Starting a walking program is probably the quickest and easiest way to start losing weight. Not only is it low impact, but it’s also the type of exercise you can do almost anywhere.
There is no special equipment required. All you need is a decent pair of shoes and you will be ready to start walking.
Here are 5 ways you can burn more calories and lose more weight with your walking routine.
Set a Step Goal
If you want to stay motivated you need to have a clear goal. As a walker setting a step goal is a great way to keep you moving in the right direction.
Each week you should try to take more steps than you did the previous week. As you get stronger you can try to take more steps everyday.
The idea is, the more steps you take, the more calories you will ultimately burn. One trick to get in more steps is to shorten your stride.
Doing so will also help you walk at a faster pace.
To really take your fat burning to a different level you should work your way up to 10,000 steps a day.
However, take your time and work your way up gradually.
Use Your Arms When You Walk
There are a lot of really wonderful benefits to using your arms while walking. Not only will it help you walk at a faster pace, it will also help you burn 10% more calories and get a bit of an upper body workout.
For best results bend your arms at a 90 degree angle. Try to maintain this form throughout the entirety of your workout.
Extend your arms behind your body as far as you can. Make sure the movement is comfortable and natural as you don’t want to injure yourself.
Bring your arms to your chest on the upswing. You will notice a huge difference in your workout when you start using your arms.
Up Your Speed
The easiest way to add intensity to a walking routine is to simply up your speed.
When you first start you will more than likely be walking at a leisurely pace. However, as you build up your endurance you should increase the intensity.
Doing so will get your heart rate up and help you burn more calories.
According to researchers at Ohio State University, walking at different speeds during your workout can help you burn 20% more calories.
A simple way to vary your speed is to do interval style training. For example, you can walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then take a 2 minute break.
Then do it again…
Follow this pattern several times and before you know it you will have worked up a serious sweat.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take The Hills
If you are just started out taking the hills may be a bit too much for you. And that’s okay.
Give yourself self time and eventually you will be ready to take on the hills.
Walking on a trail with hills is a great way to add intervals into your routine. Not only will hills help you burn more calories, but it will also help you build muscle in your legs.
The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be.
If you don’t have easy access to a walking trail with hills no problem. You can get the same workout by walking up and down the stairs at your home, or by walking on the treadmill with an incline.
When using the treadmill keep in mind you will need to adjust your technique. Since you aren’t walking outside you wouldn’t walk as you normally would.
Focus on taking shorter steps and leaning slightly forward as you climb.
May sound simple and that’s because it is. If you want to burn more calories with your current walking routine all you need to do is walk more.
Going for a power walk 30 minutes a day, 4 days a week is a great way to shed those extra pounds.
However, don’t get comfortable and stop there.
To reach your fitness goals you will need to find a way to get more walking in throughout the day.
Here are a few simple ways you can include more walking into your day:
- Right after you eat go for a short walk around the neighborhood. Doing so will ward off cravings and help you keep your blood sugar in check.
- When you are out running your errands for the day, consider walking to the different destinations. You should only do this if the destinations are less than a mile away from each other and if you aren’t going to be hauling around a lot of stuff.
- Anytime you are feeling stressed, step outside and take a little walk. Not only will this help you burn more calories, but it will also improve your mood.