Foods that Fight Inflammation Naturally

Healthy DietPart of the body’s natural immune response is inflammation. We can’t heal without it. When an inflammation is out of control, just like rheumatoid arthritis, it can damage our body. It’s also thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer.

High sugar foods and saturated fat can trigger inflammation. But you know what; there are foods that helps fight inflammation. You have to add these to your list now.

Salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are oily fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which, based on study have shown to help reduce inflammation. You have to eat fish several times a week and should be cooked in healthy to get the benefits. In a study conducted in 2009 from the University of Hawaii, men who ate baked or boiled fish cut their risk of heart disease by 23 percent compared to those who ate the least.

If you’re not a fan of fish, you can consider taking fish-oil supplements. They can help reduce inflammation, but a 2013 study shows that if you eat too many foods that are high in omega-6 fatty acids, fish oil supplements may trigger inflammation.

Consuming whole grains, contrary to refined, cereal, white bread, rice and pasta can help keep harmful inflammation at bay. Whole grains have more fiber, and it has been shown that it reduce levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in the blood and it has less sugar content. You should also be sure to check if the product you’re buying is really “whole grain”. The “whole grain” should be the first ingredient and has no added sugar. Don’t be fooled by labels.

Do you also know that another source of anti-inflammatory food is nuts-particularly almond nuts. It is rich in fiber, calcium and vitamin E, and walnuts, which have high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fat. Nuts also are packed with anti-oxidants, which can help your body fight off and repair the damage caused by inflammation. Foods like these, alongside whole grains, fish, and leafy greens are part of the Mediterranean diet, which reduce inflammation in six weeks according to a study.

Isoflavones, an estrogen-like compound found in soy products, may help lower CRP and inflammation levels in women. This is suggested by several studies. According to an animal study in 2007 which is published in the Journal of Inflammation, found out that isoflavones helps reduce the negative effects of bone inflammation and heart health in mice.

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Tips for Keeping Your Baby in Shape

Pregnant LadyFor most women, pregnancy means eating a lot, craving a lot, and gaining weight, a lot of weight that is. With the body changes that occur during pregnancy, mothers-to-be often experience different discomforts especially during the first trimester. This includes morning sickness, vomiting, and nausea. But after that, most pregnant women experience cravings on all sorts of food. Without keeping a close eye on your diet and food intake, you might be dealing with too much weight gain not only for you but also for your unborn child.

Read along this article and determine healthy tips and tricks to keep your baby in appropriate weight.

Have a wide range of food

If you’re one of the many women who experiences changes on the taste buds, most probably you will consider every food as something stale. Due to this, you may end up eating extremely sweet food. A wise tip to fix such problem is to opening yourself to a wide range of meals. Do not stick with your typical diet, but cook different types of meals more often. You should also stuff yourself with healthy meals.

If it still won’t work, go for sweet fruits like watermelon or satisfy your taste buds with few sweet candies. This way, you won’t be consuming too much sugar, but you’re still able to eat right.

Substitute

At least 2 months before you give birth, it’s highly advisable to make diet changes. This is to keep your baby’s weight stable. Having him grow too much in your tummy will make it difficult for you to have a normal delivery. You should focus more on fruits and vegetables and less on salt and sugar. If your baby is already at a proper weight, you should refrain from eating big meals. Instead, substitute it with smaller meals rich in fiber. Worry not because you don’t have to erase the snacking hours.

Get moving

A common mistake of most pregnant women is that they dwell too much on the thought that they should rest throughout pregnancy. If you and your baby are both healthy, there’s no need to be a couch potato. Walk around every now and then to help yourself lose weight. Just refrain from having heavy workouts since this can result to miscarriage. You can also ask your Ob-gyn for workout exercises appropriate for pregnant women. This is also a great way keep your baby well-balanced and weighing properly.

Milk and dairy products

Technically, milk cannot be erased in every pregnant woman’s diet. Before, during, and after pregnancy, you should be consuming enough milk or other daily products to ensure that your body and your baby get the appropriate nutrition both of you need. This is also a great way to keep your baby healthy without gaining too much weight. Nevertheless, you should still consume solid meals.

