3 Ways to Boost Walking Benefits

Happy young woman jogging

Medically reviewed in December 2021

Burn more fat when you walk -- and make bigger cardio gains -- just by following these three simple walking rules from Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness.

Here's what Metcalf advises: Challenge yourself with a few hills, regularly change up the terrain that you walk on, and, for really big cardio benefits, mix in a little jogging here and there.

Join the Craze
Walking is fabulous (and fabulously easy!) exercise. And it has the highest compliance rate of any exercise around -- probably because it requires little more than a sturdy pair of walking shoes and the great outdoors. What's more, studies show that people who walk regularly are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long term compared with people who don't walk for exercise. But why not maximize what you get out of a walking program with Metcalf's simple strategies? Here's the breakdown of how to do them and why:

  • Walk and run in intervals. Alternate 2 minutes of moderately paced walking with 1 minute of fast walking or light jogging. You'll burn way more calories.
  • Go for the grade. Walking uphill -- even an incline increase as small as a 10 percent grade -- can help you torch 30 percent more calories. (Every walk has a song. Pick the perfect music for your workout.)
  • Change the terrain. Stepping on a variety of surfaces will challenge the muscles of your body in new ways. It also keeps workouts interesting.

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