You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to burn more calories. Just walk faster.
A 2006 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that walkers in their fifties burned 25% more calories when they increased their walking speed a mere half mile per hour from 3.6 mph to 4.1 mph (as reported in More Magazine (Michelle Stanten).
The number of calories burned increases dramatically with just small increases in speed. Add another half mile per hour from 4.1 to 4.6 and the effect burns 32 percent more calories.
The critical pace to reach and exceed is 4 mph, according to Mark Fenton, walking guru and former Olympic speed walker. For every tenth you add beyond 4 mph, the caloric burn advantage begins to cascade. Exceed 5 mph, you burn more calories than if you were running. That’s because running leaves you temporarily airborne, creating a pause in energy output, and your landing provides a spring for the next step. Fast walking requires steady muscular effort at every stage of movement.
There are techniques to help you walk 4, 5 or even 6 mph.
Count steps for 30 to 60 seconds. At 120 steps per minute, you’re moving at about 3 mph. 135 steps per minute is the equivalent of about 3.8 to 4 mph, and at 150 steps per minute, you’re at about 4.5 mph.
With an app, you’ll be able to view your continuous walking time, distance, pace, calories burned and average pace. You can see your walking route on a map while you walk, and the apps can post updates of your progress to Twitter, Facebook and email. After your walk, you can see your stats and review workouts. It also integrates with websites such as dailymile.com.
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