5 Ways to Power Up Your Walk and Lose Weight FasterPosted: October 21, 2014
At LifeVest, we don’t take walking for granted. Requiring little else but our own two feet, walking helps us stay fit (burning about 100 cals/mile), smiling, thinking clearer, and feeling all around healthier. It has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise and can be an enjoyable and powerful tool for losing, or maintaining weight — especially with the tricks below.
We’ve got 5 ways for powering up your walk so you can get slimmer even faster, without needing to break into a full out run. So, ready to walk this way?
1. Small strides make big differences:
While it might seem counterintuitive, the best way to boost your speed is to shorten your stride. Taking smaller steps enables you to take more of them, which results in an increased momentum and calorie burn.
MoveTip: The next time you’re out on a walk, time yourself for 50 steps. Then, see if you can fit 100 steps into that same amount of time by shortening your stride.
2. Give soul to your stride:
By “soul”, we really mean “sole”. As you take those shorter steps mentioned above, be mindful of the positioning of your foot. You want the entire sole of your foot to make contact with the pavement as you walk, starting from heel, rolling on up to the toe.
MoveTip: Stay light as you strike your heel, and then give more oomph when you reach the ball of your foot at the end of each step. Bouncing off your ball will work the your calves, glutes and hamstrings, allowing you to burn more calories as you fire up those muscles.
3. Stand up tall:
Good posture not only makes you look better in the moment, but it sets you up for a more efficient walking routine for the long term. By straightening your spine, you allow your legs and glutes to work more efficiently so you can naturally move a bit faster.
MoveTip: As you walk, stand tall with a slightly lifted chest and a straight back. Keep your shoulders relaxed, open and slightly drawing back. Then, get your abs in on the action by tucking in the tummy, almost as if you’re wearing a tight pair of jeans.
4. Pump it up — with your arms:
While you move those legs, put your arms to good use so you can maximize your energy exertion, (i.e., your calorie burn). Pumping up your arms will cue your legs to move faster through the momentum, and allow you to cover more territory.
MoveTip: Maintain bent elbows throughout your walk. This will keep your arms moving faster, and cause your legs to follow. For more of a workout, accentuate the arm movement by pulling each arm back as you pump it until the hand aligns with your ribs.
5. Mix and maximize:
Variety is the spice of life and also a powerful key to your weight loss walking strategy. Think of the time you spend walking also as an occasion to fit in a few bodyweight exercises, like pushups or lunges. Even if you don’t do more than a handful of each exercise, know every bit will help hit other muscles and boost your metabolism.
MoveTip: If going on a 15-30 minutes walk, stop every five minutes and do one minute of moves. For a 30min+ walk, stop every ten minutes and do one minute of moves. Switch between arm exercises, like pushups or tricep dips on a bench, and leg workouts, like lunges, squats or burpees.