We’ve all heard stories about people who lost amazing amounts of weight, simply by going for a walk (or several walks) every day. You could probably imagine numerous ways to fit more walking into your schedule, such as walking to work, parking in the back of every parking lot, grabbing quick strolls on your lunch breaks, and so on. But we all have busy schedules, and there’s just so much walking you can do!
If you can’t spend hours per day walking, but you’re frustrated at how few calories you seem to burn, your best bet is to make your current walking schedule more productive. Try these four tweaks to burn more calories each time you lace up your walking shoes.
Add some weight. When you weigh more, your body requires more energy to move. But then, as you lose weight, walking becomes easier and you burn fewer calories. That’s why many people seem to lose weight quickly at first, but then hit “plateaus”. One way to keep up the calorie burn is to add weight to your body. Carrying hand weights, weighing one to three pounds, can increase calorie burn by five to fifteen percent. As you get into top-notch shape, you might even consider a weighted vest or backpack!
Vary your speed. If you can’t speed-walk your entire route, at least work in bursts of speed. Walk as fast as you can for two to five minutes, return to a moderate pace for about five minutes, and then repeat this cycle.
Try Nordic walking. Pick up a pair of walking poles, and turn your daily walk into a whole-body workout. Nordic walking can actually increase your calorie burn by 67 percent!
Hike some hills. As you continue to shape up, increase the difficulty of your walks by changing your route. Include some hills, and you will increase your calorie burn.
Of course, remember to come see us before starting a new workout routine. We can screen you for underlying health conditions to ensure that your exercise plans are safe for you.