If running isn't your thing, and walking is more your speed, you can still optimize your exercise time and burn extra calories on your walk. Here's how:
- Swing those arms. Keep your elbows at 90-degree angles and pump your arms with each step. You'll end up burning 15 percent more calories.
- Pick up your pace. Walking at a speed of three miles per hour (20 minutes per mile) will burn 103 calories in 30 minutes, but if you pick up the pace a little and walk at a more brisk speed of four miles per hour (15 minutes per mile), you'll end up burning 118 calories. It's not a huge difference per workout, but over the course of five workouts, you'll end up burning an extra 75 calories. It'll really start to add up over time.
- Vary your steps. Changing up your feet will not only prevent you from getting bored, but it'll also allow you to work muscles differently, making you stronger and burning more calories. Walk on your heels, walk on the balls of your feet, take wide steps, walk sideways, take steps diagonally, do knee lifts, do soldier kicks with your legs straight, hop, or do walking lunges. I agree that you may look a little silly, but it's sure to get your heart rate up.
- Walk up and down stairs. If you want a great cardiovascular workout for your heart and lungs, and you also want to tone your tush and legs, walking stairs is one of the best ways to do it. Just like running, you'll strengthen your quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes, but it's less jarring on your joints.
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