Regular walking is a natural way in which we can burn calories and torch belly fat. It is one of the easiest and most cost-effective forms of exercise one can do. However, just because walking is an easy, natural way for us humans doesn’t mean that there aren’t better ways to do it, or that there aren’t tips to help us burn more calories.
Here are a few tips that will increase calorie burning :
Walk briskly :
In all kind of aerobic exercise, such as running and swimming, pace makes a huge difference. Studies showed that when people increase their pace to a run, they burn more calories.
For example, if you’re 150 pounds (68 kg), walking briskly will burn around 300 calories every 60 minutes. And if you incorporate 30 minutes of brisk walking in your routine every single day, you will have burned off around 1050 calories by the end of the week. Impressive, isn’t it?
If you’re not an active person, to begin with, make sure to get your baseline first. If you walk 2000 steps on a typical day, aim for 4000 steps the next day. Then go up to 6000 steps the next week.
Try to establish a routine that you could easily follow and that you won’t get bored of.
Invest in a weighted vest :
Did you ever wonder why heavier people tend to lose more weight than the average-sized person? The reason for that is that their bodies require more energy than someone who isn’t as heavy in order to perform the exact same task.
Wearing a weighted vest will trick your body into working harder during a walk, thus, losing more calories. In fact, a couple of studies showed that individuals who wore a weighted vest that weighted 15% of their weight burned 12% more calories than a person who didn’t.
What you should keep in mind :
A weighted vest will certainly help you lose more calories, however, you should avoid carrying weights in your hands or wearing ankle or wrist weights, as both practices can lead to injury.
As you should with any new exercise, speak with your doctor before investing in a weighted vest, as it may not be suitable for you if you have back or neck problems.
Vary the terrain :
A great way to increase calorie burn is to switch the surface you’re walking on. Walking on grass, gravel, or soft sand burns more calories than walking on a track.
Walking uphill is also a great way to boost belly fat burning.
You might want to do that by increasing the treadmill gradient, or by adding more hills into your outdoor walking routine.
In fact, walking on uneven grounds puts you into the moderate-intensity zone and can spike your heart rates above 75% of its maximum efforts.
To make the most out of your workout, aim to walk up hills and make some changes into your daily life such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Swing your arms :
Vigorous arm pumping provides a great workout, while also speeding your pace. An arm swinging walking style will cause you to burn 5 to 10 % more calories than your usual style.
Drink green tea after walking :
Incorporating green tea in your diet actually offers several benefits such as boosting the body’s metabolism, making it more efficient, as well as breaking down fat from fat cells.
It can also help you recover faster after a brisk walk. In fact, a study found that participants who consumed three cups of green tea every day for a week had fewer markers of cell damage than non-tea drinkers.
Green tea is also known to be loaded with antioxidants called catechins, as well as caffeine, which are both healthy to your body in a decent amount.
Walk off a craving :
Before you cave in to that sweet, gooey treat, experts suggest to tie up your laces and walk for about 5 minutes, to see if you can manage to kick off the craving. A simple, but highly overlooked weight-loss trick.
Previous studies support this: A research made in 2008 regrouped regular chocolate eaters -who ate at least 2 chocolate bars a day- and had them restrain from eating it for a total of 3 days.
They then proceeded to divide them into different groups, raised their stress levels by putting them to work on difficult cognitive tests, and finally tempted them with unwrapped chocolate bars.
Thanks to this study, researchers found that acute exercise of 5 minutes helped people with an average weight to resist the urge of eating chocolate. If you are a bigger-sized person craving a sugary snack, a 15 minutes walk can do the same.
Another study in 2005 proved that taking a self-paced, low-intensity walk of around 15 minutes lessened the urge to smoke.
Run every day!
Last but not least is consistency. If you want to lose weight by walking, you will obtain the best results by doing so every day, consistently throughout the week.
For a start, aim for 30 minutes of walking a day, until it turns into a routine. Bit by bit, make your workout longer when you see that you can handle more than what you can already do. Change your pace, vary the terrain, invest in weights and you will see results in no time.
Don’t forget to make your workout enjoyable by listening to music or inviting a friend to walk with you.
Being physically active allows your body to burn more calories while also protecting you against conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
A study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise actually found that walking had the largest impact on public health because it’s accessible to everyone.
Make sure to stay healthy by walking regularly and reap the benefits of being active too!