The Clean 9 is a diet and detox plan that promises to help you lose weight quickly. Diets that promise fast weight loss can be very popular. However, many people who try them are unable to keep the weight off.
This is an objective review of the Clean 9 diet.
What is The Clean 9 Diet?
The Clean 9 diet is a nine-day detox diet for fast weight loss.
It's a low-calorie plan that focuses on the use of meal replacement drinks and weight loss supplements.
Proponents of the diet claim that it helps cleanse your body and make you feel lighter, look better and lose weight in just nine days.
To do the diet, you need to purchase a Clean 9 diet pack from the Forever Living company or one of their distributors.
Bottom Line: The Clean 9 diet program is a nine-day, very-low-calorie diet designed to help you lose weight quickly.
How to Do The Clean 9 Diet
The Clean 9 diet pack includes:
- Two 1-liter (34 oz) bottles of Forever Aloe Vera Gel.
- One Forever Lite Ultra meal replacement drink powder (15 servings).
- One Forever Therm herbal supplement (18 tablets).
- One Forever Garcinia Plus herbal supplement (54 softgels).
- One Forever Fiber (9 packets).
- One shaker.
- One tape measure.
- One information booklet, including an exercise plan.
The diet pack varies in cost between countries and distributors. It currently costs around $96 in the U.S. and £100 in the UK.
The Clean 9 diet is broken into three parts.
Part One: Days 1–2
- Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels and 1/2 a cup (120 ml) of aloe vera gel with a glass of water.
- Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with water.
- Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1/2 a cup (120 ml) of aloe vera gel with a glass of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet and 1 meal replacement drink (made with 1.25 cups of skimmed milk).
- Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1/2 a cup of aloe vera gel with a glass of water.
- Evening: 1/2 a cup of aloe vera gel with a glass of water.
Part Two: Days 3–8
- Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1/2 a cup of aloe vera gel with a glass of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet and 1 meal replacement drink (made with 1.25 cups of skimmed milk).
- Workout: Follow breakfast with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.
- Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with water.
- Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1 Forever Therm tablet and 1 meal replacement drink (made with 1.25 cups of skimmed milk).
- Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels and a 600-calorie meal. Men can have an additional 200 calories or an extra meal replacement shake.
Part Three: Day 9
- Breakfast: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel with a glass of water, 1 Forever Therm tablet and 1 meal replacement drink (made with 1.25 cups of skimmed milk).
- Workout: Follow breakfast with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise.
- Snack: 1 Forever Fiber stick with water.
- Lunch: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels, 1 Forever Therm tablet and a low-sugar, 300-calorie meal.
- Dinner: 2 Garcinia Plus softgels and a 600-calorie meal. Men can have an additional 200 calories or an extra meal replacement shake.
Throughout the Diet
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid fizzy and carbonated drinks.
- Eat as many “free foods" (see next section) as you need to.
- Weigh yourself on days 1, 3, 6 and 9.
Bottom Line: Days 1 and 2 of the Clean 9 diet allow aloe vera drinks, herbal supplements and one meal replacement drink. Days 3 to 9 also allow one 600-calorie meal per day.
Free Foods You Can Eat
The Clean 9 diet allows some foods to be eaten freely, including:
- Red or purple grapes
- Belgian endive
- Spring onions
- Lettuce (all varieties)
- Peppers (all varieties)
- Snow peas
- Sugar snap peas
- String beans
Vegetables (except artichokes or soy) should be eaten raw or lightly steamed and without oil or dressing.
Bottom Line: You can eat as much as you want of certain fruits and vegetables, termed “free" foods.
Evidence Behind The Supplements
The Clean 9 diet includes three supplements that are claimed to help you detox and lose weight.
Aloe Vera Gel
The main supplement in the Clean 9 diet is aloe vera gel.
Aloe vera gel is made up of the inner gel and pulp of the aloe leaf. The rind and outer leaf are removed during processing.
The inner part of the leaf is made up of 98.5–99.5 percent water. The remaining part contains some soluble fiber and sugars.
It also contains small amounts of amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, some organic acids and anthraquinone, a known laxative.
