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Alternate these two get-trim walks throughout the week -- the sculpting is ingeniously built in!Walk 1: 30-Minute Upper-Body Blitz
Aim for a walking speed that's about 75 percent of your maximum effort, meaning you can speak in choppy sentences. Depending on your level, that may be a very brisk 4.5 miles per hour (which burns 403 calories* an hour) but -- and here's the golden rule -- try not to let it dip below 3 miles per hour (211 calories an hour). That's the point at which women drop below the moderate-intensity exercise zone, the minimum you need to do to get cardio benefits from your workout.
*Calorie burns are based on a 140-pound woman.
To maximize the benefits of a walking workout, perfect your form -- perk up your pace and your posture -- by taking these pointers from Vindum, author of Tina Vindum's Outdoor Fitness. Follow Vindum's SCuLPT checklist (below) as you stride, using a repeated visual cue (mailbox, oak tree) as a reminder to maintain this posture throughout, and you'll give your abs 30 minutes of whittling per session!
Take longer, slower exhales than inhales as you stride, suggests David Coppel, PhD, a sports psychologist in Kirkland, Washington. Breathing techniques soothe by shifting your focus away from anxiety-producing "what if" thoughts about the future and into the present.See Green
A walk in nature lowers stress levels significantly more than pounding the pavement around town, reports a recent study in the journal Environment and Behavior. Head to the park whenever you need added relief.Count Your Steps
Repeat "one, two, one, two" as you stride, picturing the number each time, says James Rippe, MD, a cardiologist in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Walkers using this tactic instantly reduced their stress levels, his research found.Go Om
Tune in to the pattern of your arms swinging in rhythm with your feet, says psychologist Nina Smiley, PhD, coauthor of The Three Minute Meditator. "It can be as restful as a good nap," she says.