When you think of exercises for weight loss, you probably think about how effective intense cardio workouts and strength-training exercises are for maximizing calorie burn. Rarely do we consider walking, even though it can be hugely beneficial. Of course, you have to keep in mind that just adding exercise to your routine isn’t going to cut it. You have to maintain a healthy diet, too.
These five different walking workouts can help you shed those last unwanted pounds.
1. Interval walking
Believe it or not, you don’t have to run miles or spend hours on the elliptical to burn fat. You can actually get rid of it while walking, just as long as you add intervals to the mix. You hear about the benefits of high-intensity interval training all the time, and luckily, you can do it without sprinting until your legs ache.
All you have to do is alternate between short bursts of fast walking and a slower recovery pace during your walk.
2. Walking uphill
According to Women’s Health, walking uphill or just increasing your incline on a treadmill can make your walk more effective. The article mentions that as you increase your incline, you build more muscle. This is because the motion is more challenging for your legs. As you build more muscle you also burn more calories at rest, as mentioned by WebMD. Because of this, the benefits don’t just stop when your walk ends.
3. Power walking
Taking brisk strides and being mindful of the back and forth motion of your arms during your walk is a great way to increase health benefits. According to Livestrong.com, the exaggerated movement of your arms and legs during a power walk is an effective way to manage your weight and increase calorie burn. Plus, Mayo Clinic says taking brisk walks regularly not only offers physical benefits, but also improves your mood and helps prevent harmful health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Just make sure to increase your speed and distance over time to continue reaping the benefits.
4. Walking with a weighted pack
You already know using weights is a great way to build strength and speed up your metabolism, so why not add them to your walk to increase health benefits? According to Men’s Health, you can shed pounds by rucking — an exercise that requires carrying a weighted pack as you walk. The article mentions you can nearly triple the number of calories you burn just by wearing a backpack during your exercise. In addition, it’ll help build endurance with a lower risk of injury than running.
Take your walk to the next level by going for a hike whenever you get the chance. When you hike, you can maximize health benefits by incorporating more than one walking exercise into your workout. You can hike with a weighted pack, constantly switch up your speed, and you’ll definitely have to walk on an incline during the exercise. Additionally, you’ll likely have to walk on uneven terrain throughout the trail, which is a great way to work your muscles and improve your balance, according to WebMD.
With this outdoor exercise, you can get the most out of your walking routine with the added perks of fresh air, increased strength, and even stress and anxiety relief. Not to mention, this exercise can keep your walks from getting boring.