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Burn More Calories by Increasing Your Speed

Increase Your Pace Slightly and Burn More Calories

If you're trying to lose weight, cardio is your best friend. Workouts that get your heart rate up, such as running, biking, and using a cardio machine, are the best way to burn calories and reduce your percentage of body fat. Another fact to point out is that the faster you move, the more calories you'll burn. I'm not suggesting that you have to sprint through your entire workout — increasing your pace even a small amount will make a difference. Here are two ways to increase your speed when doing cardio.

  1. Add intervals. After warming up, move at your usual pace for one minute, then increase your speed for one minute, then return to your usual pace for a minute. Repeat this sequence for 30 minutes, and then cool down. Need a plan to follow? Here are some interval workouts for all types of cardio. Remember, interval training is proven to reduce belly fat.
  2. Increase your overall pace just sightly. Running at a pace of 5 mph (12-minute miles) burns 263 calories in 30 minutes. If you run a bit faster at 6 mph (10 minutes per mile), you'll burn 292 calories. It may not seem like a big difference, but if you run five times a week, you'll burn an extra 145 calories.

Increasing your speed when doing cardio won't take a lot more energy, but it'll sure make a difference to your body. You'll burn more calories, which translates to a slimmer, more defined frame. It will also help with your endurance, and make you stronger.

Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
yoggingwild yoggingwild 6 years
There is an iPod application for Couch to 5K training that can help with interval workouts. It plays over your playlist and includes vocal cues on when to walk and when to run. I prefer that over the Podrunner podcasts only because I can make my own playlists with the application "overlaying". Then again, I was in a 5K on Saturday and was told that training with music can actually slow you down by breaking your cadence because your body tunes in with the music - so finding playlists or podcasts with the right BPM could be a huge help. Maybe Podrunner is a better fit than my trying to keep up to Outkast. :)
sparklestar sparklestar 6 years
Increasing speed is very hard!!
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
mamasitamali - no worries.. just glad I wasn't the only one that felt that way! Now I'm not a runner, so I wasn't sure if that was the reason for my thought, but glad to see others agreed :)
insanitypepper insanitypepper 6 years
Oof, increasing speed is indeed hard work.
Chrstne Chrstne 6 years
I don't like to run very much due to sports injuries, but I like to do other forms of cardio. I increased my pace today, just for the hell of it, and I felt even better after a workout, and burned more calories. I do it in "intervals" too. It makes things more interesting.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
ella I think I basically copied you (except the incline) :)
laellavita laellavita 6 years
I swear by interval training. I set the incline at 3.0 and make my base speed an easy jog (5.0 or 5.5) and then make my intervals at about 7.0 or 7.5. I used to be a lot faster and could set it at 9.0 but then I got injuries and now have to work my speed back up. But I totally disagree with it not taking much more effort because after my interval runs, I always feel totally wiped out. It makes me a lot faster and stronger though, and I think this has to do both with the incline and the speed.
califab califab 6 years
I am all about the incline. You burn way more calories this way and it makes it so much easier when you run outside. I vary my speed between 6.0 and 6.5 (sometimes going a little faster) but keep the incline at 3.0 and just take it flat for the last 2 minutes. The calorie burn seems to be much higher.
fizzymartini fizzymartini 6 years
Gotta agree with above commenters; "increasing your speed when doing cardio won't take a lot more energy, but it'll sure make a difference to your body" doesn't really ring true to me as it takes a darn load of energy from me! Gotta say that I do love interval training now though. I downloaded 2 free 10K training runs from the Nike+ website, which helpfully has a coach's voice talk you through the speed changes! Shame there's only the 2, but they are fab...
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
thanks, syako! and yes, its great to have something to think about other than my to do list while I'm chugging along. I agree with the other comments that 5 and 6 are VERY different. when I was just running at one speed the whole time, I started at 5.0 and can comfortably do it at 5.3 right now. when I do intervals, I'll usually keep my base or 'recovery' at 5.1 or 5.2 and go up to 7.0 or 7.5 for one minute (or two if I'm feeling good). I DEFINITELY could not keep that up for much longer.
Vanonymous Vanonymous 6 years
I took a fitness class in college and we learned that it's all about the distance for burning calories. The teacher told us that if you run 4 miles in 30 min., you'd burn the same amount of calories as walking 4 miles in an hour. Is there any truth to this? The logic makes sense to me (b/c if you're slower you have to exercise longer) but I feel like I've seen a number of things conflicting this. What do you guys think?
ayabeachgirl ayabeachgirl 6 years
i totally agree with you, ella. it's very different.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 6 years
no kidding ella, it took me 4 months to finish a 5K from 12 minute mile to 10 minute mile.
ella1978 ella1978 6 years
I have to say, as someone who runs, but isn't a runner. I think that there is a BIG difference between 5 and 6 miles an hour....
syako syako 6 years
Great job mamasita! :medal: Interval training is the best, imo, for breaking the treadmill boredom.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 6 years
I started interval training last week and LOVE IT!!! I'm HOOKED! I was basically popping on the treadmill and using the 5K preset program with my goal to be staying at one pace (i.e. not having to walk). I got to that point and felt good and was slowly taking it up a little bit in terms of speed. Then reading through some old FitSugar posts on it, I printed out the interval workouts....... I'm seriously in love. I feel different already in my body and my moods after running intervals is just so calm and clear and happy.
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