Aloe vera gel has been linked to benefits such as improved digestive health and weight loss. It's also thought to have anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and anti-tumor properties (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).
Yet the evidence for these effects is mostly anecdotal or based on animal studies. There are very few quality studies in humans to back this up.
One study in rats found that aloe vera may show promise as a weight loss agent (7).
One human study has also been conducted. It followed 136 obese people with untreated type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes and found that those taking aloe vera capsules lost 4 percent more body fat than those taking a placebo (8).
Nonetheless, the study had some flaws that make it unclear if the fat loss was caused by the aloe vera.
Garcinia Plus capsules contain garcinia cambogia extract.
This is a weight loss supplement processed from a fruit of the same name.
Some claim it helps you burn more fat when taken as part of a diet and exercise program and that it helps keep hunger at bay by reducing your appetite.
Animal and human studies investigating these claims have found mixed results (10).
One recent review found that people who took garcinia cambogia lost 2 lbs (0.88 kg) more weight than those taking a placebo. There was no difference in weight when they only looked at the most reliable studies (11).
The Forever Therm herbal supplement in the Clean 9 diet is claimed to give you an energy boost and increase your metabolism.
The main active ingredients in this supplement are raspberry ketones and green tea extract.
However, its impact on fat burning is thought to be minor and may not apply to all people, especially if you regularly drink beverages with caffeine.
Raspberry ketones are natural compounds found in red raspberries, which have been investigated as a weight loss agent.
To date, nearly all the studies on raspberry ketones have been carried out in animals or test tubes. In these studies, they have been linked with fat burning, but only at very high doses (16, 17, 18, 19).
It would be impossible to reach an equivalent dose in human cells without taking 100 times the maximum safe dose, which is not recommended.
Only one clinical trial has investigated the effects of raspberry ketones in humans. This study did show some weight loss (20).
However, this study can't be used to claim anything about raspberry ketones because it also used diet, exercise and other supplements (20).
Bottom Line: It's not clear whether the supplements included in the Clean 9 diet will help you lose weight or reduce your appetite. The evidence is mixed.
Does The Clean 9 Diet Work?
As with all commercial diet programs, there are many anecdotal reports of both success and failure with the Clean 9 diet.
However, at the moment, there are very few scientific studies investigating the effectiveness of these types of diets.
Yet some of the weight lost is likely to be due to a loss of water weight and stored carbs, rather than body fat.
As for the detox aspect of this diet, many people report an energy boost and feeling better after a period of detoxing. This is most likely due to the elimination of alcohol and other unhealthy foods from your diet, rather than from any special “detox" effects.
Bottom Line: If you stick to the diet, you will lose some weight in the short-term. Whether you maintain the weight loss over time will depend on your lifestyle.
Safety and Side Effects
There are a few side effects and safety concerns to be aware of if you decide to try out the Clean 9 diet.
People who go on very-low-calorie diets may suffer from tiredness, irritability, headaches, nausea and dizziness (28).
Although aloe vera is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it can cause a few unwanted side effects in some people (29).
Some of the side effects of aloe vera reported to the Food and Drug Administration include stomach problems, nausea, dizziness and tiredness. In rare cases, there have been reports of allergic reactions and also liver toxicity with sustained use (30).
It's also not advised in pregnancy or breastfeeding as it can cause early contractions in pregnant women and stomach upset in breastfeeding babies (31).
The Clean 9 diet should also be used with caution in people who have diabetes due to its very low calorie and carb content, coupled with the potential of aloe vera gels to lower blood sugar (32, 33, 34).
The other supplements have no reported side effects. However, side effects and safe doses in these herbs are not very well studied either.
Bottom Line: The Clean 9 diet should be safe for most people. However, some people should avoid it, including pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Take Home Message
If you stick to them, very-low-calorie diets will help you lose weight in the short-term.
The Clean 9 diet is no different. Its structured plan and rules may help some people kick-start a healthy eating plan.
However, this plan is expensive and there is little evidence to support the use of the supplement package.
Additionally, most people who go on diets like this end up re-gaining the weight.
Personally, considering the limited evidence and high cost, I would save my money.
The Clean 9 diet may be useful to some people who want to lose weight quickly for a special occasion, but it's not a solution for long-term health.
