Get the latest from TODAY
If you want to lose weight, three components will help you: cardio, strength training and eating clean. And for best results, you need all three (no cheating!).
For cardio, you can do anything that gets your heart rate up and holds it there for a while. And lucky for you, walking is one of those things. Its appeal is that it's easy and doesn’t require any special equipment — aside from a great pair of walking shoes, that is.
But there's a downside: You can also take it way too easy. Strolling along at a slow pace won’t burn many calories.
Still, you can make it work. Walking, combined with a few challenges and a determined attitude, can turn into a real, effective workout. Try these tips to boost your calorie-burning on your next walk:
1. Head for the hills.
To burn more calories, include hills in your walk. It'll also help you target the glutes! First, scout out a hill that takes you 30 to 60 seconds to climb (we're not talking Mount Everest, people!). Set your timer, then walk up the hill as fast as you can. Repeat this three to five times, and each time, try to shave off a few seconds from your previous attempts.
2. Add weight.
A weighted vest works better than walking with dumbbells or ankle weights. Why? Because the latter can throw off your gait and even trip you up. The vest distributes the weight load more evenly, bumping up your calorie burn. But be sure to check with your doctor first if you have any back, ankle or knee issues.
3. Do intervals.
Instead of walking at the same pace for your entire workout, warm up at your regular pace for a few minutes, then start adding faster periods. You don’t have to run or jog (though I suggest you try!); you just need to pick up the pace. Start by alternating 30 to 60 seconds of higher intensity with the same number of seconds at a slower pace. Believe it or not, you'll burn more calories doing intervals than if you walked at the same pace — even for a longer total time.
You want to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio or more three or more days of the week. For the best weight-loss results, be sure to include intervals on one or more of those days.
Now get walking!
For more diet and fitness tips, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter.