Beginner’s Metabolic Walking Routine
As a clinical metabolic nutrition and fitness expert, the biggest mistake I see people make when trying to lose weight and get in shape is either over-exercising or not moving their bodies at all. While working to reset your metabolism and getting it working again, it's important to understand that stress (even positive stress like exercise) can negatively affect your weight loss. And, in today's world, our bodies are stressed enough already, and it's affecting our ability to lose weight and block the belly fat burning process.
Exercise is a positive stressor, but to our bodies and stress hormones, they are the same. Forget the old way of thinking that harder is better. COVID, and the stress of living in today's world, has changed our DNA and wreaked havoc with cortisol levels (stress hormones) in one way or another. For that reason, everything you do when trying to lose weight needs to be strategic, starting from how much sleep you get, the quality of your sleep, your mindset, what, when, and how much you eat, and how much you sit or move your body every day.
Exercise doesn't need to be overly strenuous to count as a workout. In fact, when resetting metabolic function, the first goal is to reduce and rebalance your stress hormones, and doing the wrong kind of exercise or pushing too hard can affect this delicate process.
If you haven't been exercising (or moving your body), START NOW, and at whatever fitness level you're at. Begin walking daily at a metabolic intensity, which is more moderate than you might think, and is at whatever pace YOU CAN sustain. When starting out your body sets the pace .. If you have been exercising (any and all types), reduce intensity by 50%.
I say this out of love and because it WILL change your life for the better. I guarantee that you will never be sorry you started walking. Everyone with a pulse should be moving their bodies, and walking is the best form of exercise when it comes to resetting your metabolism for maximum boost.
There isn't one single excuse for not walking, regardless of what ails you. Bad knees or hips, or new ones, heart issues, arthritis, and back issues (any and all) CAN ALL BENEFIT from walking. The more you ache, the more your body needs to walk, and your doctor will back this up. It's not about running or getting 20 miles in; it's a matter of moving your body to improve circulation across all channels, including digestion and assimilation.
This walking routine isn't just for beginners. It's always good to go back to basics and unlearn bad habits and relearn the proper techniques. If you've been exercising regularly and you're not losing weight, the odds are you need to decrease intensity in order to reduce cortisol levels and reset your hunger and cravings back to normal again.
Who should be walking? EVERYONE! Kids, dogs, teens, senior citizens, and YOU!
If you haven't been exercising, and you're starting from a full-blown sedentary life, YOU CAN DO THIS TOO! If you can walk, but you generally don’t go for walks as exercise, this is for you too.
Even if you're walking while shopping at grocery stores or malls, or you're on your feet working all day, doing household chores, or walk from the parking lot to your office, and you're actually getting in your 10,000 steps every day. Walking to improve and reset metabolic function is different and needs to be approached differently.
Keep it simple, follow the plan, get up, and get walking! and start walking. Whatever you do, don't keep sitting. Get moving; it WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The typical response I hear as a fitness expert is either they think exercise is supposed to be hard, or, on the flip side, they have some sort of ache, pain, or ailment that excuses them. Nothing could be further from the truth. I understand the pain and how it makes us think that walking couldn't possibly be good for us, but science and research proves it is. It is the prescription that will help make you feel and heal better.
Lean into this plan with an easy-does-it approach and you'll be more inclined to start walking, and keep walking. When it comes to resetting your metabolism to jumpstart weight loss, which includes balancing your out-of-whack hormones, what counts most is frequency and consistency, not how hard you work. Of course, as you become more fit, you should be increasing your intensity levels to a point. But it takes time to build up to that.
The good news is the less fit you are, the faster and easier it will be to see and feel results from your exercise.
Easy-does-it at first. Spare your joints and focus on getting in your walks every day (24-7 - 365). You eat every day, so you need to move your body to encourage digestion and assimilation daily. Walking also helps rid your body of toxins and deliver nutrients to areas of your body where you need healing by improving blood flow to every muscle, including our eyes.
What if it feels like walking is too easy? If metabolic walking Maybe feels too easy, re-check your form. The odds are you have room for improvement and it always goes back to improving form. Do it every day, regardless of where you live, on business trips, or how bad your back, hips, or knees feel. Daily walking should be treated like brushing your teeth every day: YOU NEVER want to skip it!
