How To Burn More Calories Whilst Walking
Adult’s aged 19-64 should try to be active for at least 150 minutes every week. Running, cycling and even walking can count. While the average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day, setting yourself a daily 10,000 steps target – that’s about five miles a day – will help you to succeed this goal. On top this, it’s a great low impact activity that involves large muscle groups and can burn calories. For example, a person aged 45 and weighing 70kg can burn around 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (between 3-5mph)1. Here’s 5 tips to get you walking to new heights...
1. Type of walk
There are many benefits to walking. Not only will it help to keep your heart healthy and strengthen your muscles2, it’s easy, free, you can do it alone, with friends, and, within reason, you can walk anywhere. Whether you want to hike across a mountain or have a leisurely stroll around a local park, there are thousands of options – some of which you may never have heard of. For instance, Nordic walking –the art of walking with poles – gives an arm and upper back workout as well as engaging back muscles. It’s also said to burn 20-40 percent more calories than normal walking3 due to its similarity with a cross-trainer workout. Alternatively, dog-lovers can try joining Borrow My Dog to get a furry-friend to walk.
2. Increase the incline
Adding a climbing element to your daily walk –from taking the stairs to tackling a steep hill – can help you burn up to 50 percent more calories than you would on level ground4. Or, if you prefer to walk on a treadmill add on an incline every time you start a new workout. And, if possible, try not to hold on to handrails as this will make the activity less-beneficial. Increasing the intensity of your walk will also help tone your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles.
3. Use your arms
When walking make a conscious effort to use your arms. Accelerating your arms encourages both mobility and natural rotation in the spine. Good arm movement will get you hitting different speeds, as well as toning and strengthening the back muscles and defining your waistline5.
4. Add Intervals
Interval training is a sure-fire way of burning additional calories as alternating speeds increase your heart rate. Next time you go for a walk try walking at a higher intensity for one minute and then a low-to-moderate intensity for two minutes. Repeat this for the duration of your walk. Apps like MapMyWalk and Nike + Running App will monitor your every move – tracking your route, time, distance, speed, pace and calories burned – and can help you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of every workout.
5. Fuel your walk
What you eat pre-walk will determine the quality of your exercise. For a brisk walk of over two hours your muscles need to be charged, meaning your body needs slow-release carbohydrates and a moderate amount of protein6. Choose a snack that’s quick to digest around an hour before exercising such as porridge, a yoghurt or a banana. Preparing meals around workouts will keep you organised, helping you to get the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs.
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