Whether you’re walking to work or walking to the store, the simple act of walking can get your blood pumping and your heart racing. But if you really want to boost your calorie burn, here are seven ways to turn your walk into a workout!
1 Increase your walking speed
Walking speed is directly proportional to your calorie burn. Increasing your walking speed is an easy way to increase your calorie burn without changing much about your routine. If you normally walk at a pace of 3 miles per hour, try increasing that to 3.5 or 4 miles per hour and you will see that it makes a difference. It may be challenging at first but soon you will feel comfortable with it and improve your endurance, burning more calories in less time in comparison to just walking at a normal pace. #2 Make climbing stairs part of your workout: Climbing stairs for 30 seconds 2-3 times can help add calories into one’s total workout goal, which translates into weight loss eventually. The incline can help burn off more calories and strengthen one’s leg muscles too!
2 Do some jumping jacks
Just one minute of jumping jacks can burn over 30 calories. Think about that for a second: That’s almost one complete Snickers bar, and you’re done in 60 seconds. Plus, jumping jacks have another great benefit: They help your heart pump more blood and oxygen throughout your body (this is called cardiorespiratory fitness). The more efficiently your heart works, the stronger and healthier your body becomes. So do 30 jumping jacks as soon as you wake up! It will also boost your energy so you can tackle any day head-on. If you need some motivation, just remember that celebrities love jump roping—and many keep jumping rope long after they stop being famous (and even after they retire!).
3 Add planks
This exercise engages several major muscle groups and burns many calories. The plank strengthens your upper body and core, which is an important consideration for those who are looking to lose weight, as many have weak backs or poor posture. It’s also one of the most effective exercises you can do because it targets your abdominal area while engaging other muscles in your body at once. You won’t even need a gym membership or any fancy equipment, either – just yourself and a floor (or even a wall!) will do. If you’re looking for an even greater challenge, try adding in side planks or attempting sets of push-ups between each plank hold!
4 Take deep breaths in between steps
Remember that time your mom told you to take a deep breath? Take her advice and breathe deep when you walk. Deep breathing will also help you relax and focus. And don’t forget about pacing: walking at an even, steady pace is key for burning calories and keeping fit. Keep your shoulders back and chest open, take one step at a time, and if necessary, shorten your stride length so that each step counts!
5 Make every step count
If you’re walking as part of your fitness routine, using a Fitbit is a great way to make sure you’re getting in enough steps. According to Fitbit, most healthy adults need at least 10,000 steps per day. Think about where and when you can get some extra steps in – it might be while waiting for a train or during lunch break. If you can wear your Fitbit on your wrist while exercising, it will count towards your daily step goal too!
6 Challenge yourself with hills
When you’re walking along flat terrain, keep your head up and try not to look at your feet. (This encourages you to use your core instead of your leg muscles.) When you come across a hill, pump your arms as if you were climbing. Pretend that there’s an invisible barrier in front of you and that you have to climb over it. Most importantly, don’t stop moving; push yourself all the way up until you reach the top! This trick helps because most people walk down hills as if they were simply going for a stroll—but when done correctly, it increases intensity by 30 percent! If hills are more than 10 feet high, don’t be afraid to stop and catch your breath when needed.
7 Wear tennis shoes instead of running shoes
If you’re used to running shoes and running on a treadmill, try wearing a pair of tennis shoes instead of your running sneakers when you hit up your neighborhood sidewalk. The more balance you have, generally speaking, in any given exercise routine, whether that’s lifting weights or walking up stairs while holding weight (like dumbbells), will help tone and burn calories even faster. With tennis shoes and a street-level surface beneath you rather than something specifically built for cardio, like a treadmill or running track with specific grip pads underneath your feet, you’ll develop strength in ways that go far beyond simply walking. The added stability requires more muscle activation at rest compared with a treadmill or run track as well; it forces your body to stay fit without overdoing it.