If you absolutely despise hard-core cardio workouts and your knees can't handle running, you can drop weight and get fit by walking. But to get the results you want from walking, you might need to burn more calories and up your intensity. Walking to lose weight can be a slow process, but here are seven ways to burn more calories on your walk.
1. Walk Uphill
If you think about your local surroundings, there are probably a lot of places you can walk. This might include the park, a local track or the beach boardwalk. But what you may not realize is that you can burn more calories walking uphill. As a matter of fact, walking uphill helps you burn up to 50% more calories. If you're normally burning 200 cal walking 2 miles around your neighborhood on flat terrain, you can burn up to 400 cal walking the same distance uphill.
2. Pick up the Pace
Another way to burn more calories on your walk is to pick up the pace. If you walk for 30 minutes at 3.5 mph, you'll burn more calories than someone (the same height and weight) who walks the same distance at 2 mph. To help you pick up the pace, grab your MP3 player, your headphones and put on your most upbeat playlist.
3. Pump Your Arms
The more body movement you have while walking, the more calories you’ll burn. You might silently laugh to yourself when you see someone walking while pumping their arms in the air. But if you want to burn more calories, this is key to getting results. As you walk, pump your arms the entire time to burn up to 15% more calories.
4. Walk Alone
Exercising might be more fun with a partner, and many fitness experts recommend getting a workout buddy so you're accountable to someone. But if you find that working out with a friend is more of a distraction than a help, it’s better to walk alone. If you and your friend get into a deep conversation, there's a natural tendency to slow your pace. If you walk with just you and your music, there are fewer distractions and it'll be easier to keep a steady pace for the duration of your workout.
5. Go outside
Maybe you invested in a treadmill so you could exercise anytime of the day. This is an excellent way to squeeze in walking, especially when it's cold and rainy outside. But if you walk outdoors, you can burn up to 10% more calories. This is because it takes more energy to propel yourself over the ground.
6. Drink Water
Rather than save your water break until after your workout, make sure you drink cold water before beginning your walk. Water hydrates your body, and a well-hydrated body contributes to a longer workout. The longer you work out, the more you’ll burn.
7. Go Farther
If you take the same walking route every day and you're only burning a certain amount of calories, go farther. Rather than walk just 1 mile a day, slowly increase to a mile and a half, then gradually move up to 2 miles or 3 miles.
Walking is one way to lose weight and get into shape without spending money on a gym membership. Is walking a part of your daily routine? If so, how do you increase your calorie burn?