Bear in mind that the weight you gain during pregnancy is not all your weight. Aside from sharing your baby’s weight, your muscles, placenta, and body fluid also add to your weight. Hence, do not under or over-estimate everything.

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How to Improve Sleep Quality

For scott  SleepingThe average American is said to only sleep for 6.9 hours a night. And this is below the recommended length of hour that an adult should sleep. And due to this, when all shortened sleep hours accumulate, tendency is, it can have this big effect to the person both in emotional and physical aspects of his or her being.

The result of sleep deprivation due to several factors can be result to several things such can be summarized into four:

1.       Reaction time against things and happenings  is slower
2.       Blood pressure rises
3.       Bingeing, eating more than necessary happens
4.       Diabetes and obesity risk rises

Reasons for Sleep Problems/Disruptions

To be able to remedy sleep problems, it is valuable t learn of the things that may case it. Each of us may have different reasons or factors that can cause sleeplessness or low quality of it.

Sleep quality can be affected by lifestyle, your diet, your stressors and your sleeping environment. Trying to remedy and understand these factors may help in improving your sleep quality after.

Some Tips to Sleep Soundly

  1. Avoid watching TV. Television shows may cause excitement on you which may cause you to have difficulty in falling asleep later. Instead, read a book. Put away all your gadgets and no internet in bed.
  2. Avoid caffeine 6 Hours Before you Sleep. Caffeine may perk you up for the day but it can also cause you to have a disrupted sleep at night. So keep it in the morning and avoid it in the afternoon.
  3. Make Your Sleeping environment conducive to sleeping. When you sleep, keep your bed as comfortable as possible. Keep your pillows and sheets clean. Let your room not be too warm or too cold. Turn off the lights r simply dim it if you don’t want it dark.
  4. Meditate. Breathe in breath out. A couple of yoga poses will help you.
  5. Shower before you sleep. Warm ones, not too hot or too cold. Keep it warm to loosen muscles and add up some light scents if you soak in a tub. Don’t use over powering scents, it may cause your brains to go haywire.
  6. End exercise an hour before. Ending an exercise right before you sleep might not be a good idea. After exercise, your adrenaline is still pumping making you too hyped up. S insated, do it with ample time for your body to settle, then take a warm bath and settle down to sleep.
  7. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol may be inducing a sedative effect early in the night, but once it wears off during midnight or during early in the morning, fragmented sleep can happen which may cause excessive daytime sleepiness.
  8. Sleep when you’re sleepy or tired. OD not put off sleep nor force yourself to sleep. Do some worthwhile yet light things if you can’t sleep yet.
  9. Sleep at the same hour every night. Sleeping at the same hour overnight helps your body establish a pattern. Since it has been familiar with your system, your body will just voluntarily do it after.
  10. Don’t nap in the afternoon. Napping in the afternoon can rob you your sleep at night. And it will be a cycle after.
  11. Having some supplement that can aid in your sleep. But better choose it wisely. By supplement, I don’t mean sleep inducing pills but supplements such as Vitamin D, magnesium, Vitamin B and Omega-3.
  12. Avoid stressing yourself out. Constant and chronic stress may not only affect you mentally but it can disrupt your daily function, say your sleep. Instead, solve your problems for the day or if you have worries at work leave it there. Managing stress can be hard at first but managing it effectively can give you ample sleep later.

A sleep diary or journal can help you track down your sleeping pattern. It can help you jumpstart your goal of improving your sleep quality. And also, make sure you eat well, balanced food. Avoid unhealthy ones and bank on fruits and vegetables.

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Feeding Your Skin to Keep it Looking Young and Healthy

eating healthyIs it really possible to eat and then look young? There are foods that will keep your skin looking and feeling great. Aside from that, there also food lowers the risk of skin cancer. There are certain foods that can protect your skin from damage inside and out.

A study of the Journal of the American Academy of published in March 2010 supports the idea that certain vitamins do help in protecting our skin. The same foods that can boost your defenses against skin cancer also helps keep your skin looking younger and smooth and ward off wrinkles.

