14 Walking Workouts to Burn Fat and Boost Energy

Walking Workouts1. Walking Workout: Treadmill Slimmer

Time: 30 minutes

Treadmills are the perfect excuse buster—no need to worry about weather, traffic, or darkness. Seeing your speed increase as you become more fit is also a huge motivator. Try this routine from Lee Scott, creator of the DVD Simple Steps for a Great Walking Workout, to blast more than 150 calories* in half an hour.

Start at a comfortable speed. Increase 0.6 mph from there for Phase 1 speed intervals. For each subsequent phase, increase your speed intervals by 0.2 mph. *Calorie burn is based on a 150-pound person and will vary depending on weight, walking speed, and workout duration.

2. Walking Workout: Drop-It-Fast Sprint

Time: 25 to 30 minutes

The quicker you walk, the farther you can go and the more pounds you’ll melt off. Here’s a fun routine that burns as many as 175 calories. The workout: After warming up for 5 minutes, walk as fast as you can for 10 minutes. Note how far you went. Then turn around and walk back at a brisk pace, slowing your speed to cool down as you get closer to your starting point. Each time you do this workout, aim to walk faster and go farther than your initial turnaround point.

3. Walking Workout: Megacalorie Burner

Time: 60+ minutes (Perfect for the weekend!)

Hour-plus workouts can crank up your post-exercise calorie burn nearly fivefold, compared with a 30-minute walk. That’s on top of the nearly 350 calories you’ll melt during your walk. This can also get you in shape to take on a bigger goal, such as a half marathon (13.1 miles) or a multiday fund-raising walk. It’s also a social way to slim down: Plan your route so you meet up with friends, and walk with each for part of your route. “Meeting someone along the way helped keep me from getting bored,” says Prevention reader Kim Kline of Jefferson City, MO.

4. Walking Workout: Belly-Busting Walk

Time: 10+ minutes

High-intensity workouts like the ones in this section can shrink 5 times more belly fat than moderate-intensity workouts. To zero in on shaping your abs, use these body toning tips during any walk:

– Focus on drawing your abs in toward your spine. Try to maintain the contraction throughout your walk, but don’t hold your breath.

– Imagine that your legs extend up above your navel. As one leg swings forward and back, that hip should follow. This slight hip swivel causes your lower torso to rotate, activating more ab muscles to tone your midsection faster.

5. Walking Workout: Super Fat Blast

Time: 10 minutes (Time-saver!)

Crank up the intensity with metabolism-revving bursts of high-impact activities. You’ll burn nearly 70% more calories than if you walked at a steady pace. (Step in style: see our picks for the 10 best walking shoes.)

6. Walking Workout: Happiness Walk

Time: 10+ minutes

Revitalize your mind and body with an easy walk that includes these stress-busting techniques from Carolyn Scott Kortge, author of Healing Walks for Hard Times. The longer you walk, the more benefits you’ll see. Says Prevention reader Lisa DiMarzio of Ware, MA: “When I tried it after a tense meeting, I felt calm almost immediately instead of reliving the event that made me stressed.”

Step 1: Focus on your feet. Feel the firm ground beneath you as each foot rolls from heel to toe. Try to hold awareness of your steps for 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 2: Turn your attention to breathing. Lift your torso to stand upright and increase lung space. As you inhale, imagine you are drawing in renewed energy. Exhale tiredness and pain. Let fresh life flow into your lungs and your cells.

Step 3: Mentally talk to yourself. Thinking Fresh air in, stale air out as you breathe can help you maintain focus.

7. Walking Workout: Brainpower Booster

Time: Under 20 minutes

Changing the direction you walk—forward, backward, or sideways—keeps your mind alert, turns up your calorie burn, and activates some often-underused muscles, such as your outer and inner thighs. This routine is best done on a school track (most are 1/4 mile around).

The workout:

Lap 1: Start at the beginning of the curved part of the track. Walk as you normally would to warm up for a full lap.

Lap 2: Turn sideways so right foot is in front. Sidestep or shuffle around the curved part of the track. Walk backward on the straight section. Sidestep through the next curve with left foot in front. Walk forward on the straight section.

Lap 3: Repeat lap 2, walking sideways, backward, sideways, and forward.

