By Heather Guthrie, RD, LDN.
Walking has tons of health benefits, and for inactive people it can be a perfect start to an exercise regimen, but simply walking isn’t necessarily a calorie-shredding activity. If you’re looking to burn extra calories, consider these tips to ramp up your walking.
TACKLE THE HILLS: Look for hills or inclines during your walk. If you don’t live in a hilly place, even doing hill repeats on the same incline gets your heart rate up.
HIT THE TRAILS: Walking trails takes more coordination and stability to navigate roots and rocks rather than just the sidewalk or street. Also, being in nature versus on city roads will make you happier and more invigorated in the long run.
ADD WEIGHT: Whether it’s carrying your groceries home from the store or wearing a weighted vest on a power walk, that extra weight helps burn more calories. Just make sure you’re carrying things evenly — switch hands if you’re carrying a bag, or purchase a quality backpack.
ADD INTERVALS: You don’t have to run constantly — but a few intervals will boost your heart rate and metabolism. As you walk around the neighborhood, simply pick up the pace and do a jog or sprint for a half block or to the next stop sign. Even just 10 seconds of fast-paced running done a few times can have lots of benefits, and eventually, you may want to add even more running to your routine.
SNEAK IN BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES: Take advantage of parks with fitness loops that have areas for different activities like pull ups and tricep dips. If you don’t have access to those, you can DIY it by stopping every few minutes to plank for a few seconds, do a few squats or walking lunges.