Walking for fitness burns up to 300 calories per hour for a 155-pound person, according to Harvard Health Publishing, and is simple to do, even in the comfort of your bedroom. Walking in place is just as effective as walking on a track; all you need is enough space to march, supportive shoes and comfortable clothing.
The key to weight loss while walking is raising your heart rate to 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate exercising at a moderately intense speed, notes Mayo Clinic. You can achieve this pace by varying your in-place walking movements and adding arm movements.
1. Walk in Place
Walk in place during commercials. A simple way to begin a walking program is to stand up and walk in place during the commercials of your favorite TV show. Make sure you have enough space to walk in place comfortably, turn on your favorite TV show and during every commercial stand up and walk.
During a 30-minute TV show, you can get in a total of 12 minutes of walking time; during a one-hour show, you can log up to 24 minutes of cardio.
2. Add Arm Exercises
Add arm exercises to your in-place walk. Performing arm exercises during your walk can increase your calorie burn by 100 calories and tighten and tone your arms. Simple exercises to add to your in-place walk are bicep curls, shoulder presses and triceps kickbacks.
To perform a biceps curl, begin with both arms straight down at your sides. Turn your palms to face forward, make a fist or hold a lightweight dumbbell, and curl your arms up toward your shoulders at the same time. Lower slowly, resisting against gravity and repeat 10 to 15 times. Change up your pace by alternating the bicep curls for one set of 15 to 20.
A shoulder press begins by holding your elbows up to shoulder level, with your palms facing forward. Press both arms up at the same time toward the ceiling, arms next to your ears, and then slowly lower back down. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times.
A triceps kickback should begin with both elbows slightly lifted behind your torso; extend both of your hands back at the same time until your arms are straight and you feel the backs of your arms tighten, says ACE Fitness. Hold the extension and then slowly bring your hands back to starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. All of these exercises may be done with lightweight dumbbells to increase intensity.
3. Change It Up
Vary your pace and add different leg movements. To increase the intensity of your walk, vary your speed by walking at a fast pace for two minutes, then at a regular pace for four minutes. Adding this fast pace will increase your calorie burn by up to 50 extra calories for a 30-minute walk. Adding leg movements such as kicks and high knee lifts will also increase the intensity for faster weight loss.
Ready for something new? This 12-minute workout burns plenty of calories and requires zero extra equipment, so you can do it alongside or in place of your usual at-home walking routine. Push play on the video below to give it a try.
Always consult your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise or diet program.