How can you get more from your walks? Get-Fit Guy reveals the 4 B's for Better Walking, to help achieve fat burning, increased fitness, and long-term health benefits.
Earlier this month, I attended a three day conference on the hilly Berkeley campus in California. Because my lodging was about a half-mile from the conference location, I spent plenty of time walking down hills, up stairs, across grassy lawns, and through campus walkways. Although I didn’t get a chance to do much formal exercising, I certainly felt the muscular and cardiovascular benefits of walking, and had plenty of time to think about ways to make walking a more fitness- and fat loss-enhancing event.
And then, just this week, I found new research from a journal of diabetes that compares interval walking to continuous walking. In the study, participants walked for 60 minutes, five times a week, and either varied the intensity of their walking (interval walking), or kept intensity constant (continuous walking.) Even though both groups burnt the same number of calories during the walk, the group that did interval walking experienced much better blood sugar control--which has a direct impact on fat burning, overall energy, and long-term health.
This simply means that if you go on a walk, you’re going to get the best results if you choose some kind of undulating terrain that forces you to slow down and speed up (e.g. hill, stairs, etc.) Or, if the surface is flat, the best results will come if you walk as fast as possible for a while, then recover, then go fast again, and so on.
So besides interval walking, what are some other ways you can get fitter faster, and burn more fat, with walking?
Here are 4 quick and dirty tips--your 4 B’s for Better Walking:
Bear a Load
As soon as you introduce weights, walking becomes a form of resistance training, burns more calories. and helps build bone density. When it comes to bearing a load, the sky’s the limit: you can wear a backpack full of books, sport a weighted vest, use arm weights and/or ankle weights, carry a baby, or have your kid piggyback on you. If you’re up for a more advanced trick, grab heavy rocks or logs from your walking path and carry them as far as possible.