Walking is grossly underrated for its benefits as a sport. Often times, we feel like we are bathed in sweat to burn off calories. In reality, walking can work wonders to increase your burns! Don’t get us wrong; Cycling, running, and all of these intense cardio activities are wonderful. But you may not always have time to hit the gym or do a full blown run.
Sometimes it can feel a lot more doable to plan in a few walks.
Fortunately, research supports the benefits of walking. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who stuck to a walking program had significant improvements in blood pressure, reductions in body fat and weight, and an overall better quality of life.
So that you can burn more calories, we have put together eight simple tips for your walking training.
1. Walk on an incline, hill, or flight of stairs.
Rising up? Walking on an inclined treadmill, walking outdoors up a hill, or even walking on stairs can increase the intensity of your workout. This means that you will burn more calories than walking on level ground. It can also be better for your health. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that walking uphill can help your body metabolize both glucose and lipids, meaning it is important for “preventing type 2 diabetes and lipid metabolism disorders” Could be an advantage.
2. Use an activity tracker or pedometer to stay motivated.
Wearing a watch or device with activity tracking and / or step counting can motivate you to walk longer or faster. Without a sense of how far you’ve gone or how many calories you’ve burned, “quitting early” can be easy. But when you see that you are only a few tenths of a mile away – or that you are incredibly close to your daily step goal – it can make you want to walk a little longer. This type of motivation can pay off in terms of your results.
3. Hear melodies.
Did you know that music can have an impact on your weight loss goals? A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that listening to music resulted in a 28 percent increase in the pleasure of being active. That can mean walking longer – and burning more calories. People also often report that music helps them increase the speed and intensity of their work. It puts a little zipper in your crotch!
4. Go for a walk with a buddy.
While music can motivate the solo hiker, having a friend to talk to can also be motivating. Research by Virgin Active Health Clubs found that exercising with a friend can burn more calories than exercising alone. The reason may be because chatting with a good buddy is distracting and helps you move forward. When friends walk together, they walk up and down with each other too. You might be motivated to walk faster than alone.
5. Make sure you have the right shoes.
A good pair of walking shoes can really make all the difference in the world when it comes to inspiration to go further. If you’ve ever run a long distance in non-supportive shoes, you know how much your feet started to hurt. But if you have comfortable footwear and have good shock absorption, you can walk longer and faster – and burn more calories as a result.
6. Move your arms as you walk – and increase the pace.
Adding arm movement while walking can help you walk faster. It can turn a regular walk into a power walk – and that can help increase your burn. Research published in Nature Medicine found that the intensity of an activity can be more important than its duration. In other words, a shorter power walk can be more calorie-burning than a long, leisurely walk.
7. Take a hike!
Instead of walking around your neighborhood or town, why not head to a local hiking trail and go for a hike? Hiking on uneven ground and in different terrain can activate different muscles than you are used to on flat surfaces. They strengthen the muscles in the knees, hips, and ankles – areas that aren’t normally used much. The changes in the terrain usually also mean more calories burned.
8. Build interval training into your walking program.
If you’ve ever participated in an interval run, you know that it includes short sprints in your jog. You can do the same with walking, increasing the intensity to a power walk at each interval. The idea is to keep the interval short enough that you are not completely exhausted and can move on. This can help you burn more calories while walking.
Combine your running training with a practical food delivery service! Get started with Nutrisystem> today