less than 90 degrees. While you walk, start swinging your arms quickly.
This motion will cause you to increase the speed of your stride. As you walk, try to squeeze your glutes, further isolating the muscle while you walk. Don’t worry about your time when you are just starting out. The important thing is to focus on your form and gradually increase the speed of your walking. Ideally, for fat burning and butt toning, you’re going to want to be walking a mile in around 15 minutes or less.
Is Walking Enough Exercise?
Depending on your fitness goals, walking alone might be enough to help you attain them. But let’s be clear, a nice slow stroll around the block isn’t going to cut it. To be an effective form of exercise, walking should be done at a pace somewhere between moderately intense to vigorous, depending on your particular fitness level. If you are consistently achieving this level of performance when walking, then congratulations, you’ve successfully entered the world of fitness walking!
How fast is moderately intense? You should be walking at a brisk pace as if you were rushing to an important appointment that you were late for. You should feel slightly winded but still be able to carry on a conversation with someone you are walking alongside. For vigorous speeds, your intensity should be cranked up a bit higher. You should still be able to talk but now you’ll likely need to take pauses between words to catch your breath.
Ultimately, the ideal pace that you should maintain for your fitness walk is around 12 to 15 minutes per mile. Once you build up to this pace, you can concentrate on increasing the duration of your walks, slowly adding time and distance to your fitness walking. And for more muscle toning and cardiovascular benefits, begin adding inclines to your walk either by walking through hilly neighborhoods or dialing up the incline on your treadmill.
Fitness walking is great for achieving a variety of health goals and benefits. By walking a minimum of four times per week, you can reap these benefits as well. Brisk walking gets the blood flowing and is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise. By maintaining a moderately intense pace, it also delivers an impressive aerobic workout and can help you to tone your body and maintain a healthy bodyweight as well.
Can Walking Burn Fat?
Walking is a fantastic way to burn fat but as we mentioned before, the best style of walking for optimum fat burning is fitness walking at a brisk pace. Walkers who maintain a moderately intense pace for around 45 minutes force their bodies to tap their fat reserves for energy, burning stored fat deposits. The trick here is to walk fast enough to get your heart into the fat-burning zone. This fat-burning zone is the optimal place you want to be to burn fat because it’s at this level of intensity where 85% of calories burned are from fat.
Technically speaking, you reach the fat-burning zone when you are exercising at an intensity that causes your heart rate to beat at somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Your heart rate range will vary based on your age but there are various charts online as well as useful apps and pulse monitors that will allow you to keep track of your performance.
If you want to avoid looking at charts, the main thing to think about is that you need to be walking at a moderately intense level. By moderate intensity, we mean that you should be able to carry on a conversation but your breathing is heavier, you’re feeling some exertion, and you’re most likely sweating. Keep in mind that, to burn stored fat, you’ll need to keep this pace up for at least 45 minutes. And that any additional time you spend walking in the fat-burning zone will burn even more stored fat.
How Long Should Walking Shoes Last?
As much as you might love your current pair of walking shoes, it’s important to know that they have a limited life span. As you walk, you are slowly breaking down your shoe’s ability to offer the proper support and cushioning and, once you break the 500 mile mark, they should be replaced. While running shoes can typically wear out at around 350 miles, walking shoes don’t have to endure as much impact. This is why most can last for around 500 miles.
If you aren’t interested in keeping track of your total mileage, there is a basic rule of thumb that you can follow. If you don’t want to keep track of when you reach 500 miles, simply replace your walking shoes in 6 months if you walk around 30 minutes per day, or around 3 to 4 hours weekly. And if you walk for an hour a day or for around 7 hours per week, replace them every 3 months. By following this timeline, you can be sure that your walking shoes are providing you with the proper amount of comfort and support (click here for the full expert review).
Walking is one of the best exercises out there and is easy enough for anyone to enjoy. By adding at least 4 moderately intense fitness walking sessions to your weekly workout routine, you’ll be enjoying a life-changing activity that offers countless health benefits. Brisk fitness walking allows you to enjoy an aerobic and cardiovascular workout while toning your body and burning stored fat, making it one of the best overall exercises.