Walk Off the Weight: A Speed-Interval Walking Workout

Sarah Kehoe/Fitness MagazineBy Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie

Not a runner? No sweat. Start a walking routine instead. Researchers found that overweight women who did 45-minute speed-interval walking workouts and toning exercises four times a week lost 23 pounds in 16 weeks. "The key is to perfect your form, so that walking feels good and doesn't become boring over time," says Danny Dreyer, the creator of the Chi Walking technique. Fast-track your fat burning while you walk with these easy tweaks.

Related: 5 Exercises to Tone Your Arms as You Walk

Breathe fat away.
"It takes oxygen to keep all of your muscles firing and not run out of steam," Dreyer says. Filling your lungs completely allows you to burn fat more efficiently and improve your endurance. To maximize your breathing, focus on exhaling as deeply as you can. "The inhale will take care of itself," Dreyer says.

Get your abs in on the action.
Hinge slightly forward from your hips, not your waist, and you'll engage your core. The payoff is a stronger midsection, which will prevent aches in your back and hips.

Related: How to Burn 1,300 Calories Walking

Bend your elbows.

You'll swing your arms faster, and your legs will automatically accelerate to keep up. To amp it up even more, "swing your arms back until your hands are next to your ribs," Dreyer says.

Step shorter.

Don't be tempted to lengthen your stride to speed up. It sends a jolt to your joints and ultimately slows you and your calorie burn down.

Related: Get a Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes

Fat-Blasting Walk

Rev up the calorie burn with Dreyer's 45-minute routine, which focuses on keeping a rhythm as you walk. Try matching the suggested step count with a free metronome app (iBeat is a good one).

Minutes

Activity


Effort level
(on a scale of 1 to 10)

Steps or beats
per minute

0 to 5

Easy to medium warm-up walk

4

120 to 130 (3 mph)

5 to 15

Moderate walk

5

130 to 140 (3.5 mph)

15 to 17

Brisk walk

6 to 8

140 to 160 (4 mph)

17 to 27

Moderate walk

5

130 to 140 (3.5 mph)

27 to 29

Brisk walk

6 to 8

140 to 160 (4 mph)

29 to 39

Moderate walk

5

130 to 14 (3.5 mph)

39 to 45

Medium to easy cooldown walk

4

120 to 130 (3 mph)

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