Lap 4: Walk forward, slowing your pace to cool down. This is a 1-mile walk if you use a 1/4-mile track. You can do more laps to extend it or work up to doing half or even full laps of each type of walking.

8. Walking Workout: Head for the Trees

Time: 5+ minutes

A dose of nature can boost your mood and energize you in just 5 minutes. If you exercise in a natural setting and go longer (a lunchtime stroll in a park or an all-day hike in the mountains), you can improve your memory and attention 20% more than you can by walking in an urban environment. That’s because there are fewer distractions and it’s more relaxing. To find off-road walking routes in your area, go to trails.com.

9. Walking Workout: Double-Duty Toner

Use a pair of walking poles ($90 and up). Research shows they can boost calorie burn by up to 46% and get your arms and core involved for allover firming. The poles also reduce impact on your joints. Go to nordicwalkingna.com for more information.

10. Walking Workout: Treadmill Booty Blast

Time: 25 minutes

No outdoor hills to give your glutes a workout? Here’s a fun treadmill routine from Tracey Staehle, a Connecticut-based trainer and creator of the DVD Walking Strong. Reports Prevention reader Carrie Pasquale of Petal, MS: “I could really feel it in my butt.” You can do the full 25-minute routine or just 1 or 2 of the 5-minute hill climbs for a shorter session.

11. Walking Workout: Arm Shaper

Time: 20 minutes

Grab an exercise band and do these moves while you walk to firm your upper body.

The workout: Start with 4 minutes of easy walking. Then pick up your pace to a moderate intensity and do the first exercise for 25 reps. When you’re finished, drape the resistance band around your neck and speed up to a brisk pace, like you’re in a hurry, for 2 minutes. Repeat the 25-rep toning/2-minute brisk-walking intervals until you’ve done all the exercises. Cool down with 4 minutes of easy walking. You can make moves harder by placing hands closer together so you’re using less band, or easier by separating hands for more slack.

12. Walking Workout: Butt Firmer

Time: 16+ minutes (Outdoor challenge!)

Walking uphill activates 25% more muscle fibers for faster firming than strolling on flat terrain. For best results, find a hill that takes 2 to 2 1/2 minutes to climb and try this workout from Judy Heller, a certified personal trainer and master race walker in Portland, OR.

The workout: Warm up at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes. Then walk up and down the hill; follow with 2 minutes of brisk walking on a level surface. Repeat the hill and level walk for your desired workout length. Finish with 5 minutes of easy walking to cool down.

13. Walking Workout: Sculpt All Over

Time: 25 to 40 minutes

During this workout, you’ll intersperse strength moves as you walk, for cardio plus toning. Using the lottery approach (below) from Lee Scott to pick your exercises will prevent boredom and challenge new muscles.

The workout: Write at least 9 no-equipment strength moves (unless you’re walking indoors and have equipment handy) on pieces of paper. Vary exercises to hit all major muscle groups, such as walking lunges, bench push-ups, tricep dips, planks, and power jumps. Drop them in a jar and draw 3 out before a walk. Warm up at an easy pace for 3 to 5 minutes, then walk briskly for 5 to 10 minutes. Stop and do one of the strength moves. Repeat the brisk walking (5 to 10 minutes), followed by the next strength move. Repeat once more to complete the final move. Cool down for 5 minutes at an easy pace.

14. Walking Workout: Indoor Leg Toner

Time: 5 minutes (Easy home routine!)

Do this quick workout anywhere there are stairs to double your calorie burn. Prevention reader Barb Best of Erie, PA, posted it at the bottom of her stairs as a reminder to do it.

1. Walk up and down 1 flight normally.

2. Slowly walk up sideways, crossing bottom foot over top. Keep head up. Walk down normally. Repeat, facing the opposite direction.

3. Step up on first stair, then down, starting with right foot (right up, left up, right down, left down) 10 times. Repeat, starting with left foot.

4. Climb stairs 2 steps at a time; come down quickly using each step.

5. Run up; walk down normally.

6. Repeat numbers 4 and 5 another 4 times.

7. At bottom, place right foot on first or second step, bend knees, and lower into a lunge. Keep right knee directly over ankle as you do so. Push off with right foot to return to start. Repeat with left leg. Alternate legs for 20 lunges, total.

8. Walk up and down normally 1 time.

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