The May issue of the UC Berkely Wellness Letter has some terrific tips for how to transform your summer walks into real workouts. Here are 11 top ways to get more out of daily walks:
1. If you want to go faster, instead of taking longer steps, take faster steps.
2. Swing your arms. This can burn 5 percent to 10 percent more calories.
3. Choose varried terrains. Walking on grass or gravel burns more calories.
4. Walk as much as possible. Skip elevators and escalators, and take the stairs.
5. Add some interval training. Speed up for a minute or two every five minutes.
6. Walk up and down hills to build stamina and burn more calories.
7. Walk briskly for at least half an hour every day, or one hour four times a week.
8. Try a walking stick or poles to enhance your upper-body workout.
9. Use hand weights, carefully. They can boost your caloric expenditure, but may alter your motion and lead to muscle soreness or even injury. Start with 1-pound weights.
10. Try walking backward. Even at a slow pace, it provides fairly intense training.
11. Choose the right shoes. Avoid stiff-soled shoes that don't bend. Walking shoes have flexible soles and stiff backs to prevent side-to-side motion.