11 Walking Tips to Lose Weight Faster

Marc Lindsay
by Marc Lindsay
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11 Walking Tips to Lose Weight Faster

If you’re looking for an easy way to lose weight, getting started with a walking program is a great way to do it. It’s low-impact, easy to fit into a busy schedule and accessible for almost any age or fitness level.

Use these eleven walking tips to burn more calories and shed pounds:

1

WALK MORE THROUGHOUT THE DAY

A power-walking workout is a great way to get in shape. And while a 30–45-minute power walk 4–5 days per week should be your focus, don’t stop there. To reach your weight-loss goals, try including short walks of 20 minutes or less throughout your day when possible. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Try a short walk following meals, which can help control your blood sugar, prevent cravings for more food and give your metabolism a boost.
  • When completing daily errands, walk between destinations instead of driving when it’s a mile or less.
  • Take a short walk when you feel frustrated or stressed. It can help your mood while you burn a few more calories.
  • Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
2

INCREASE THE INTENSITY

Upping your walking speed from a leisurely at-the-park pace is one way to get the heart pumping and burn more calories. In addition to picking up the pace, researchers at Ohio State University have also found that varying your walking speed during your workouts can help you burn up to 20% more calories than maintaining a steady pace.

During your walk, include one 30-second burst every 5 minutes, walking as fast as you can without jogging. Follow this with a slower 30-second recovery walk before you get back into your normal power-walking pace.

3

HIT THE HILLS

Walking on a hiking trail with hills is one way to include intervals in your walking routine without making it feel like torture. Walking uphill also burns more calories and helps you build muscle in the lower body, which can help speed up your metabolism, too.

If you don’t have a walking trail nearby that you can access 2–3 times per week, try a staircase workout or set the incline on the treadmill. Just remember to change your technique slightly. Lean forward as you climb, take shorter steps and bend your knees more than you would normally.

4

USE YOUR ARMS

While it might look silly, exaggerating your arm swing while you walk has additional benefits. It’ll help to speed up your pace, work your upper body and burn up to 10% more calories when compared to a normal arm swing.

To perfect your arm-swing technique, use these tips:

  • Bend your arms to 90 degrees and maintain this form.
  • The arm should extend behind the body as far as you can comfortably and naturally.
  • On the upswing, the hand should rise to the level of the chest.
5

FOCUS ON FORM

Emphasizing correct posture can help improve your workout and calorie-burn, as well as prevent fatigue and common walking-related injuries. Focus on keeping your back relaxed, elongating your spine and keeping your shoulders neutral. Make sure to focus your gaze on the horizon, which helps keep your neck and head aligned.

You’ll also want to pay attention to how your foot strikes the ground. Your heel should strike the ground first to “help absorb the impact and minimize stress on the joints,” explains Dr. Michael Gleiber, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon. From there, your foot should roll smoothly forward and “push off of your toes using the toe flexors,” says Gleiber. By taking a few minutes to check in with your form, you can maximize your walking workouts to lose weight more efficiently.

6

HAVE A STEP GOAL

Setting goals is important to stay motivated. One of the best goals you can have as a walker is to work toward increasing the number of steps you take per day. The more steps you take, the more likely you are to burn calories. And shortening your stride to take more steps can actually help you speed up the pace, too.

Unlike distance and speed goals that can lead to an injury when progressed too quickly, increasing your steps is safer and can be amped up more rapidly. If you’re serious about losing weight, aim for 10,000 per day to start and increase your step count from there as you can tolerate.

7

KEEP CALORIE CONSUMPTION LOW

Walking can be a great way to destress, improve your health and strengthen your bones and muscles without risking injury. But for weight loss, you’ll need to concentrate on diet to make it happen.

Focusing on lean proteins and vegetables and limiting sugary and processed foods is where you should start. Keeping track of your daily caloric intake helps you shed pounds quicker and more safely than opting for one of the many fad diets instead.