Vitamin C

If you want to ward off your wrinkles and avoid age-related dryness, you have to eat more vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries. In 2007, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a research about the effect of strawberries in our skin. The skin-smoothing effect of vitamin C may be due to its ability to mop up free radicals produced from ultraviolet rays and also its role in collagen synthesis. The fibrous protein content of collagen keeps skin firm and vitamin C helps in the production of collagen.

Coffee

A single cup of coffee daily may lower the risk of developing skin cancer. A study conducted on 93,000 women, published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention said that those people who drank one cup of caffeinated coffee a day reduced the risk of developing non melanoma skin cancer by about 10 percent. And the more they drink – up to 6 cups per day, the lower their risk. Decaf coffee didn’t seem to have that kind of protection.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid known for its heart protecting properties. But this nutrient is also needed for keeping the cell membranes healthy. It blocks toxins from entering the body and strengthens skin cells. It helps your skin looking younger longer.

Lycopene

Lycopene is a nutrient that we get from tomatoes. This is the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red. It protects our skin from sunburn. In a study conducted, participants exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 ½ tablespoons of tomato paste or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily.

This is in addition to their regular diet for 10 to 12 weeks. Those who take lycopene supplement or synthetic lycopene weren’t significantly protected against sunburn.

Isoflavones

Preserving skin-firming collagen is what tofu does to our skin because it is rich in isoflavones. The study of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition where they fed mice with isoflavones and exposed them to ultraviolet radiation had fewer wrinkles and smoother skin than mice that were exposed to UV light but didn’t take isoflavones. They believe that isoflavones help prevent collagen breakdown.

Osteoporosis Stopping it in its Track Naturally

A bone disease which usually develops over many years without any major symptoms in the early stages is called osteoporosis. Loss of height, developing a curved upper back, back pain, or broken bones are one of the first signs of osteoporosis. The bones become progressively porous, brittle and fragile in time. These fracture easily under simple stresses and would not break normal, healthy bone.

The fracture risk increases and is greatest in Caucasian women with increasing age.  The relaxation of the abdominal muscles and a protruding abdomen is the reason for postural changes. Fatigue is also felt by many people with osteoporosis.

Causes of Osteoporosis

There are a of causes of osteoporosis like gender, race, genetics, aging, low body weight, nutrition, lifestyle choices like smoking, caffeine, consumption of carbonated soft drinks and alcohol, and physical activity some of the key factors in the development of osteoporosis. Women have greater risk to develop osteoporosis than men, and it’s more common during the postmenopausal periods because of the decreasing level of estrogen. Family history of osteoporosis, lack of weight-bearing exercise, slender body frame and Asian or European heritage are some of the risk factors of osteoporosis. Also those women who smoke or drink are at greater risk also. One precipitating factor of osteoporosis is hyperthyroidism.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

As we grow older, our skeletal system degenerates that makes our bones weak and prone to fracture. But, if you start living a healthy lifestyle early in your life, you may be able to delay the development of this disease. There are some ways to prevent your chances in developing osteoporosis:

  • Engage in weight-bearing exercise like walking, jogging, climbing stairs, dancing, or weight lifting. These exercises help keep bones strong and decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • A healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium and vitamin D is necessary. These are needed for building healthy, strong bones. Fortified milk will boost your vitamin D and by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Stop or limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink per day or less.
  • Cut down caffeine because it increases calcium loss from your body. It also puts you at risk for osteoporosis.
  • Talk with your doctor about the medications that can help prevent osteoporosis.

 

Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Osteoporosis Treatment

Potassium

In a recent study, it found out that women who were given regular potassium supplements were better to absorb calcium. This is important for maintaining strong bones. Bananas are a natural source of potassium, so they are highly recommended to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Milk, yogurt, chicken, fish, turkey, celery, spinach carrots, and tomatoes are other foods rich in potassium.

Broccoli

Broccoli is an excellent source of calcium, which is important for maintaining strong and healthy bones. It is also high in vitamin c. it is also high in fiber that helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and colon cancer.

Fish oil

Some studies have found out that the omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D content in fish oil may help increase bone mineral density. Take 1000mg of fish oil once daily with a meal, this is a simple osteoporosis remedy.

 

Sunscreen 101

suntan lotionWe all know that we should be wearing sunscreen now that the sunny days of summer are here, but do you know what you are doing wrong with that sunscreen? Here are the biggest mistakes we are making when it comes to sunscreen.