This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.
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Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.
If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to email@example.com
What was the climate and sea level like at times in Earth’s history when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was at 400ppm?<p>The last time global carbon dioxide levels were consistently at or above 400 parts per million (ppm) was around <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14145" target="_blank">four million years ago</a> during a geological period known as the <a href="http://www.geologypage.com/2014/05/pliocene-epoch.html" target="_blank">Pliocene Era</a> (between 5.3 million and 2.6 million years ago). The world was about 3℃ warmer and sea levels were higher than today.</p><p>We know how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere contained in the past by studying ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. As compacted snow gradually changes to ice, it traps air in bubbles that contain <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology/article/enclosure-of-air-during-metamorphosis-of-dry-firn-to-ice/09D9C60A8DA412D16645E6E6ABC1892F" target="_blank">samples of the atmosphere at the time</a>. We can sample ice cores to reconstruct past concentrations of carbon dioxide, but this record only takes us back about a million years.</p><p>Beyond a million years, we don't have any direct measurements of the composition of ancient atmospheres, but we can use several methods to estimate past levels of carbon dioxide. One method uses the relationship between plant pores, known as stomata, that regulate gas exchange in and out of the plant. The density of these stomata is <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/095968369200200109" target="_blank">related to atmospheric carbon dioxide</a>, and fossil plants are a good indicator of concentrations in the past.</p><p>Another technique is to examine sediment cores from the ocean floor. The sediments build up year after year as the bodies and shells of dead plankton and other organisms rain down on the seafloor. We can use isotopes (chemically identical atoms that differ only in atomic weight) of boron taken from the shells of the dead plankton to reconstruct changes in the acidity of seawater. From this we can work out the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean.</p><p>The data from four-million-year-old sediments suggest that <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2010PA002055" target="_blank">carbon dioxide was at 400ppm back then</a>.</p>
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The human body comprises around 60% water.
It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).
1. Helps Maximize Physical Performance<p>If you don't stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer.</p><p>This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.</p><p>Dehydration can have <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-tell-if-youre-dehydrated" target="_blank">a noticeable effect</a> if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content. However, it isn't uncommon for athletes to lose as much as 6–10% of their water weight via sweat.</p><p>This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.</p><p>Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and it may even reduce the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress" target="_blank">oxidative stress</a> that occurs during high intensity exercise. This isn't surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water.<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19344695" target="_blank"><span></span></a></p><p>If you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Losing as little as 2% of your body's water content can significantly impair your physical performance.</p>
2. Significantly Affects Energy Levels and Brain Function<p>Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status.</p><p>Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.</p><p>In a study in young women, researchers found that fluid loss of 1.4% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration. It also increased the frequency of headaches.</p><p>Many members of this same research team conducted a similar study in young men. They found that fluid loss of 1.6% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.<a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/mild-dehydration-impairs-cognitive-performance-and-mood-of-men/3388AB36B8DF73E844C9AD19271A75BF/core-reader" target="_blank"></a></p><p>A fluid loss of 1–3% equals about 1.5–4.5 pounds (0.5–2 kg) of body weight loss for a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg). This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.</p><p>Many other studies, with subjects ranging from <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/signs-of-dehydration-in-toddlers" target="_blank">children</a> to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/symptoms-of-dehydration-in-elderly" target="_blank">older adults</a>, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1–3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.</p>
3. May Help Prevent and Treat Headaches<p>Dehydration can trigger <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dehydration-headache" target="_blank">headaches</a> and migraine in some individuals.<span></span></p><p>Research has shown that a headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. For example, a study in 393 people found that 40% of the participants experienced a headache as a result of dehydration.</p><p>What's more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.</p><p>A study in 102 men found that drinking an additional 50.7 ounces (1.5 liters) of water per day resulted in significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scale, a scoring system for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine-symptoms" target="_blank">migraine symptoms</a>.<a href="https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Plus, 47% of the men who drank more water reported headache improvement, while only 25% of the men in the control group reported this effect.<a href="https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787" target="_blank"></a></p><p>However, not all studies agree, and researchers have concluded that because of the lack of high quality studies, more research is needed to confirm how increasing hydration may help improve headache symptoms and decrease headache frequency.<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26200171" target="_blank"></a></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Drinking water may help reduce headaches and headache symptoms. However, more high quality research is needed to confirm this potential benefit.</p>
