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Walk it off

Pandemic Weight Gain—Walk it off

There’s a lot of chatter about “Quarantine 15” and the weight many have gained during the pandemic and sheltering in place. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. WebMD surveyed over 1000 readers and found that 22% of men and 47% of women had gained weight due to COVID restrictions. In many areas of the US health clubs and gyms are still closed or restricted. However, most areas now allow outdoor recreation in parks and open space. If you live in a snowy area, walk with caution and see the safety tips outlined below.

Here’s a Walking Workout that I first created for Fitness Magazine. It’s been modified for winter walking which includes a longer warm up and cool down. Aim to walk 4-5 times per week for 40-60 minutes. Lace in the interval program below 2-3 times per week.

The walking workout below will blast calories while sculpting your lower body. If a hill is not available, simply use flat ground.

Duration: 2 min
Exercise: Joint Rotations. Move each joint segment through its full range of motion, 3-5x each.

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Do knee lifts in place for 1 minute, engaging abs as you lift knees, then walk at moderate intensity on flat terrain for 1 min. Repeat.
RPE: 5-6

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Crescendos: Find a hill or incline that takes about 2-4 minutes to climb, gradually increasing your speed as you approach the top.
RPE: 2-8

Duration: 2 min
Exercise: Recover, walking to the bottom of the hill.
RPE: 5-6

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Do walking lunges up the hill; push strongly off back toes. Repeat.
RPE: 7-8

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Do sumo squats: With right side facing hill, do side squats up, lifting arms to shoulder height. Switch sides halfway up.
RPE: 8

Duration: 2 min
Exercise: Recover, walking to the bottom of the hill.
RPE: 5-6

Duration: 2 min
Exercise: Hill bounds: Step right foot wide to the right, then left foot wide to left. Continue in a V pattern, adding a leap as you step.
RPE: 8

Duration: 2 min
Exercise: Recover, walking to the bottom of the hill.
RPE: 5-6

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Crescendos (2 minutes); recover by walking to bottom of the hill.
RPE: 2-8

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Walk at a moderate pace on flat terrain.
RPE: 3-4

Duration: 4 min
Exercise: Cool down. Slowly lower the pace for 3 minutes, then stretch
RPE: 4-2

Congratulations! 300 calories burned **

* Rate of perceived exertion, or RPE. Use this to establish your intensity level on a scale of 1 to 10.

** Calorie counts based on a 140-pound woman

Winter Walking Safety Tips

• Footwear is your #1 piece of equipment. Wear sturdy shoes with good tread. Trail-running shoes offer traction and stability.

• Dress for climate and safety. Wear bright colors so that others can see you. Technical fabrics offer warmth and breathability.

• Be aware and plan ahead. Know what areas have been cleared of snow and ice. Walk carefully on icy streets and sidewalks.

Koelbel Koelbel