Happy National Walking Day! Walking is a convenient way to exercise — you can do it anywhere, and you don't need anything but a comfortable outfit. If you want to burn calories and fit in more cardio without breaking into a run, here are a few ways to turn your walking into an effective workout.
- Swing your arms: Swinging your arms at a 90-degree angle helps you go faster while also using more muscle groups while you walk. The result: 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 99 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 122 calories. It's not a huge difference per workout, but over the course of five workouts, you'll end up burning an extra 115 calories. It'll really start to add up over time.
- Vary your steps: Take a few minutes during your walk to change up your stride and steps; you may look a little silly while you do it, but it's a great way to work different muscle groups to tone and also get your heart rate up. Alternate walking on your heels, walking on your toes, doing walking lunges, or doing high knees to strengthen often-neglected muscles, open tight hips, and tone your backside.
- Find an incline: From stairs to hills, one of the simplest ways to burn way more calories (and tone your backside and legs) is to go for the incline. You'll burn an impressive amount of calories without picking up the pace; check out our walking treadmill interval workout and our hilly treadmill workout to see just how many.
- Go a little bit longer: Tacking on just a few more minutes to your daily walking total can really add up, calorie-wise. Adding two five-minute walking breaks during the day, for example, will burn an extra 50 calories for your day.