  • You wait until you are outside to apply your sunscreen. – According to experts, you should apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun.  That way it has time to absorb into your skin, plus you won’t get those harmful UV rays during those crucial minutes when you are first in the sun.
  • You apply your sunscreen around your clothes and/or swim gear. – If you are applying your sunscreen around your clothes or swimsuit then you may be missing parts of your body because you are worried about getting the lotion on your clothes or swimsuit.  It’s best to apply your sunscreen when you are naked and you can better make sure that you aren’t missing any important spots.
  • You forget about your lips. – Your lips are vulnerable to harmful UV rays just like the rest of your body.  You shouldn’t use the same sunscreen that you use on your body though; be sure to purchase a lip balm that contains SPF and is thicker so it stays on longer.
  • You miss other important areas. – According to experts, the most common areas missed are: the toes and feet including the bottom of the feet, underarms, back of the neck and under the hairline, ears and especially the tops of your ears, eyelids and inner upper arms.  Sunscreen should be everywhere as the sun doesn’t discriminate.
  • You sweat or rinse it all off. – Be sure to read your sunscreen label and make sure you are choosing the correct sunscreen for the activity you will be participating in – like swimming or working out outdoors.  Make sure you choose a water-resistant lotion for swimming or activities where you may be sweating a lot.
  • You are using a face sunscreen on your body or vice versa. – Different types of sunscreens are made for different reasons on purpose.  Sunscreen created for your face is created with special chemicals and formulas so it does not cause irritation to your face – and the same goes for body sunscreen.  Body sunscreen tends to contain alcohol which can dry out the skin on your face.
  • You only use sunscreen when it is nice outside. – Many people only slather on the sunscreen when the sun’s rays are in full bloom. But that can be one of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to sunscreen and when to apply it.  Experts say that you can indeed still get UV rays even on the grayest of days… actually 80% of UV rays still come through on cloudy days.
  • You think you are safe indoors or in a car. – Driving can be a major source of incidental sun exposure. Windows and windshields block out UVB rays, but UVA rays can still seep in and those rays are on the spectrum that can cause the most skin aging and skin cancer.

 

Foods that Promote Detoxification

farmers marketSeveral foods have already been hailed in science and nutrition journals as the saving grace of humankind. That is if humankind is keen enough to forget take-outs, burgers and sodas.

The way your body functions can be taking a lot from your diet, from what you eat and what you ingest. Everything in your system from your digestive to your circulatory to your nervous system relied mostly in the food you take in. They may not function as they usually do once it has been filled with all the oxidants both from external and internal factors.

And here comes the miracle foods that can promote detoxification in the body.

The Detox Craze

Several detox craze has surfaced over the years. Some are even promoted and advertised by famous Hollywood Celebs.

Some established detox process involves incorporation f several foods and natural ingredients. Mostly it requires a day or more of consumption of these formulas but most often results to hunger and eating impulse since it’s the only thing they take in.

By this, experts say that to be able to detoxify you may not need to deprive yourself of food, instead choose it wisely and let it complement each other. Take a hint below.

Avocado

Avocado is rich with fiber and anti-oxidant which makes it good for digestion and for the cleansing of the body. Avocado is also high in fats but the good ones. And for the right detox, an organic avocado can do the job instead of the little piece of guacamole in your restaurant meals.

Beets

A regular beet in your meal can do a lot good than an occasional one in your salad. Beets can make sure that you will really flush out the toxins since sometime the toxins are not totally ousted from your system and are reintroduced in your body. It can help in free-radicals and can aid against cancer.

Blueberries

Blueberries have long been known to be a detoxifier. It contains vitamin c and fiber. It is low in calories and is rich with anthocyanins. These antioxidant pigments protect body’s cells from free radical damage. It can enhance the glutathione production which is another antioxidant.

Broccoli

Broccoli is health food and you just have to deal with that. It can work for your liver through its enzymes. Raw broccoli can be more nutritional than a cooked one, but you can have your options.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can aid in detoxification since it’s also rich in antioxidants. It has even more than those of blueberries. It can help boost metabolism, rich in fibre and is high in protein.

