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Tightening the stomach muscles while walking can lead to a flatter stomach.
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Normally thought of as just a lower body exercise, walking actually incorporates much more than the lower body. The movements required to propel the body forward, for instance, don't begin in the lower body, but in the core -- the abdominal region. Simply placing one foot in front of the other activates the psoas muscles -- the deep pelvic core muscles -- required to move the thighs. Consciously activating the abs while walking not only strengthens them, but can lead to a flatter belly.
Maintaining proper form is a key factor for strengthening the abs. Be sure to face forward, and keep your head lifted up -- not pointed toward the ground. MayoClinic.com advises relaxing the neck, shoulders and back. Swing the arms freely, and pump your arms to go faster if necessary. Lastly, tighten the stomach muscles and straighten the back.
Standing Abdominal Crunches
While you're walking, pause every once in a while to do a standing abdominal crunch. Contract the abs, then slowly bend the left leg and raise it to chest level. Bend the arms at the elbow as well. As you do this, simultaneously twist the torso and the arms to the right. Repeat the same process on the opposite leg. Do this for about one minute.
Research shows that Nordic walking -- walking with a ski-like pole -- burns more calories than normal walking. The American Nordic Walking Association (ANWA) estimates that Nordic walking is 46 percent more efficient than normal walking, and can burn almost twice as many calories per hour. According to the ANWA, Nordic walking uses 95 percent of the body's muscles, whereas normal walking only uses about 70 percent. With more muscles engaged, the body is able to burn more calories, which ultimately leads to a slimmer, stronger waistline.
Swing the Arms
If you're not going to Nordic walk, then swing your arms. Swinging your arms will not only engage the upper body, but it will help you walk faster. Generally, the faster you move your arms, the faster you'll move your feet, and the more calories you'll burn. Also, engaging all three muscle groups -- the upper body, lower body and the abs -- will require the body to use more energy, burn more calories and melt your belly fat.
Walking frequently speeds up the weight-loss process. The more often you walk, the more calories you'll burn, and the faster the pounds will melt off your midsection. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise four to five times a week for beginner-level weight-loss programs. The frequency and duration of the exercises are more important than the intensity in beginner programs.