Not convinced yet? If you or someone you know has ever had a baby, heart surgery, or a knee or hip replaced, you know firsthand that the surgeons want you up and walking as quickly as possible to avoid blood clots, promote healing, and expedite recovery, in addition to all the reasons I mentioned above.
The bottom line is that it's doable, and you can be consistent making it the #1 best exercise for weight loss, joint, and whole-body health across the globe.
Does metabolic walking count as exercise? Yes absolutely! Metabolic walking has more advantages than simply walking your usual way. It's more metabolic and protects your joints versus harming them. This style of walking is the foundation of all human movement patterns. It's important to learn, regardless of what sport you play or style of exercise you subscribe to. The bottom line is you've gotta walk before you can run, row, swim, lift, and every other move under the sun. We all need to walk, and our bodies are designed to walk daily. The more you walk, the more metabolic your body becomes. The less you walk, the more you'll weigh, and the more aches and pains you'll have, regardless of what’s ailing you. Walking strengthens your core, which is the base for all else.
Prioritize your posture and focus on form. It matters, so let's go over a few posture pointers to make sure you're not still walking like an ape, bent over and hunched, which allows your core to go to sleep and can set you up for injury.
Stand up straight! Head up, shoulders rolled back and down, stomach and buttocks pulled in tight. Ask your spouse to check you. The easiest way to maintain correct upright posture is to imagine a string is attached to the top of your head, lightly pulling you up. Maintain that posture while you walk.
Make sure your toes/feet point straight. Avoid the “duck walk” where your feet are turned out to the side. You're moving forward, so make sure your toes point forward too. Allowing your toes to turn out creates muscle imbalances that cause damage to your body, starting with your knees, hips, and back. It can also cause your feet to roll out and all of the pressure on the outside of your feet instead of using your whole foot. All sorts of foot, leg, and knee issues can begin to pop up, and walking can become painful.
Use your butt muscles to power your walks (aka activating your gluteus maximus). Most people use their glutes without needing to without thinking about it. But if you’ve been sitting a lot for work, your glutes may have turned off and checked out due to not being used.
How do you know if your glutes are activated? Place your hands on your glutes as you walk; you should feel them activate and become tight with each step you take. Close your eyes and focus on activating your buttocks each step and remember how that feels. It's always good to go back to these basics to make sure your walking form is pristine to avoid injury. Using your glutes when you walk helps you walk faster without trying, and you'll notice that you begin walking faster than you normally would. The gluteus maximus is the strongest muscle in your body. It powers your movement and alleviates joint pressure.
Metabolic walking burns a little more than 200 calories per hour compared to regular walking, even if you walk at the average walking pace for beginners, which is 2.5-3.0 mph pace. Power walking burns more calories than running or jogging, tones the body more efficiently, and prevents injuries versus causing them.
Walk without listening to music, podcasts, or listening to anything while working on technique. Instead, focus on your posture, your toes, feet, and legs. Make sure your glutes are fully activating. Being mindful of focusing on the environment around you keeps you safe and prevents injuries. While mindfulness isn't easy, I can guarantee that it will be the best way to relieve stress and will keep you safe.
Walk with the right shoes! Walking with as little shoe as possible (or rotating the shoes you walk in every day) by using a flatter soled sneaker one day and a thicker sole the next IS BEST for toning the feet and legs, but not everyone can do this, at least not right away. If you have pre-existing foot issues, have been neglecting your feet, have flat feet, or you just don't like walking without arch support, you can stick to using your regular shoes. But, it's a good idea to work toward being able to walk in shoes that don't overcompensate for these issues. Or, you can even walk barefoot to strengthen the stabilizers and areas of the feet that are weak and allowing your feet to pronate or turn out. Start by removing the insoles, then try switching from a super-padded shoe to a flatter heel with zero drop. This is what makes beach walking so profound.
Once you feel comfortable enough, get a truly flat, minimalist type shoe to walk in. Or at least start spending time barefoot to correct the imbalances causing your foot issues. It's crucial to spend as much time barefoot as you can, at least inside, whenever possible. I recommend that everyone go barefoot around the house to give your feet a break. The feet play a huge role on back health, so it’s important to keep them healthy. Try standing barefoot on one leg on top of a squishy pillow during commercials. Or once an hour, for as long as you can, to strengthen weak stabilizers that can be the reason your knees and back hurt.
Learn how to use your whole foot to stand and walk to allow nerve endings to wake up again, so they can begin transmitting information to your brain (like healthy and strong versus pain and ouchie all the time).
