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One of the best ways to trim fat and tone your lower body is to walk uphill
Walking uphill is a simple exercise that burns fat and tones muscles
One of the best ways to burn calories and unwanted fat is to do activities that work the largest muscles of the body – the gluteals or “glutes” (rear end) and quadriceps or “quads” (thighs).
Among the best-known exercises that work the glutes and quads are the squat and the lunge, as well as bench-stepping, stair-climbing or doing the leg-press exercise in the weight room. But you don’t have to go to a gym to get a great workout for your legs and buns. In fact, one of the best ways to engage these large muscles is to walk uphill on a steep grade.
When uphill walking, be aware of your body mechanics. Avoid stooping forward at the waist as this stresses the lower back. Be conscious of keeping your head and shoulders directly above your hips, and keep your shoulders back and eyes looking forward, not down at your feet. Take it easy at first – walk slowly and pace yourself.
When walking downhill, avoid placing unnecessary stress on your knees by keeping them semi-flexed. Try to remain in a slightly squatted stance as you descend down steeper grades. Maintaining a semi-squatted position is also a great workout for the thigh muscles. Again, keep your shoulders back and your head upright.
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.