8

INCLUDE STRENGTH TRAINING

A good way to break up your walks, strengthen your muscles and burn more calories is to include bodyweight exercises during your workout. Two or three times per week, stop and perform one of these exercises every five minutes during your walk. How many you do is up to you:

PUSHUPS (do them inclined on a park bench or against a wall to make it easier)

SQUATS, bending the knees to 90 degrees

WALKING LUNGES

FRONT OR SIDE PLANKS

9

AVOID SUGARY SPORTS DRINKS

One common mistake walkers and other endurance athletes make is opting for sugary sports drinks during their workout. The calories from these beverages negate most of the calories you’re burning, and in most instances they aren’t needed to sustain your activity. Unless you’re exercising at a high intensity for more than 90 minutes, stick with water, and save the sports drinks for your most difficult workouts.

10

CONSIDER A WALKING PLAYLIST

It can be difficult to keep your intensity high and stay focused during the duration of your walk to maximize calorie burn if you’re alone all the time. For those days when you need an extra boost, try some tunes. An upbeat playlist can be surprisingly motivating, so you’re motivated to walk further and faster while staving off boredom.

11

TAKE RECOVERY SERIOUSLY

A big part of losing weight with any activity is being consistent. That means walking regularly, and to do so you’ll need to minimize injury, illness and muscle soreness. By taking recovery more seriously between workouts, you’ll be able to exercise more frequently and burn more calories. Icing sore spots, stretching and foam rolling post-workout, eating a well-balanced diet and prioritizing quality sleep are all essential elements of a smart recovery plan to stay in tip-top shape.

Originally published April 2018, updated with additional reporting

To become more active, try setting a simple goal to increase (and track) your daily steps. Go to “Plans” in the MyFitnessPal app and choose a 28-day step plan to learn tips to boost your activity.

About the Author

Marc Lindsay
Marc Lindsay

Marc is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Portland State University and is a certified physical therapy assistant. An avid cyclist and runner of over 20 years, Marc contributes to LAVA, Competitor and Phoenix Outdoor magazines. He is the former cycling editor for Active.com.

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37 responses to “11 Walking Tips to Lose Weight Faster”

  1. Avatar Mario Echeverry says:

    very good thanks

  2. Avatar Gisele says:

    The title of this article should be 6 Walking Tips to Lose Weight Faster. #6 is not a “Walking” tip. Thanks.

  3. Avatar xXNewAdventureXx says:

    Hi, I was looking for tips on walking better. This help! I walk about between two and four miles a day, but I’m not losing weight. So… what I doing wrong? Thank You for your help!

    • Avatar Doug Davidson says:

      I would look strongly at your caloric intake if you’re not losing weight.
      I have been walking three miles a day and doing some additional weight training for two months now and have lost thirty pounds.
      I keep the calories to less than 1500 a day, drink lots of water and no soda.
      While I think my results are not the norm and men and women lose weight differently you should drop pounds by watching calories and walking. Good luck.

    • Avatar Tommy Parlante says:

      me too,plus I play golf on a links course where there of plenty hills 3 or 4 times a week, swim for an hour a few times a week but I enjoy my pasta too, I have not lost an ounce but enjoy eating.

    • Avatar Heather Owen says:

      I agree with what Doug says about sorting out your eating habits, but I think you could increase the distance you walk, too. Four miles is not really very much.

      • Avatar NT2018 says:

        it’s not? why? just curious. I can no longer run and started power walking 4-6 miles a day and wt training. some days 4 miles is plenty for me.

    • Avatar Munchy says:

      also remember if you increase your exersize, walking included then you need to invcrease your food at some point, not haveing enough food means too much exersize will eventually slow your metabolic rate to a snail crawl unless you body is prepared. I found this out with experience

  4. Avatar volwildhogs says:

    I wouldn’t listen to any video that puts bumber stickers on a Porsche

  5. Avatar Andrew says:

    You should include:adding weight to a pack. Commonly known as rucking. It can burn up 2 times the calories in the same time or less.

    • Avatar Tommy Parlante says:

      what

      • Avatar Andrew says:

        Wear a weighted pack, back pack, ruck sack or even a weight vest.

        • Avatar netwolff says:

          Which is especially good for the knees, joints and such – considering that a lot of times overweight people start out with walking I think that hint is not very helpful in the long run.

