Gym membership get too expensive? Running not an option? Here are are a few ways you can take that daily walking workout to the next level. Time to get moving!
1. Add intervals
Walking faster isn’t the only way to burn more calories. Researchers from Ohio State University found that changing pace can increase metabolic heart rate by nearly 20 percent over those who maintain a fixed pace while they walk. The study also found that we tend to walk faster when we have longer distances to cover. So set a goal for at least one long distance walk per week, and practice picking up the pace every five minutes or so.
2. Head uphill
While it’s great to walk a track, or circle your office building when the weather gets cold, consider adding some gradient to your walk. It’s a no-brainer than you’ll expend more energy and burn more calories than you would walking on a flat surface. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of working your thighs and glutes. If you have no hills in sight, hit the treadmill, and aim for a 3-5% incline while still maintaining a brisk pace.
3. incidental exercise
Why set aside separate time to exercise, but not take advantage of workout opportunities during your day? No, you don’t have to get sweaty before your big meeting, but you should consider parking farther away and walking part of your commute, and also taking the stairs when you get there. Walking burns about 4 calories per minute depending on your size, so if you walk just ten minutes to your car and back five days a week, you could lose an extra pound every two months. It doesn’t sound like much, but over time, it all adds up.
4. Speaking of stairs
Stairs are great for your body and your mind. Researchers at Concordia University found that the brain decreases in age by 0.58 years from daily stair-climbing. If that isn’t enough, stairs are great for whittling your waistline, and there’s no pressure to go faster. You get the same benefits from walking stairs that you do from sprinting them. Pro tip: Take two steps at a time for an added butt and thigh workout, and don’t hesitate to use the handrail when you need to.
5. bodyweight exercises
Adding a few light bodyweight exercises will help you burn more calories while you workout, but you’ll also be benefitting long after you’ve cooled down for the day. Lunges and bench push-ups can boost your metabolic rate, so you’ll still be burning calories even after you stop.
6. find a friend
One study found that friends who workout together, push each other to be better, so enlist the help of a friend who also has weight loss or management goals and get moving. You’ll look forward to your exercise time more if you know you get to see your guy or gal pal — and that energy is a major plus when it comes to working out.
(h/t Good Housekeeping)
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