Doing This One Thing While Walking Burns Twice As Many Calories, Trainer Says
Whether you're casually strolling home from work or regularly taking multi-mile powerwalks with friends, walking is an undeniably great way to get in some exercise no matter where your day takes you.
However, many people find themselves disinclined to treat walking as their regular workout—but rather, an accompaniment to it—due to the relatively low calorie burn they typically get out of those aimless ambles. According to Harvard Health, a 155-pound person walking at a pace of four miles per hour can expect to burn just 175 calories over a 30-minute walk.
Luckily, there's a way to significantly boost—or even double—your calorie burn during every walk, experts say.
"Try interval training during your walk. Walk at a casual pace for a minute, then powerwalk as quickly and efficiently as you can for 30 seconds. Continue to complete these intervals for the entirety of your workout," suggests Danielle Gray, a NASM-certified personal trainer, Pn1-certified nutritionist, and founder of Train Like A Gymnast.
"Interval training helps push your body outside its comfort zone to extend caloric burn even after you are finished exercising through an effect called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption to return to your resting state," Gray explains.
Supporting Gray's assertion, a 2013 study published in Physiological Reports found that short bursts of high-intensity exercise can significantly increase your calorie burn.
Researchers from the American Physiological Society found that exercisers can torch 200 calories in just 2.5 minutes during periods of high-intensity exercise, provided that they bookend these demanding intervals with more prolonged periods of lower-intensity exercise.
However, if interval training isn't your speed, you may be able to significantly boost your calorie burn in yet another way: By adding resistance.
"You can hold weights to increase resistance with arm swings on every step. Just a little extra resistance can do wonders," says Gray. "You can also do curls or overhead presses while you walk with weights, which will help you strength train and stabilize your core at the same time … When you use more energy to complete a task, you burn more calories."
For more great ways to supercharge your daily strolls, check out Walk Your Way to a Lean Body With This 20-Minute Walking Workout!
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