Ginger

Gingers benefits have been recognized even back then in the world’s ancient civilization.  It can be taken in as tea or as drinks it can help liver to function properly and is rich with astringent properties.

Green tea

Green eta is refreshing but it can also be high in anti-oxidant value. It can help educe and fight free-radicals.

Kale

Kale, blended and made into a shake can be the best possible way to benefit form this vegetables anti-oxidant properties. It can help fight kidney disease and is anti-inflammatory.

Lemons

Lemon as has been a component of most known detox craze. It is rich in vitamin C and can flush out toxins.

Garlic

Though pungent to smell, garlic can be a very good detoxifying food. It is antibacterial, antibiotic and is antiviral. It contains allicin which helps fight against toxins

***

The above superfoods are just part of the big picture. Some other option not mentioned above includes seaweed, flaxseed, water, watercress, wheatgrass, artichoke and more. And with these options, who’s got an excuse not to detoxify?

Taking the Pain Out of Arthritis

Hand on a shoulderArthritis should never be taken lightly. Many of us might simply brush away this as a disease that afflicts us in our later years. It is something inevitable and people must live with it. But arthritis like any other disease is preventable. It could be prevented by eating healthy or exercising regularly. And there are natural ways of managing the symptoms of arthritis.

Omega 3 and Arthritis

Omega 3 is a potent anti-inflammatory that is effective in managing the symptoms of arthritis. One of the body’s first immunologic responses is inflammation which blocks the supply of nutrients in affected joints. The inflammation also increases the pressure in the area causing pain. Omega 3 restores the flow of blood and nutrients in the joints. It also relieves the pressure reducing pain.

Here are six of nature’s remedies that can replace or enhance the capabilities conventional medications for a pain-free physicality.

  1. Fish or Calamari Oil: Packed with the amazing wonders of Omega-3, fish and calamari oil which are its natural sources are best included in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As reported by ScienceDaily from a study conducted by a biochemist in University of Michigan, Omega-3 can significantly reduce the production and potency of various prostaglandins that triggers inflammation.
  2. Aquamin: This red seaweed is another wonder with its inflammation-fighting abilities, thus there are plenty of joint supplements based on it that appears in the market today. It is rich in Calcium, magnesium among other 74 trace minerals that includes selenium, zinc, and iron.
  3. Vitamin D: People with deficiency to Vitamin D are most likely victims of chronic pain. If you are more likely to suffer from inflammation especially caused by joint pain, getting yourself an ample amount of the sunshine-vitamin from a daily morning walk can make miracles. Vitamin D also function in the metabolism of calcium for superior bone health.
  4. Chili Peppers: Love spicy food? Then you are also spicing up your health! Capsaicin from chili peppers is a natural remedy for pain and is rich with Vitamin E that is beneficial for the skin. Topical capsaicin is used to alleviate pain caused by muscle sprains, strains and rheumatoid arthritis. It is good for back pain, fibromyalgia, and headaches, but you have to be wary if you have skin irritation. Do not forget to wash your hands after application and do not touch your eyes and other sensitive areas of the skin after applying capsaicin.
  5. Pineapples: This delish tropical fruit is rich in enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is helpful in osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation and pain.
  6. Vitamin B2: Deficiency in riboflavin can cause mouth ulcers, sore throat, and iron deficiency anemia. It is richly found in liver, dried herbs, peppers, spices, soybeans, and fish. In a study, riboflavin has found with promise in reducing the frequency of migraines.

Things to consider when using Omega 3 for managing Arthritis

Although treatment with Omega 3 is quite effective, long term benefits could take six months.

Take Omega 3 supplements with meals to improve absorption and avoid stomach problems.

Those experiencing nausea or indigestion should try freezing Omega 3 supplements or search of enteric coated capsules.

Omega 6 and Omega 9 are entirely different from Omega 3. These nutrients are well represented in a Western diet and taking supplements is not recommended. Instead, these nutrients promote inflammation.

Reduce intake of red meat and fried foods as these contain arachidonic acid that promotes pain. Caffeine containing drinks and foods rich in Trans-fatty acids should also be decreased.

Other things to include in your diet are magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B6.

