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Walk Don’t Run: Putting Strength-Training In Your Stride

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I can remember a time when going to the gym and building bulk was trendy. Then it was all about staying toned and mostly, purely for vanity reasons. But, today, even medical professionals and experts agree that regular exercise is not only an excellent way to stay sexy but also essential for staying healthy.

Yet, not everyone has the time, stamina, or finances for hiring a trainer or joining a gym. But, one thing we all MUST do is walk, and according to some experts walking can be an excellent fitness “routine”.

In fact, walking can help you get in your cardio as well as trim and tone if done right.

Experts suggest attaching weights to your ankles for added resistance while you “strut your stuff”. And, they recommend picking up the pace from a stroll to a power walk, if you can. For more “seasoned” walkers, try attaching a resistance band around your ankles and using that create extra “tension” in your strides, and a way to promote additional toning.

You can even use your resistance band to firm and tone other muscles during your walk. Experts recommend using it to incorporate strength-training into your routine. And, stopping will allow your to “rest” and take a “break” from your steady (walking) pace.

Here are four fabulous ways to get fit.

1. Get A Tighter Torso: Wrap the resistance band around a secure post or tree at about waist height and grab on to both ends with both hands. Make sure palms are facing down and that you keep your elbows slightly bent. Keep feet shoulder width apart and stand with the post to your right. Bend your knees placing your hands at two-o’clock and using your ab muscles twist your torso until your hands hit the 10 o’clock mark. Repeat for a specific set of reps on each side and don’t forget to keep your lower body stationery and your hands directly in front of your waist throughout the exercise.

2. Get Posture “Perfect”: Again, wrap your resistance band around a steady object at chest height and grab a hold of each end. Take a few steps back and away until the band is “tight” even with arms extended at chest height, palms facing down. Now with feet shoulder-width apart and keeping knees just a bit bent, “row”, pulling hands back toward your shoulders, squeezing shoulder blades tightly together. Repeat action holding each row for about 30 or so seconds at a medium pace.

3. Tone Your Triceps: Let your resistance band hang down around your neck. Grab hold of each end and place fisted hands at chest height keeping upper arms taught against your sides. Now, with a “firm” band, pull down, straightening your arms, until your fists are down by your thighs. Repeat for 30 seconds keeping a moderate pace.

4. Get Sexy Shoulders: Stand on your resistance band with your feet shoulder width apart, knees a bit bent and holding on to the end of each side of the band with your hands. Now, making sure shoulders are down and elbows also slightly bent, extend arms up and out to the side until they are about shoulder height. Repeat making sure to keep wrists straight the entire time and completing at least 30 seconds worth at a moderate speed.

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