Going to the gym is great, when you have the time. But between work, family, and, let’s be honest, reality TV watching, you probably don’t spend as much time at the gym as you want to. Wouldn’t it be great if you could burn a ton of calories a more convenient way? Well, you can. By walking. Here’s how to make walking work for you.
We asked two fitness experts – Heather Calcote, RD of dietitianontherun.com and Leanne Shear of Shear Energy Fitness – how to amp up our struts to slim down our butts. (Hey! We’re poets and we didn’t even know it!) And here are their top 5 tips:
Both of our experts agree this is the number one way to notch up walking from, well, just walking to a work-out. Leanne breaks it down as follows: If you’re going for a 30-minute walk, go at your comfortable walking speed for five minutes to warm up and then kick it up for the next 20, alternating between a brisk walk (or even a jog) and recovery. She suggests doing 30 second rotations between the pumped up cardio and recovery. Cool down for the last five minutes at your normal pace.
Heather recommends looking to your terrain to switch it up, not just your speed. Find hills you can walk up. She specifies that to make it count, you should keep your posture straight and avoid hunching forward. That way, you really need to rely on your thigh muscles to move you.
Leanne found another quick way to add oomph to your walk is to get some extra weight involved. Throw a light dumbbell (or if you’re short on work-out equipment, a few cans of soup work too) into a backpack and get trekking. If you want to amp that up even more, carry light weights in your hands and do arm toning exercises, such as bicep curls or shoulder presses.
If you really want to turn your walk into a calorie inferno, take a break from walking, says Leanne. But wait, it’s not that easy. Take a break to do some plyometrics, like lunging and jumping from side to side for one-minute sets.
Get yourself a walking buddy, suggests Heather. The buddy will keep you honest in terms of work-out time and interval incorporation, and she’ll also distract you from the work. More than that though, talking will actually use more energy and burn more calories. Win. Win. Win!
So, there you go, a super easy guide to burning calories, one step at a time!