Walking is my favorite form of exercise and tends to be the easiest form of exercise to add to your daily wellness routine. No matter what other exercises I try, I always come back to walking.
How often do you take time to go for a walk?
Weight loss is just one of the many health benefits of taking a daily walk. From boosting to your mood to burning calories, you can’t go wrong with walking. In fact, I have found that just taking a 10-minute walk will boost my energy and put me in a better mood.
Here are some tips to help you increase your calorie burn while taking a walk…
Taking a stroll is always nice, but when you begin to increase your pace you’ll burn more calories. Depending on your weight, you can burn about 65 to 100 calories for each mile you walk. If you move faster, you’ll burn more calories covering the same distance.
If you’re new to walking for exercise, start out at a gentle pace and gradually increase your pace to burn those calories
Alternate Your Pace
When you want to burn more calories, start alternating your walking pace. Walk at a comfortable pace for a few minutes and then increase your pace for a few minutes and then go back to a comfortable pace. Alternate from a comfortable pace to a brisk walk for at least 20 minutes and burn more calories.
Proper form while walking will help you move efficiently and avoid injuries. It’s usually safer to take more steps rather than trying to lengthen your stride. Check that your heels hit the ground first and use your toes to push you forward. Keep your head up and hold yourself up erect – no slouching. Engage your core muscles to take pressure off your back.
Swing Your Arms
Now that you’re standing tall, start swinging your arms. This will increase your intensity and your blood will start flowing. To add more intensity, wear wrist weights or carry hand weights. Start off with light weights and then build up to heavier weights. When walking on unstable terrain, use a walking pole to keep you from stumbling or falling.
Walking backwards is a little tricky, but definitely takes the boredom out of familiar terrain. I’ll walk backwards for a while just for fun. This actually uses different muscles, so try walking backwards on occasion.
Are there any hills in your area? Give your muscles a stronger workout and climb some hills during your walk.
Do you live near the beach?
The beach is my favorite place to walk and run. Walking on wet sand requires more effort and increases your calorie burn. Plus, the sand makes you use different muscles – so be warned.
Make a Playlist
There may be times when you’re walking by yourself. Make a playlist to listen to while you’re walking. Music will add a little bounce to your walk and will motivate you to keep walking.
Dress for Success
Walking can be a challenge if your shoes are inappropriate or your clothes restrict your movement. Wear shoes that are designed specifically for walking or just choose any pair with low heels and firm support. Dressing in protective layers will also help you deal with cold or wet weather.
Walking with Friends
Waking is good for everyone. The next time you plan to go for a walk, grab a buddy and walk together. Join a walking group, or better yet, form your own group to meet regularly for a walk.
Before you Begin
Even though walking is a generally safe and low-impact activity, you may want to check with your doctor if you’ve been sedentary for a while. Your physician can help you set goals that are realistic for you.
To help you get motivated, sign up for my
5 Day Walk and Wellness Challenge
Here’s some creative ways to add steps to your day….
Take the stairs
Skip the elevator and escalators. Climbing up stairs burns almost 2 calories for each 10 steps. Use stairs as a challenge and get creative with how many times you can go up and down them.
Park further away
Whether at work or at the store, make it a game to park further away.
I’ll do this when shopping. I look for the parking space near the buggy return rack, rather than one closer to the entrance.
Walk or bike to work if possible. If the distance is too far or there’s no safe route, you can still choose a parking space that will enable you to squeeze in a brief hike before arriving at the office.
Take a Walk Break
Do you find yourself sitting all day at a desk and never getting up to take a break?
Here’s a challenge, set your timer on your phone for 30 minutes, and then get up to stretch and move around. You’ll be surprised at how this will increase your energy and improve your mood.
Stand to Work
Using a “standing desk” would be ideal, but not all of us are that lucky. So, rather than sitting at your desk all day, try standing to do some of your work. You can walk in place while you’re standing there doing your work. You’ll burn some extra calories and get a few extra steps into your day.
Imagine feeling better and boosting your wellness just by walking. Such a simple exercise to add to your day and I want to challenge you to find ways to start walking more each day.
Grab some friends and sign up for my FREE
5 day Walk & Wellness Challenge
and get started on a daily habit that will last a lifetime.