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Should You Run or Walk to Lose Weight?

Should You Run or Walk to Lose Weight?

I have good news for those of you who hate to sweat but want to get in shape: walking may be just as beneficial as running if you want to lose weight. While running certainly isn’t a bad idea, walking for exercise is much more accessible for the average person. Once you know the benefits of walking, you might re-think taking your lunch break to sit in the staff room staring at a magazine.

Benefits of running

It should come as no surprise that running uses around 2.5 times as much energy as does walking. Of course, the more energy used, the more calories are burned in a shorter period of time. Even when the same amount of energy is used, runners still tend to lose more weight. Runners also maintain their body mass index over time, and running may help regulate a person’s appetite. Again, running for exercise certainly has its benefits, but it has its downsides as well.

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Negatives of running

When runners lose weight, it’s lost from their muscle mass rather than fat storage. This happens because your muscles are more metabolic and therefore burn more calories than fat does. And despite the fact that running steadily may regulate a person’s appetite, too much running increases a body’s production of cortisol. This stress hormone actually increases a person’s appetite. Not only can over-exerting yourself cause your appetite to increase, but it also makes you leptin-resistant. This blocks your body from notifying you when you are too full, which results in overeating. Finally, an increase in cortisol will also result in your thyroid’s inability to produce the hormone T4, which leads to a loss of energy and an inability to burn fat.

Pros of Walking

Walking actually reduces your risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in much the same way running does, despite the discrepancy in intensity. To lose a pound in a week, you should aim to burn about 500 calories a day. You can do this by power walking for one hour each day. Or, if you don’t have a full hour block of time in which to exercise and don’t want to work up a sweat during your day job, just make sure you spend at least an hour and a half on your feet throughout the day. You’d be shocked at how much time you spend walking on a daily basis. Use a step counter and you’ll realize you probably spend at least 60 minutes walking throughout your daily routine.

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If possible, increase the intensity of your walk without bursting out into an all out sprint by holding small weights as you go. If you use a treadmill, increase the incline intermittently. If you’re walking around your neighborhood, don’t avoid those hills – they’re good for you.

Lastly, since walking doesn’t require as much energy as running does, you’ll also be more open to other exercises and weight training after a 30-minute walk. Don’t waste the energy you have – work hard to reach your goals.

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A Matter of Preference

While it’s obvious that both walking and running are beneficial to your overall health, it’s simply a matter of your choice which method of exercise you’d prefer. However, if you choose to run, be careful not to burn yourself out or over-exert yourself. You could end up doing more damage to your body than good. On the other hand, walking is a great way to stay in control while you stride toward your goal. While finding time to change into gym clothes and hit the track for a run is definitely a time-consuming process, you can fit time for walking into your daily schedule almost seamlessly. Walk on!

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on May 15, 2020

12 Best At Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

12 Best At Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed)

Coronavirus has ruined gym plans.

With most training facilities looking like they’re going to be closed until potentially the end of the year, the only solution to maintaining your health and fitness rests on home workouts.

The good news is that it’s possible to train from home without any equipment and get fantastic results. As long as you’re pushing the body hard enough, you’re going to be fine.

The bad news? You probably don’t know where to start.

There are a plethora of different training regiments out there and it’s difficult to know which one is best for you.

Don’t worry.

This article will cover the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use for strength, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and mobility.

There will be an exact breakdown of all the exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and instructions required to stay fit, healthy, and happy while on lockdown.

The following sessions are broken down into beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts so they can accommodate any experience level.

A thorough warm-up is also included to ensure that you don’t get injured. Please check each workout before you perform it to make sure that the exercises and movements don’t cause you any pain from previous or pre-existing injuries.

Read on to find the 12 best at-home workouts you can use to upgrade your strength, burn some calories, and improve your flexibility whilst training at home.

Warm-Up

Complete the warm-ups below for 5-6 minutes before each workout.

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Complete each exercise for a total of 15 seconds at a slow to moderate pace.

Repeat for 3-4 rounds

These will help lubricate your joints, slowly elevate your heart rate and get your body ready for exercise.

  • Exercise 1: Squats
  • Exercise 2: Lunge & Knee
  • Exercise 3: Leg Swings
  • Exercise 4: Star Jumps
  • Exercise 5: Press Ups
  • Exercise 6: Squat Thrusts

Dynamic Stretches

Complete the relevant dynamic stretches after your warm-up.

For strength workouts, complete the stretches relevant to the session you’re about to partake in (e.g. upper body stretches before an upper-body workout).

For HIIT workouts, complete both the lower body and upper body dynamic stretches.

For the mobility workouts, you don’t need to do these.

Aim to do 15-20 reps on each side for 1 round.

