Walking is such a simple way of getting from A to B, you can always rely on yourself to be able to walk. But why do we not see it as a viable use of our time? With the new age fitness trackers (pedometers) becoming all the rage is it time that you added some 'oomph' to your walking?
Check out these simple tips to get a wiggle on and step up your game:
A more vigorous arm swing - Your muscles are designed to move so get those arms working; it will activate more muscles fibres and get the blood pumping. Although keep the arms at 90 degrees to ensure they can keep up with your legs. Up the anti and use some Nordic Poles to get even more of the upper body and torso engaged. Some research has suggested this burns an additional 20-40% of calories.
Implement a Fartlek style to how you walk - Simply put, select 3 different paces (fast, medium and slow) to keep your body guessing whilst giving it time to recover for the fast bursts. You will be able to maintain this for a much longer duration then a standard fast walk hence increase your burn. Up the anti and slightly change your walking style whilst walking faster use a Heel/Mid-foot/Toe strike to engage the Hamstring & Glues for a greater burn.
Get kitted up - Use a HR monitor to ensure you are actually pushing your body and not going for a dawdle. The higher your HR the greater the benefits (up until a point). Up the anti and get new shoes. The most flexibility and least cushioning will do the trick. It will recruit more muscle fibres to make sure the foot is controlled.
Incline is fine - Increase the incline and you can burn up to 50% more calories. As an idea anything above and incline of 2.5% has a marked increase on oxygen consumption - thus fuel burnt.. Goodbye calories. Up the anti and keep your speed if you walk at a speed of 4.7mph and you will burn the same amount of calories as jogging - not a bad for the casual walker.
Add a lunge - it will make a huge difference if you take a break from walking and throw in some bodyweight (or weighted exercises). Even if it is just lifting your bottle of water over your head and lunging this will make a big different to the bodies response as lifting anything above your head will make your heart work harder. Up the anti - Add a jump in. Turning any movement into a plyometric one will increase the demand on the body and will easily make a marked difference to your current walking routine. Weather this be jump squat/lunges/press ups and the dreaded burpee it will all make a difference.
Walking with weight - A lovely way to increase your burn. A weighted back pack is the best option as an over shoulder bag can place undue strain on the spine. Ideally one with a waist and chest strap that way you will reduce the bouncing around from the bag. Up the anti - Add in a farmer carry. The reason it is difficult (and dreaded) carrying your food shopping home is because of the additional stress it places on the body. Although you can't deny it gets the old ticker going and will make you work much harder than if you carried it in a backpack. Plus it improves you grip - and a strong grip has shown a positive correlation to heart health.
BEAR Fitness Team