Combine Omega 3 treatments with other anti-inflammatory drugs to help boost its effectiveness.

The most effective arthritis treatments could only go as far when partnered with a healthy lifestyle. To enjoy long term relief from arthritis, people should consider long lasting lifestyle changes. The aim of any arthritis treatment is not only to manage the symptoms of the disease but preventing this from occurring.

People suffering from arthritis are encouraged to eat a healthy diet and refrain from foods rich in Trans-fatty acids or fried foods. Stress reduction and a regular sleep schedule prevent further aggravation of the condition.

If you’re planning to take Omega 3 supplements be sure to check in with your doctor. Although dietary supplements are readily available without a prescription, consulting with your doctor ensures that your path towards arthritis treatment remains safe and effective.

Kick that Bad Habit!

couch potatoFrom overeating to watching too much TV, there’s really only one way to break a bad habit – make a plan!

Unfortunately what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

Watching too much TV. – Studies show that ptoeople watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive TV. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. – Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal, or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like rootbeer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. – While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it’s still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include: hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Nail biting. – Because most nail biting habits are linked to anxiety, stress, or nervousness, your plan should start with creating a relaxation plan.  Think about what makes you bite your nails before you start.  When you get the urge to bite your nails or catch yourself in the act, do something with your hands – garden, cook, play with your kids or pets, clean or do the dishes.  Do something that takes your mind off of biting your nails.

Overeating. – No matter how hard you try to cut calories, it still seems like sometimes the cravings are still there.  Experts say that sometimes it is best to give into those cravings.  When people do give into their cravings every once in awhile they have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off, than those who ignore their cravings and avoid certain foods.  Experts also advise that if you can avoid nighttime eating that you will be well on your way to prevent overeating as well.

Not flossing. – Not flossing your teeth increases your risk of gum disease, as well as contributing to heart disease… still only half of Americans floss their teeth every day.  To make sure that you are flossing every day try these tips: keep your floss in your shower so that you are already in “cleaning” mode when you see it, keep your floss on your nightstand to remind yourself to floss before you go to bed, or keep your floss in clear view of some place where you will see it each and every day.

 

Ways To Boost Your Walking Workout

spring exerciseSpringtime is here and this is the perfect time to get outdoors and get in some great walking workouts. But in order to boost your workout, consider some of these points as you lace up your sneakers.

Remember to Breathe – Just like preparing to take a yoga class or meditating, you need to learn to control your breathing for the best walking workout possible.  Breathe in a pattern that relates to the steps that you are taking.  By creating a better breathing pattern while you are walking, you are taking your workout to a new, stress-relieving level.

Find the Right Shoes – There are so many options when it comes to tennis shoes, but if you want to get the most out of your walking workout then you need to find the correct shoes.  Experts suggest trying on a variety of different shoes while wearing extra thick socks that will simulate how your feet could feel when they swell due to walking long distances.  They also suggest choosing your shoes for comfort and not style, color or fashion.

Have a Goal in Mind – Whether it be finishing a 5K or 10K, or just walking to the end of your street and back, by setting a goal you are more apt to stick to it and boost your workout without even trying.

Take a Barefoot Walk – Sometimes it’s ok to ditch your shoes and take a barefoot walk.  Choose a grassy or sandy area and go barefoot which can burn more calories, improve balance and strengthen your foot and ankle muscles.

Add Intervals to Your Typical Walking Workout – Just by adding some short “bursts” of fast walking or running to your traditional walking workout you can easily double your calorie burn.  You can either time your intervals, like every five minutes you fast walk/run for a minute, or you can choose landmarks to mark the start and finish of your interval session.  You will be able to tell whether or not you are exerting the correct amount of energy during these interval sessions depending upon how much your breathing changes between intervals.

Track Your Heart Rate – The best way to feel like you are working out with a personal trainer is to wear a heart rate monitor while you are walking.  It is the best way to know when you need to work harder and when to slow down.  You will need to know what your maximum heart rate should be – Subtract your age from 220 and aim to work between 60 percent and 80 percent of that number.

Hit the Hills – Choose a walking route that includes plenty of hills and inclines and not just straight-aways.  Hills and inclines are a great way to keep your routine consistently intense.