Additionally, you can turn up the intensity of your walking program with some simple adjustments. A recent study by Ohio State University researchers showed that you can burn more calories walking by varying your speeds.
How It Works
During the Ohio State study, researchers had walkers vary their speeds on a treadmill, either by trying to exceed the speed of the treadmill or walking slower than the belt. It was shown that the metabolic cost (calories burned) was higher than when simply maintaining the same speed. It was even more effective than in changing the speed of the treadmill, when the belt actually shoulders some of the burden.
Researchers recognized that most people don't live their day-to-day lives by walking at a constant speed, as if on a treadmill. When you change your kinetic energy of walking, more work is required from the legs and more energy is burned. The study showed that people tend to walk at a slower pace when covering shorter distances, and at an increased pace when covering longer distances.
How You Can Use The Study’s Findings
- The key is to walk in a way that burns more energy. This could mean walking with a backpack, or with weights on your legs, or even walking in a curve as opposed to a straight line.
- Interval training, in which you increase your speed for a specific period of time, is a great way to burn more calories. For instance, you could walk at a normal pace for three minutes and then increase it for the next 90 seconds. Continue doing this for the duration of your walk.
- Adding an incline to your walk, whether it's stairs or a hill, can help you burn more calories, studies have shown.
- Bent arms move faster than straight and they won't slow down the pace of your feet. Watch how race walkers do it for an excellent example of moving with bent arms.
- Increasing the frequency of your steps, rather than altering your stride, can help you burn more energy.
- Walk with a friend. This will not only keep things interesting and help the time go by faster, but will also hold you more accountable.
Use these tips to pump up your walk. Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can also provide physically-limited individuals with exercises to increase strength and get results.