There are numerous aerobic exercises available today to make you feel healthier, look better and live longer. Of all the exercises out there, however, walking may be the most versatile and simple options for people of all fitness levels to help them achieve any manner of goals. Walking is incredibly convenient, as you can do it anywhere, at any time, without the need for anything but comfortable clothes and a good pair of shoes. However, walking can be a somewhat time-consuming exercise if not done efficiently, and most of us do not have a great deal of time to spare. With a couple of alterations, it's possible to maximize a walking workout and ensure that every moment gives you the best opportunity to burn calories.
1.) Pump Your Arms
You may feel like it looks a little bit silly at first, but pumping your arms can really help to burn excess calories, as well as getting more muscle groups within your body involved in your workout. Bend your elbows around ninety degrees and swing your arms from your shoulders, being sure to stick to short movements. If you reach out too far then you won't be able to move as fast.
2.) Consider An Incline
Climb anything that's available, from ramps in parking garages to stairs, and you could burn anywhere up to 50% more calories than you would by walking on level ground. If you're using a treadmill to workout, start off slow with a five percent incline, then work your way upwards to about eight percent, where you'll really start to feel the burn. Avoid using the handrails too, as this will reduce the effectiveness of your workout.
3.) Speed Up
If you walk at a pace equal to approximately 4.7 mph, you'll burn about as many calories as you would by running. Try to alternate between intervals, such as going as fast as possible for 60 seconds, then walking at a moderate pace for five minutes. Intervals will help you to stave off fatigue, and ensure your metabolism remains boosted long after your exercise is finished.
4.) Take Varying Steps
Take a moment now and again during your walk to change the way you stride. It may look a little bit strange at first, but changing your walk can be a fantastic way to engage and work out different muscle groups in your body, as well as raising your heart rate. Try alternating between walking on your heels, doing walking lunges, or walking with your knees high.
5.) Slide Your Feet
Roll your step through from the heel of your foot to the toe. When you get to the ball, push back as though you were trying to wipe something off your shoe. This will help you to work on your glute muscles, calves, and hamstrings. Remember, the more muscles you use, the more calories you will be able to burn.
6.) Stand Up Straight
When your body is well aligned, the muscles around your rear and in your back are capable of working more effectively and powerfully, allowing you to walk faster for longer. Stand with a straight spine, keeping your shoulders and ears aligned over your hips.