While it may feel weird at first, eventually, you’ll begin to feel better. You'll ache less, and your feet will stop hurting. Eventually, your brain will start utilizing the sensory information coming in from the nerve endings on your feet and implementing the input versus sending pain signals. Even your gait will improve, regardless of what level you start at or how fit you are from other activities.
Power walking strengthens and tones every muscle in your body and is one of the best yet underused methods of exercise for anxiety and depression.
- Change directions, surfaces, and rotate your walking routine for a more balanced, integrated conditioning approach. Walking in different directions, on uneven surfaces like sand, gravel, artificial turf-style running tracks, or walking on treadmills with an incline or decline (if possible) activates different muscles in your lower body and also your feet. Most people don't like it, but getting used to walking on uneven, bumpy, or textured surfaces (like walking in rocks or over roots on hiking trails) make walking even more effective and makes it more enjoyable, too, so you don't feel like you're exercising. Simply rotating and changing out your walking shoe can provide the change needed to strengthen new muscles in your feet. Keep this in mind as you start walking. If you feel tired or it feels too hard, it will keep you motivated to keep moving.
Metabolic Power Walking Routine for Weight Loss
Simply put, the more you walk, the more you’ll lose, and the healthier you will be.
If you're a beginner, start slow and proceed at your own pace. Whatever you do, don't let a little fatigue stop you. Rest, recover for a minute, and keep moving.
If you're already fit but would like to lose weight and melt belly fat, you can keep up your current plan and cardio length times. But I strongly suggest you put them on hold for now and start metabolic walking instead. When you see the results and feel the benefits you won’t ever want to stop. The good news is you never have too! If you're too afraid to stop your current workout add metabolic walking to whatever it is you're doing. It's important that you NOT allow your ego or fear to continue to push you so hard that your body excretes more cortisol (stress hormones that you are trying to reduce). You risk blocking the entire process.
In order to rebalance these delicate hormones, you may have to reduce your intensity, but don't let that scare you. You will be increasing frequency to daily walks that are more metabolic boosting and burn off stubborn belly fat easier due to hormonal rebalancing.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD?: When you're walking at the right pace, you should be able to talk or hold a conversation fairly easily. If you can't, you're working too hard, so ease up. On the flip side, if you don't feel like you're exercising (a little strained), you're probably not walking briskly enough. However, if you're mindfully using the “butt squeeze” techniques mentioned above, you'll automatically find the proper power walking intensity that's best for metabolic reset and jumpstarting weight loss without increasing hunger or cravings.
Day 1: Power walk around the block twice daily. This should take between 5-10 minutes each time. The best time to walk for weight loss is after meals. It helps lower your body's blood glucose response and improves your metabolic health, hence resetting metabolism.
Day 2: Power walk around the block twice a day. This should again take between 5-10 minutes each time. Take it up a notch by pushing your pace if you feel up to it.
Day 3: Take two longer power walks by simply adding an additional five minutes to each walk. Power walks should now be 10-15 minutes each. If you're not ready, that's okay. Keep your walks at 5-10 minutes until you are.
Day 4: Increase daily power walks another five minutes, bringing walk times to 20 minutes. If you’re still feeling a little sore or stiff, slow down. Don’t push as much, BUT KEEP MOVING. It's better for your body. If needed, you can maintain the 5-10 minute walks.
Day 5: Fitness upgrade time! Your body is now ready for longer power walks.
Walk #1: Power walk first thing in the morning “fasted” for the best blood sugar rebalancing or as early in the day as possible, preferably on an empty stomach. This walk can be a short (10-15 minute walk, or even as little as five minutes if you're short on time).
Walk #2: Increase walking time by an additional 30 minutes of non-stop, pure power walking.
Day 6: Trail time! Trails or beach walks make it easy to accomplish the longer walks. Find a beach, trail, or shopping mall to power walk in, and aim to walk for 60 minutes. You can walk slow, but you do need to walk for 60 minutes or train your body to be able to. That only happens if you keep moving. No trail or beach? Walk in whatever manner possible and add standing on one leg on a pillow or unique surface throughout your walk, making sure it's safe, of course.
- Day 7: This is an active rest day. Warm-up your body to help alleviate stiffness, aches, and pains by taking a short power walk (five minutes at least) before you break your fast and after your main metabolic meal to improve digestion and reset metabolism. Keep it light. This is a good day to bring your dog and let him sniff!
