While walking at a relaxed pace has major health benefits — and for sedentary people, it can be a great start to an exercise program — walking isn’t necessarily a calorie-torching activity. But if you’re looking to burn extra calories on foot, consider amping up your activity with these five tricks:
1. TACKLE THE HILLS
Use your surrounding environment to break a sweat on a walk. Seek out the hills instead of avoiding them. If you don’t live in a hilly place, even doing hill repeats on the same hill gets your heart pumping.
2. HIT THE TRAILS
Trails require more coordination and all-body stability to navigate roots and rocks than a plain paved road or sidewalk. Also, according to recent studies, the bonus time spent in nature versus on city streets will make you happier and more energized in the long run.
3. ADD WEIGHT
Whether it’s carrying your groceries home from the market or wearing a weighted vest on a power walk, taking on an extra load burns extra calories. Just make sure you’re carrying things evenly — switch hands if you’re carrying a bag, or invest in a quality backpack.
READ MORE > DOES WALKING WITH WEIGHTS BOOST WEIGHT LOSS?
4. ADD INTERVALS
You don’t need to start running all the time — but a few fartlek intervals will boost your heart rate and metabolism. As you walk around the neighborhood, simply pick up the pace and do a jog or hard run for a half block or to the next stop sign. Even 10 seconds of fast-paced running done a few times can have major benefits, and eventually, you might find that you want to add even more running to your routine.
5. SNEAK IN BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
Take advantage of those parks with fitness loops that include stations for different activities like pullups and tricep dips. If you don’t have one of those nearby, you can DIY it by stopping every few minutes and holding a plank for a few seconds, doing a few air squats or walking lunges.