          • Avatar Andrew says:

            I believe it’s just as valid as anything else. With any suggestion each individual has to tailor it to their own level. Start off light, as your weight drops and your strength and endurance improves you add weight to the pack. I’ve been doing it for 20 years often carrying 40lbs for ~10 miles with no issues. Is it for everyone, of course not, but it’s a growing niche community so I believe it will work for a lot of people.

          • Avatar WisdomSeeker says:

            “With any suggestion each individual has to tailor it to their own level.”

            Another excellent point; both points offer solid advice.

          • Avatar WisdomSeeker says:

            Thank you for your insightful comment, netwolf. I whole-heartedly agree and know from personal experience that you make a very good point.

    • Avatar Krinj says:

      I already carry a 100 pound ruck sack in my body. It’s more weight than my joints can handle as it is. And I’m trying to get rid of it, not add another one!

  6. Avatar Heather Revis says:

    I just want those shoes!

  7. Avatar Rolf Brandes says:

    I like the shoes in the first picture, the grey/black ones with the green and orange coloured soles. Does anyone know what model they are? Thanks!

    • Avatar Jolee says:

      They’re Under Armor shoes… you’d have to check their website to see if they still carry them.

      • Avatar Rolf Brandes says:

        Thank you, Nicole. I checked their website but couldn’t find them so I’m guessing they’re a previous year’s model unfortunately.

        • Avatar Jolee says:

          Yeh, i skimmed their running shoes and didn’t see them, but I didn’t have time to check out the rest of the shoes. Under armor has some really nice shoes overall tho.. I need to get some new running shoes and def thinking of getting some from them.

  8. Avatar Deb Harrison says:

    where can i find the shoes that are pictured at the top of the article? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d38ef66bfcc9d7a036cf28bafd0492f966690cfabf2d9d34db99501bd0d3afa2.jpg

  9. Avatar DJVIGIL says:

    Her knees are going past her toes on the squats, which is the improper form. Thanks for all of this information.

    • Avatar TommyPyg says:

      Agreed DJVIGIL – the title says to 90 degrees, but her knees are way past that. Good general tips and thanks for the article but please be careful – someone not already strong and flexible copying this could be injured.

  10. I appreciate the information that is shared in this article.
    I would like to make a suggestion. At some point in time, can a set of modified exercises be included? I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Joint pain and potential damage to joints is a real concern for people like me. It would be nice for the community writers to consider adults with special needs as well.

    • Avatar Leah Williams says:

      Sorry to hear that you suffer from joint pain and arthritis. I’m not sure about the modified listings within this site, as I’m new here. If you haven’t already, there is a wealth of information online if you search for “modified workout for joint pain or arthritis.” You can use a chair or wall to help take off some pressure for certain exercises, an exercise band for resistance, adding small pound hand weights for more intensity, etc. I hope that you find something that works for you, if you haven’t already. Great suggestion to offer modifications for those who have special circumstances.

    • Avatar Janet Patterson says:

      Mslaydeborah, Thank you for your input.. You took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve been a paid member here on this site for a long time and not often will you come across articles for the disabled or the truly obese folks. People of all types need to start somewhere. I too have Rheumatoid Arthritis and have had it or over 40 plus years. It’s only been the last 12 years that the disease activity has been nearly crippling. So my advice is continue reading these articles in hopes you can tweek the advice given to work for you. You and I both know adding weight to walking would absolutely be the wrong thing to do. I do what I can and when I can. I can’t even find any local trainer at the gym that knows enough about RA to work one on one with me. But the other reader who talks about chair exercises may have a good point.. I do wish they would have something more for us here who suffer with this type of disease. I wish you well.. This is NOT fun……WE have no cure but to exercise, exercise to keep strong.

    • Avatar Nellie Dwyer says:

      I highly recommend some pool exercises if you have access to a pool. 🙂 You will be amazed at the results you can get and it’s easier on the joints.

  11. Avatar Nan says:

    Love this app but the picture showing the person squatting in this article is so incorrect. She demonstrates squatting way too deep. 90 degrees is great, she goes to about 130+ degrees which puts way too much strain on the knees, even if you have good knees. Please correct the demo to show the correct squat so as not to perpetuate the error. Thanks!

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