An Early Morning Walk Is A Blessing For The Whole Day.

Not a runner? No sweat. Start a walking routine instead.

Walking Diet Plan

Walk Off the Weight: Speed-Interval Walking Workout

Walk 10,000 steps a day with our best walking workouts. We've designed them to help you burn more calories and stay heart-healthy. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other.

Walk Not a runner? No sweat. Start a walking routine instead. Researchers found that overweight women who did 45-minute speed-interval walking workouts and toning exercises four times a week lost 23 pounds in 16 weeks. "The key is to perfect your form, so that walking feels good and doesn't become boring over time," says Danny Dreyer, the creator of the Chi Walking technique. Fast-track your fat burning while you walk with these easy tweaks.

Walking Facts:

  • Walking a mile in 30 minutes burns 120-180 calories.
  • Walking improves self-image.
  • Walking decreases depression and stress.
  • Walking exercises 200 bones and over 600 muscles.
  • Walking increases energy.
  • Walking regularly decreases risk of heart disease.
  • Walking regularly reduces hypertension.

Breathe fat away.

"It takes oxygen to keep all of your muscles firing and not run out of steam," Dreyer says. Filling your lungs completely allows you to burn fat more efficiently and improve your endurance. To maximize your breathing, focus on exhaling as deeply as you can. "The inhale will take care of itself," Dreyer says.

Get your abs in on the action.

Hinge slightly forward from your hips, not your waist, and you'll engage your core. The payoff is a stronger midsection, which will prevent aches in your back and hips.

Bend your elbows.

You'll swing your arms faster, and your legs will automatically accelerate to keep up. To amp it up even more, "swing your arms back until your hands are next to your ribs," Dreyer says.

Step shorter.

Don't be tempted to lengthen your stride to speed up. It sends a jolt to your joints and ultimately slows you and your calorie burn down.

How to Get to 10,000 Steps

Walk More and more doctors and fitness experts recommend walking 10,000 steps every day as a way to maintain a healthy weight and exercise your heart. Where did this magic number come from?

"The 10,000 steps number was discovered in Japan over 40 years ago," Parks says. The general Japanese lifestyle includes eating healthy and walking — a lot. Since generally, Japanese are healthier than Americans, American health experts began to adopt the Japanese model of healthy living. Making that concept work for us is another thing.

As it stands, Americans average about 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. But Parks insists getting 10,000 in is a cinch. She says she has remained fit since picking up the habit about four years ago. The main thing is not to make it punishment, Parks says, but just a normal routine. "We really try to have people weave it into their lifestyle," she says.

You could try to get all your steps in one, long walk — it would be about 5 miles — but chances are, you don't have that kind of time, at least not every day. Parks has a good way to jump-start your steps. "I try to get up and get in a half-hour in the morning, walking around my neighborhood or on the treadmill or, if I'm away, just walking around my hotel room."

In fact, walking at a 15-minute-mile pace for a half-hour will earn you about 4,000 steps. Just over half to go! When Parks gets to the office, she first takes a quick walk around the parking lot, thinking about her day ahead and what she needs to do, so she not only works in more steps, but prepares herself mentally for a productive day.

Fat-Blasting Walk

Rev up the calorie burn with Dreyer's 45-minute routine, which focuses on keeping a rhythm as you walk. Try matching the suggested step count with a free metronome app (iBeat is a good one).

Minutes

Activity

Effort level
(on a scale of 1 to 10)

Steps or beats
per minute

0 to 5

Easy to medium warm-up walk

4

120 to 130 (3 mph)

5 to 15

Moderate walk

5

130 to 140 (3.5 mph)

15 to 17

Brisk walk

6 to 8

140 to 160 (4 mph)

17 to 27

Moderate walk

5

130 to 140 (3.5 mph)

27 to 29

Brisk walk

6 to 8

140 to 160 (4 mph)

29 to 39

Moderate walk

5

130 to 14 (3.5 mph)

39 to 45

Medium to easy cooldown walk

4

120 to 130 (3 mph)