Changing up your walking routine can help prevent boredom.
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Walking is a simple exercise that can be done with minimal special equipment. The American Council on Exercise touts walking as an easy-to-start, low-risk exercise that is proven to benefit your health. Walking regularly can boost bone strength, reduce blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase endurance and burn calories to help you lose weight or keep your weight in a healthy range. The number of calories burned can vary depending on the surface you're walking on and your weight.
Start with Flat Surfaces
Most people spend part of their day walking from one destination to another. You can use this part of your daily activities to walk a bit further and burn more calories. Normal, everyday walking on flat surfaces, such as across the parking lot, down the sidewalk or up and down the hallways at work, can burn 240 calories per hour if you weigh around 150 pounds and walk at approximately 2 miles per hour, according to the American Heart Association. You can burn more calories by increasing the distance you walk each day. Simple ways to do this include walking to work instead of driving or taking a walk on your lunch break.
Add Some Sand
Walking on sand requires 2.1 to 2.7 times more energy than walking on a solid, flat surface, even if you're walking at the same speed, according to a 1998 study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Therefore, walking on a sandy surface, such as a beach, can burn more calories while covering the same distance, making your exercise more effective.
Hike Uneven Surfaces
You can switch up your walking routine by getting outside for a hike. If you weigh 150 pounds, you can burn around 400 calories just hiking on a cross-country trail for an hour. If you make it a backpacking trip that same hike could help you burn an additional 100 calories in just one hour. A more challenging hike that includes some hills or is on a mountainous trail could burn even more calories, up to 535, according to the health calculator at Self.com.
Walk on Stairs
You can increase your calorie burn during the day by opting to take the stairs or walking on the escalator instead of riding in the elevator. When walking up stairs, you should use good posture and stand tall, while holding in your stomach. A person weighing 150 pounds can burn 5 calories, on average, walking up one floor, according to Hennepin Healthworks. Therefore, if you walk up 10 floors, you can burn an extra 45 calories. Walking downstairs will burn about 1.5 calories per floor, which means you will burn about 15 calories when you descend 10 floors.
Walk on the Treadmill
If you don't have time to hit the trails or cannot fit extra walking into your day, you could walk on your treadmill at home. The American Council on Exercise states that a treadmill is a effective option for walking indoors. Many treadmills offer features such as incline options and speed controls that can help you burn more calories during your walk. Walking with no incline at 3 miles per hour will burn around 320 calories for a 150-pound person, while walking at a speed of 4.5 miles per hour can burn 440 calories in that same amount of time. If you are walking 2.9 to 3.5 miles per hour on a treadmill with an incline of 1 to 5 percent, you burn around 475 calories if you weigh 160 pounds. Increasing the incline to a 6 to 15 percent at the same speed can increase the calories burned to 715, according to Health and Fitness Experts.
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