Walk this way to increase calorie burn

By Shayna Brouker • Published: January 26th, 2016
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Walking can be a reliable, calorie-torching exercise, especially for those with sensitive joints. It burns about 100 calories per mile at a moderate pace. But if you really want to get the most burn for your buck, you might want to mix it up between walking, strolling and briskly striding. A new study from the Ohio State University found that changing up the pace during your walks increases calorie burn by up to 20 percent.

Published in the journal Biology Letters, the study also found that people tend to walk more slowly when going short distances, but they up their pace if they have to walk farther. This information could prove particularly useful for physical therapists, because they often measure their patients’ progress by the amount of time it takes them to walk a certain distance.

If you really want to feel the burn — calorie burn, that is — put some muscle into your workout routine. Experts say packing on a little extra muscle can not only boost your health but it can also improve your workouts. People with more muscle mass have a much higher resting metabolic rate than their less muscly peers. In fact, every pound of muscle uses about six calories a day just to stay alive, compared with a measly two calories for every pound of fat. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but over time, it results in some serious calorie burn.

And as with walking, adding in some bursts of speed and intensity to any workout can bring the heat. The key is to get out of your comfort zone and feel uncomfortable — that’s where change happens.

Finally, drink lots of water and eat fluid-filled foods to keep metabolism humming. Combined, these factors can keep your fitness moving along at a brisk pace.