Exercising for hours on end in a gym or pounding the pavement while running isn’t for everyone. And that’s more than okay. As long as you’re doing something to get the blood flowing and the body moving, that’s what’s important.
Many people choose walking because it’s a low-impact exercise that can fit into almost any schedule. It’s also a great way to get outside and enjoy fresh air and, especially this time of year, fall’s beautiful changing colors. You can also use walking as a way to burn extra calories and maybe even get over that weight loss plateau or shed some extra pounds.*
Here are 6 sure-fire tips that will boost your walking regimen to the next level.
1) Amp up your step goal.
There are a host of fitness devices out there that track your steps. Take advantage of those options by setting yourself a daily goal. If you’re just starting out, choose a lower goal. Then, gradually work your way up by adding more steps each day based on how you (and your body!) feel.
2) Posture is vital.
It’s not just about how many steps you’re taking. Proper form plays a big role, too. Your body should feel relaxed, you should be standing up straight with your gaze ahead to ensure your neck and head are aligned.
You should also let your heel strike first to prevent injury or stress. Consider moving your arms, particularly as you amp up speed. Walking with proper posture can go a long way in upping your calorie burn and making the workout more enjoyable.
3) Walk more throughout the day.
Luckily, you don’t need much to go for a walk, just the outdoors and a good pair of shoes. While you should aim for 30- to 60-minute walks four or five days a week, getting in short, 10- to 20-minute walks whenever you can throughout the day is also important. It not only adds a lot of steps (you’ll be shocked), but can also help you break away from the monotony of work or take a breather in the busy evening.
Try taking a short walk when you get up in the morning, during your lunch hour, when you get home in the evening and even after dinner. Do that every day, and build in those longer walks when you have time.
4) Up the incline.
Are there any hills around your house? Stepping your way up a hill or a steeper trail not only increases intensity, but also improves your muscle strength, which can ultimately lead to a faster metabolism.
If there are no hills, try walking up and down the staircase multiple times, or utilizing an incline on the treadmill. Be sure to alter your form, leaning forward and shortening your stride, to avoid injury when going uphill.
6) Add in some weights.
Do you have some light weights available? On at least a few walks each week, carry them along with you, moving your arms as you walk.
This not only ups the calorie-burn, but also improves muscle tone and strength. It’s a great way to take your walking regimen up yet another level.
5) Boost the intensity.
Hitting the hills is one way to increase intensity, but you should also aim to step faster during your walks. The more vigorously you can move, the more calories you will burn.
One way to up the intensity is to include 30- to 60-second bursts throughout your walk. If you don’t want to (or are unable to) time your walk, look for an object in the distance every once in a while and power walk to it. Do this intermittently each time you go for a walk, and you’ll quickly find that even your typical walking pace increases naturally.
Do you enjoy walking? Have you ever tried a walking plan? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.