Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise that can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Not only is it low-impact, but it also doesn’t require any special equipment or a gym membership, making it an excellent choice for people of all ages and fitness levels.
However, if you want to get the most out of your walking routine and see results, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to maximize your efforts. From increasing your step count to incorporating strength training exercises, these pro tips can help you burn more calories and shed those extra pounds.
In this blog post, we’ll share 22 pro tips for walking to lose weight, based on scientific research and expert advice. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced walker, these tips can help you optimize your walking routine and achieve your weight loss goals. So, put on your walking shoes, grab a water bottle, and let’s get started on this journey towards a healthier, fitter you!
- Vary the terrain you walk on – Walking on varied terrain, such as hills or sand, can help you burn more calories and challenge different muscles, preventing your body from hitting a weight loss plateau.
- Switch up your walking speed – Incorporating intervals of faster walking into your routine can increase your heart rate and calorie burn. Try alternating between 1-2 minutes of brisk walking and 2-3 minutes of slower walking for a more effective workout.
- Incorporate a weighted backpack – Carrying a weighted backpack can add resistance to your walk, making it more challenging and helping to build muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase over time to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of this technique.
- Engage your arms – Engaging your arms by swinging them back and forth as you walk can help increase your speed and calorie burn. Make sure to keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle and avoid clenching your fists to prevent tension in your arms and hands.
- Recruit a walking buddy – Walking with a buddy can help keep you motivated and accountable, making it more likely for you to stick to your walking routine. You can also challenge each other to increase your step count or try different walking routes for some variety.
- Establish a goal – Setting a specific walking goal, such as a target step count or distance, can help keep you focused and motivated. Start with a realistic goal and gradually increase it as you get stronger and more comfortable with your routine. Celebrate your achievements along the way to stay encouraged and engaged.
- Take the stairs – Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator can help you burn more calories and strengthen your legs and glutes. Incorporate stair climbing into your walking routine by taking the stairs whenever possible, or adding a few flights of stairs to your walk for an added challenge.
- Raise your knees 70 to 80 degrees with each step – Raising your knees higher with each step can help engage your core and leg muscles, increasing the intensity of your walk and burning more calories. Aim to raise your knees to a height of 70 to 80 degrees with each step, maintaining good posture and a comfortable pace.
- Add farmer’s carries or other handheld resistance – Incorporating handheld weights, such as dumbbells or kettlebells, or using everyday objects like water bottles or grocery bags for farmer’s carries can help increase the resistance of your walk, building strength in your upper body and core. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase over time for best results.
- Take shorter, more frequent walks – Taking shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day can help you achieve your step count and weight loss goals. Aim for at least 10 minutes of walking every hour or take a quick 15-minute walk after meals to help boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.
- Focus on hills or walking at an incline – Walking on hills or at an incline can help increase the intensity of your walk and burn more calories. If you don’t have hills nearby, try using a treadmill with an incline feature or finding a local park with a hilly terrain. Gradually increase the incline over time to continue challenging yourself.
- Walk at an intensity where the conversation becomes difficult – Walking at an intensity where it becomes difficult to hold a conversation can help ensure that you are working at an appropriate level of intensity to burn calories and improve your fitness. This is known as the “talk test” and can help you find your optimal walking pace for weight loss.
- Take walking breaks throughout the workday – Taking walking breaks throughout the workday can help you avoid sitting for prolonged periods and improve your overall health. Try taking a quick 10-minute walk around the office or outside during your lunch break or holding a walking meeting instead of sitting in a conference room. This can also help boost your productivity and focus when you return to work.
- Keep in mind that walking is the ultimate antidote for sore legs – Walking can be a great way to alleviate soreness in your legs after a tough workout or long day on your feet. Walking increases blood flow to the muscles and helps to flush out lactic acid, which can cause soreness and stiffness. Just remember to start with a slower pace and gradually increase your speed as you feel more comfortable.
- Incorporate strength training into your routine – Incorporating strength training exercises into your walking routine can help you build muscle and increase your overall metabolism, making it easier to burn more calories and lose weight. Try incorporating bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, or push-ups into your walk, or add in a strength training session a few times a week to supplement your walking routine.
- Stream an audiobook or podcast while you walk – Listening to an audiobook or podcast while you walk can help pass the time and make your walk more enjoyable. Choose a topic or genre that interests you and listen as you walk, allowing you to learn something new while also burning calories and improving your health. This can also help distract you from any discomfort or fatigue you may feel during your walk, helping you to push through and complete your workout.
- Rev up your protein intake – Increasing your protein intake can help support muscle growth and recovery after your walks, which can help you burn more calories and lose weight. Aim to consume a protein-rich snack or meal within 30 minutes of completing your walk, such as a protein shake, hard-boiled eggs, or a piece of grilled chicken. This can help provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and build muscle tissue, which can help increase your overall metabolism and improve your weight loss results.
- Increase your consumption of fruits and veggies – Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can help support your weight loss goals and improve your overall health. These nutrient-dense foods are high in fiber and low in calories, making them an ideal choice for those looking to lose weight. Try adding a serving of fruits or vegetables to each meal or snack, such as a side of roasted vegetables or a piece of fruit as a snack. This can help you feel fuller for longer and reduce the likelihood of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
- Make small incremental increases – Making small incremental increases in your walking routine can help you avoid injury and burn more calories over time. Instead of trying to increase your distance or speed too quickly, try adding an extra five minutes to your walk each week, or increasing your pace by just a few seconds per mile. This gradual approach can help you build endurance and strength without putting too much strain on your body, allowing you to continue to improve and see results over time.
- Try walking meditation- Walking meditation can be a great way to reduce stress and improve your mental well-being while also getting some exercise. To practice walking meditation, focus on the sensation of your feet as they touch the ground, and the movement of your body as you walk. Try to clear your mind and focus on your breath as you walk, taking slow, deliberate steps and inhaling and exhaling deeply. This can help you feel more centered and relaxed, and can also help you stay more present and focused during your walk.
- Time your walks with the sunrise or the sunset – Timing your walks with the sunrise or sunset can be a great way to enhance the enjoyment of your walking routine. The peaceful and calming atmosphere during these times can help you reduce stress and feel more relaxed, making it easier to enjoy your walk and stay motivated. Additionally, walking during these times can expose you to natural light, which can help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve your sleep quality. So, try to plan your walks to coincide with the sunrise or sunset and take in the beauty of nature while also getting some exercise.
- Don’t stress yourself out if you don’t meet your daily step count – It’s important to remember that walking should be a source of enjoyment and stress relief, not a source of pressure or anxiety. While setting goals and tracking your progress can be helpful, it’s important not to stress yourself out if you don’t meet your daily step count or other targets. Focus on the positive benefits of walking, such as improved mental health and physical well-being, rather than getting fixated on numbers. And if you miss a day or fall short of your goals, don’t beat yourself up – simply refocus and try again the next day. Walking is a journey, not a destination, so focus on enjoying the process and making it a sustainable part of your lifestyle.
In conclusion, incorporating these pro tips into your walking routine can help you lose weight, improve your health, and boost your overall well-being.