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Burn More Calories on Your Next Walk

Interval training is an easy way to turn your daily walk into a great form of exercise.

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Want to pump up the results on your next walk? Just add intervals, or short bursts of hard effort.

Research shows that you’ll raise your metabolic rate—and burn more calories—by switching up your pace. In another study, people who did an interval walking workout for five months had a greater increase in their thigh muscle strength than those who stepped at a steady pace over the same period. The researchers also found that high-intensity interval walking could help protect against age-related blood pressure increases.

Not only are intervals good for your body, but they can also make that stroll more fun, since you’re not just doing one thing the whole time. Not sure how to get started? Try one of the following three 30-minute routines created by Roland and Galina Denzel, authors of Eat Well, Live Well, Move Well. They range in difficulty, so if you’re a beginner, start with level 1. Do it three times a week for a month, and then move on to the next level. Want an extra challenge? Walk in a hilly area.

Level 1

Warm up: Walk for 11 minutes at a comfortable pace. Check your posture: Make sure your head is over your shoulders and your arms are swinging by your sides.

Intervals:

1 minute: Pick up the pace. It should be challenging to talk.

2 minutes: Walk at a comfortable pace.

Repeat three times.

Cool down: Walk for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace, breathing through your nose.

Level 2

Warm up: Walk for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace, checking your posture. Slowly speed up to a moderate pace.

Intervals:

2 minutes: Pick up the pace. It should be challenging to talk.

2 minutes: Walk at a comfortable pace.

Repeat four times.

Cool down:

Walk for 4 minutes at a comfortable pace, breathing through your nose.

Level 3

Warm up:

Walk for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace. Check your posture: Make sure your head is over your shoulders and your arms are swinging by your sides.

Intervals

2 minutes: Pick up the pace. It should be challenging to talk.

1 minute: Walk at a comfortable pace.

Repeat seven times.

Cool down:

Walk for 4 minutes at a comfortable pace, breathing through your nose.