Walking has been shown to improve both physical and mental health, helping to reduce the symptoms of a wide range of health conditions, including high blood pressure, depression, and diabetes. Walking is also one of the best types of exercise for losing weight and is suitable for most people, regardless of age or fitness levels, unless someone has a physical condition that prevents them from walking. If you are trying to lose weight, then implement these five methods to burn more calories while walking.
1- Alternate Your Speed
Increasing your walking speed for 30 seconds at regular intervals boosts your heart rate and helps to burn more calories. Start by walking at a moderate pace for five minutes, then walk as quickly as possible for 15 to 30 seconds, before returning to your normal pace, at intervals to suit your fitness level. Music can be a great motivator for this type of walking, as it helps to set the tempo. Music with a strong beat and fast rhythm help to increase your walking speed.
2- Walk Uphill
Walking up hills, ramps, stairs, and any other type of incline can burn up to 50 percent more calories, while also helping to strengthen the muscles in your legs. Even relatively small slopes can make a huge difference, increasing the amount of fat burned and making your heart beat faster. Climbing steep hills can be tiring and will put a strain on your muscles, so it’s important to start slowly and take regular breaks, particularly if you are not used to exercising.
3- Work Your Upper Body
Pumping your arms as you walk gives your upper body a workout and burns extra calories. Using weighted wristbands or carrying dumbbells can also help to build muscle and burn fat. Walking poles, also known as Nordic poles, is another useful tool for burning calories while walking, as they work the upper body and help to build strength in the arms.
4- Maintain Energy Levels
Maintaining steady energy levels helps to burn fat more efficiently and prevent fatigue. Dehydration can cause tiredness and reduced motivation, so it’s important to drink plenty of water. Sip water or your preferred drink at regular intervals to stay hydrated. Be careful here with “your preferred drink” – there are drinks that dehydrate you. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can also lead to fatigue and weakness. Healthy snacks, such as a banana or a handful of walnuts, help to balance blood sugar levels.
5- Adjust Your Posture
Posture can have a significant impact on how the body works as a whole. The correct posture makes the muscles work more properly and helps to prevent injury or discomfort. Incorrect posture can also put a strain on the lower back and shoulders, leading to chronic pain and muscle tension. Always try to keep your spine straight, shoulders back, and head up. If you experience regular muscle pain or tension, a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or fitness trainer can show you the best posture for walking.
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for losing weight and is suitable for most people. Alternating your speed, walking uphill, working your upper body, maintaining your energy levels, and adjusting your posture are all excellent ways to burn more calories while walking.