4. May Help Relieve Constipation<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/constipation" target="_blank">Constipation</a> is a common problem that's characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.</p><p>Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there's some evidence to back this up.</p><p>Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both younger and older individuals.</p><p>Increasing hydration may help decrease constipation.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mineral-water-benefits" target="_blank">Mineral water</a> may be a particularly beneficial beverage for those with constipation.</p><p>Studies have shown that mineral water that's rich in magnesium and sodium improves bowel movement frequency and consistency in people with constipation.<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5334415" target="_blank"></a></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Drinking plenty of water may help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally don't drink enough water.</p>
5. May Help Treat Kidney Stones<p>Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.</p><p>The most common form is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/kidney-stones" target="_blank">kidney stones</a>, which form in the kidneys.</p><p>There's limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones.<a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004292.pub3/full" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they're less likely to crystallize and form clumps.</p><p>Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.</p>
6. Helps Prevent Hangovers<p>A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/alcohol-good-or-bad" target="_blank">alcohol</a>.</p><p>Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.</p><p>Although dehydration isn't the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth.</p><p>Good ways <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-ways-to-prevent-a-hangover" target="_blank">to reduce hangovers</a> are to drink a glass of water between drinks and have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Hangovers are partly caused by dehydration, and drinking water can help reduce some of the main symptoms of hangovers.</p>
7. Can Aid Weight Loss<p>Drinking plenty of water can help you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible/" target="_blank">lose weight</a>.</p><p>This is because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.</p><p>Some evidence suggests that increasing water intake can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.</p><p>A 2013 study in 50 young women with overweight demonstrated that drinking an additional 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 3 times per day before meals for 8 weeks led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat compared with their pre-study measurements.</p><p>The timing is important too. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/35-ways-to-cut-calories" target="_blank">eat fewer calories</a>.</p><p>In one study, dieters who drank 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who didn't drink water before meals.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically.</p><p>Make sure that you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day" target="_blank">get enough water each day</a>, whether your personal goal is 64 ounces (1.9 liters) or a different amount. It's one of the best things you can do for your overall health.</p>
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Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.
How to Rock Your Walk<p>Walking isn't just fun and healthy. It's accessible.</p><p>"Walking is cheap," says Dr. John Paul H. Rue, a sports medicine doctor at <a href="https://mdmercy.com/" target="_blank">Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore</a>. "You can do it anywhere at any time; [it] requires little to no special equipment and has many of the same cardio benefits as running or other more intense workouts."</p><p>Want to up your walking game? Try the tips below.</p>
Use Hand Weights<p>Cardio and strength training can go hand-in-hand when you add weights to your walk.</p><p>A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/03000/Associations_of_Resistance_Exercise_with.14.aspx" target="_blank">2019 study</a> found that weight training is good for your heart, and <a href="https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(17)30167-2/abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows it reduces the risk of developing a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/nutrition-metabolism-disorders" target="_blank">metabolic disorder</a> by 17 percent. People with metabolic disorders have a higher chance of being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.</p><p>Rue suggests not carrying weights for your entire walk.</p><p>"Hand weights can give you an added level of energy burning, but you have to be careful with these because carrying [them] over a long period of time or while walking could actually lead to some overuse injuries," he says.</p>
Make It a Circuit<p>As another option, consider doing a circuit. First, put a pair of dumbbells on your lawn or somewhere in your home. Walk around the block once, then stop and do some bicep curls and tricep lifts before walking around the block again.</p><p>Rue recommends <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-with-weights" target="_blank">avoiding ankle weights</a> during cardio workouts, as they force you to use your quadriceps rather than hamstrings. They can also cause muscle imbalance, according to the <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt" target="_blank">Harvard Health Letter</a>.</p>