Upper Body Dynamic Stretches:

  • Exercise 1: Arm Swings
  • Exercise 2: Arm Circles
  • Exercise 3: Shoulder External Rotations
  • Exercise 4: Torso Twists

Lower Body Dynamic Stretches:

  • Exercise 1: Step Throughs
  • Exercise 2: Lying Side Leg Swings
  • Exercise 3: Quadruped Kickbacks/Hip Circles
  • Exercise 4: Leg Swings (Front & Side)

Strength Workouts

    1. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

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    • Exercise 1: Push-Ups – 2 sets, 5-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Bent-Over Row (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Shoulder Press (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Floor Chest Press (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Lateral Raises (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Bicep Curls (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 12-15 reps
    • Exercise 7: Tricep Dips (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 12-15 reps

    2. Abs Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30 seconds rest between sets.

    Use a yoga mat if you have one.

    • Exercise 1: Air Bike – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Crunches – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Russian Twists – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Butt Ups – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Plank Shoulder Taps – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Flutter Kicks – 2 sets, 8-10 reps (each leg)

    3. Leg Strength Workout (Beginner)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 2: Forward Standing Lunges – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 3: Bulgarian Split Squat (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 4: Hip Thrusts (Use sofa) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 5: Romanian Deadlift (Use two water bottles) – 2 sets, 8-10 reps
    • Exercise 6: Standing Calf Raises – 2 sets, 12-15 reps

    4. Upper-Body Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

    • Exercise 1: Vertical Wall Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Pike Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Towel Row – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Plyometric Push-Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Tricep Extensions (From plank position) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Bicep Hammer Curls (Use two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure
    • Exercise 7: Tricep Kickbacks (Use two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure

    5. Abs Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

    • Exercise 1: Jack Knife Sit Ups – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Lying Leg Raises – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Plank Hand-To-Toe Touches – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Cocoon Crunches – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Plank Elbow-To-Knee- 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Side Plank Reach Through – 3-4 sets, until failure

    6. Legs Strength Workout (Advanced)

    Complete all exercises with 30-60 seconds rest between sets.

    With advanced workouts, you have to push yourself close to failure or until absolute failure.

    This will dictate how many reps to do.

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    • Exercise 1: Pistol Squat – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 2: Bulgarian Jump Squat (use sofa) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 3: Jumping Lunges – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 4: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (Hold two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 5: Single-Leg Hip Thursts (Hold one heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, 1 rep before failure
    • Exercise 6: Single-Leg Calf Raises (Hold two heavy water bottles) – 3-4 sets, until failure

    High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workouts

      7. HIIT Workout (Beginner)

      Complete all exercises for 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest.

      4 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Squat
      • Exercise 2: Toe Touches
      • Exercise 3: Walk-Outs
      • Exercise 4: Heel Flicks
      • Exercise 5: Plank
      • Exercise 6: Jumping Jacks
      • Exercise 7: Mountain Climbers

      8. HIIT Workout (Intermediate)

      Complete all exercises for 35 seconds of work with 25 seconds of rest.

      5-6 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Squat Kicks
      • Exercise 2: Burpees
      • Exercise 3: Push-Ups
      • Exercise 4: High Knees
      • Exercise 5: Plank Ups
      • Exercise 6: Star-Jumps
      • Exercise 7: Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

      9. HIIT Workout (Advanced)

      Complete all exercises for 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest.

      7-8 rounds total

      • Exercise 1: Jump Squats
      • Exercise 2: Burpee Hand-Offs
      • Exercise 3: Lateral Shoot Throughs
      • Exercise 4: Tuck Jumps
      • Exercise 5: Plank Toe Touches
      • Exercise 6: Spiderman Push-Ups
      • Exercise 7: Sprawls

      Mobility Workouts

        10. Upper Body Mobility Workout

        Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total.

        2-3 sets total

        Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

        This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper body.

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        • Exercise 1: Cat-Cow
        • Exercise 2: Upward Dog
        • Exercise 3: Chest Release
        • Exercise 4: Child’s Pose
        • Exercise 5: Reach Through (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 6: Table Twists

        11. Lower Body Mobility Workout

        Hold each exercise for 15-20 seconds total.

        2-3 sets total

        Slowly increase the range of each stretch until you feel tension, then hold before slowly releasing it.

        This workout will help improve flexibility in your upper lower body.

        • Exercise 1: Scorpion Kicks (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 2: Seated Glute Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 3: Lying Quad Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 4: Lumbar Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)
        • Exercise 5: Standing Hamstring Stretch
        • Exercise 6: Seated Hip Flexor Stretch (15-20 seconds each side)

        12. Spinal Mobility Workout

        Complete each exercise for 10 reps total.

        2-3 rounds

        This workout will help improve your posture, alleviate lower back pain, and increase your flexibility.

        It’s highly recommended if you’re an office worker that spends most of the day sitting.

        • Exercise 1: Prone Extension
        • Exercise 2: Wag Tail
        • Exercise 3: Quadruped Side Bend
        • Exercise 4: Half Pancake
        • Exercise 5: A-frame To Squat
        • Exercise 6: Side-Lying Rotations

        Final Thoughts

        These are the 12 best at-home workouts that you can use to level up your body, torch some calories, and enhance your flexibility while at home.

        Give these a go, and you’ll be well on your way feeling fitter, healthier, and more productive after lockdown is over!

        More Workouts You Can Do at Home

        Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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