YOU DID IT! Welcome to Week 2 💪👍
Continue to follow the same schedule/routine, re-starting where you last left off. If you've been power walking twice daily for 15 minutes, start there and work your body back up to build cardiovascular endurance by simply adding an additional 5-10 minutes more onto your power walks. For example: Instead of doing a 30-minute walk on Day 5, go for 45 minutes. Instead of an hour-long walk or hike on Day 6, do an hour and a half.
Keep in mind that pushing your body too hard backfires. Listen to your body, and don't be afraid to walk for less time or even slower if you feel like you're exhausted or your body isn’t recovering. But, I can't stress enough how important it is that you KEEP MOVING! Walking should always be somewhat doable, not torturous, for best reset results.
NAILED IT! Nice Work! Welcome to Week 3 💪👍
Continue your power walks, repeating all this week. Increase your walk time by an additional 5-10 minutes to your twice-daily walks. Add an additional 15 minutes to your longer walk on Day 5 and an additional 30 minutes to your weekend weight loss walk or hike.
WHOOOHOOO! You Should be Feeling Changes Occur... Nice Work! Welcome to Week 4 💥
Continue your routine and add time, if and as needed. The daily goal is 45-60 minutes minimum every day because that's what our bodies require for hormone balance and whole-body health that includes joint health.
YOU'RE ON FIRE! Keep on Keeping on... Your Body Will Thank You! Welcome to Week 5 🔥
Repeat the above and add time as, or if needed. If you aren't up to 45-60 minutes yet, or you haven't felt ready, try to increase each time you walk, even if it’s one-minute at-a-time. Consider adding a slight hill every now and then (not daily as we don't want to elevate stress hormones).
THE HOME STRETCH, but Not the End... Welcome to Week 6 🏆
Your walks should now feel like a habit that your mind and body actually miss when, or if, you skip them. Keep walking every day; never, ever stop. Your body needs the movement, period. You can pick a walk every week (one or two, not more) where you either add time or some weight to continue to strengthen your body and keep your metabolism boosted.
My top three picks that can add some resistance to your walks are:
- Add some weight to a backpack and walk with it (helps correct your posture and strengthens your spine). 3-5 pounds is plenty of weight, and a heavy object works.
- Hold hand weights. Keep it light and hold it like a can of soda. Be mindful to keep your neck out of the workout.
- Walk on a slight hill for advanced gait work.
These are just a few ways you can boost your power walks, but be careful not to overdo it or push too hard or too often. The main is to reset your metabolism and boost it so it works more efficiently and begins to burn off stubborn belly fat by reducing and rebalancing cortisol (stress hormones). If you push too hard you run the risk of stopping that process. Keep in mind that your Quick Keto Metabolic Reset Diet is doing most of the work when it comes to losing weight and melting belly fat, so you don't have to overcompensate in your exercise.
How do you know if you've pushed too hard? Your body weight will show it. If you're still losing weight, you're on track. If weight loss has stopped and you're following the plan, your body is telling you that you need to take it easy.
Your daily power walks should now be an important part of your day and provide some much-needed “you time”. Thank God! Living in today's world, we all need to walk more. Our bodies are designed to walk every day, regardless of age, fitness level, or physical condition.
GO WALK! Keep walking. Never stop, and you'll stay strong!
If you walk midday or early afternoon, take an additional dose one hour before to accelerate fat burning and block circulating fat from being reabsorbed. This combo also provides natural energy, making it easier to complete your walks.
Aches, Pains, and Stiffness: Take Recovery Agent as directed on label to shut down pain and provide extra strength healing and recovery along with Pure Omega 3.
Weight Loss, Basic Essential Health, Joint Pain/Joint Health: Drink a LynFit Complete Protein Shake or eat a Lean Bar to nourish and protect lean muscle tissue and improve healing and recovery, prevent metabolic slowdown or muscle wasting.
Lisa Lynn, Clinical Metabolic Nutrition & Fitness Expert and Associate Chaplain. Best known for her 18+ years as Martha Stewart’s trainer, who was responsible for Martha’s over-50 amazing physical transformation that caught the attention of Dr. Oz, leading to her many appearances on the Dr. Oz Show. Lisa is not just another trainer; she herself lost 40 pounds and has kept it off, even with a sluggish thyroid and menopause.
- Lisa Lynn