Find a Fitness Trail<p>Strength training isn't limited to weights. You can get stronger by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/bodyweight-workout" target="_blank">simply using your body</a>.</p><p>Often found at parks, fitness trails are obstacle courses with equipment for pullups, pushups, rowing, and stretches to build upper and lower body strength.</p><p>Try searching "fitness trails near me" online, checking out your local parks and recreation website, or calling the municipal office to <a href="https://calisthenics-parks.com/" target="_blank">find one</a>.</p>
Recruit a Friend<p>People who workout together stay healthy together.</p><p><a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that older adults who exercised with a group improved or maintained their functional health and enjoyed their lives more.</p><p>Enlist the help of a walking buddy with a regimen you aspire to have. If you don't know anyone in your area, apps like <a href="https://www.strava.com/" target="_blank">Strava</a> have social networking features so you can get support from fellow exercisers.</p>
Try Meditation<p>According to the <a href="https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/nhis/2017" target="_blank">2017 National Health Interview Survey</a>, published by the National Institutes of Health, meditation is on the rise, and for good reason.</p><p>Researchers <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29616846/" target="_blank">found</a> that mind-body relaxation practices can regulate inflammation, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/biological-rhythms" target="_blank">circadian rhythms</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/glucose" target="_blank">glucose</a> metabolism, as well as lower <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension" target="_blank">blood pressure</a>.</p><p>"Any form of exercise can be turned into a meditation of some type, either by the surroundings you are walking in, like a park or trail, or by blocking out the outside world with music on your headphones," Rue says.</p><p>You can also play a podcast or download an app like <a href="https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app" target="_blank">Headspace</a> that has a library of guided meditations to practice while you walk.</p>
Do Fartlek Walks<p>Typically used in running, fartlek intervals alternate periods of increased and decreased speed. These are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workouts, which allow exercisers to accomplish more in less time.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that 10-minute interval training improved <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/metabolic-syndrome" target="_blank">cardiometabolic</a> health, or lowered the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, just as well as working out at a continuous pace for 50 minutes.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111489" target="_blank">Research</a> also shows that HIIT workouts increase muscle <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fast-twitch-muscles" target="_blank">oxidative</a> capacity, or the ability to use oxygen. To do a fartlek walk, try walking at an increased pace for 3 minutes, slow down for 2 minutes, and repeat.</p>
Gradually Increase Pace<p>A faster walking pace is associated with a lower risk of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/copd" target="_blank">chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)</a> and respiratory diseases, according to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30303933/" target="_blank">2019 study</a>.</p><p>Still, it's best not to go from a stroll to an Olympic-worthy power walk in a day. Instead, increase your pace gradually to prevent injury.</p><p>"Start by walking at a brisk pace for about 10 minutes per day, 3 to 5 days per week," Rue says. "Once you've done this for a few weeks, increase your time by 5 to 10 minutes per day until you get to 30 minutes."</p>
Add Stairs<p>You've likely heard that taking the stairs instead of an elevator is a way to add more movement into your daily routine. It's also a way to step up your walking. Stair climbing has been shown to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335519301123?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">decrease the risk of mortality</a> and can easily add a bit more challenge to your walk.</p><p>If you don't have stairs in your home, you can often find them outside a local municipal building, train station, or at a high school stadium.</p>
Is Your Walk a True Cardio Workout?<p>Not all walks are equal. A walk that's too leisurely may not provide enough burn to qualify as cardio. To see if you're getting a good workout, try to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">measure your heart rate</a> using a monitor.</p><p>"A target goal for a good walking workout heart rate is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate," Rue says, adding that maximum heart rate is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/fat-burning-heart-rate" target="_blank">typically calculated</a> by 220 beats per minute minus your age.</p><p>You can also monitor how easily you can carry on a conversation while you walk to gauge your heart rate.</p><p>"If you can walk and carry on a normal conversation, that's probably a lower intensity walk," says Rue. "If you are slightly breathless but can still have a conversation, that's probably a moderate workout. If you are out of breath and can't talk normally, that's a vigorous workout."</p>
Takeaway<p>By shaking up your routine, you can add excitement to your workout and reap even more rewards than a basic walk provides. Increasing the pace and intensity of a workout will make it more effective.</p><p>Simply pick your favorite variation to add some spice to your next walk.</p>
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