If you want to increase your burn while walking to lose weight faster, maybe it’s time to increase the number of walks with energy intervals.

Whether you’re just starting out when you’re coming back from a long break or hiking regularly, this four-week plan combines fast and consistent walks with endurance and flexibility training to maximize your results.

If weight loss is one of your goals, combining a regular workout plan (like this one) with calorie counting can be an effective strategy. While you can lose weight by cutting calories alone, research shows that combining dietary changes with exercise can speed up your results. As Trine Le, M.D., M.D., recommends, combining an 1800 calorie diet with an additional 300 calories, burning every day with exercise, may be the best option for weight loss.

To help you put it all together, we’ve developed this powerful five-day-a-week plan that allows you to burn about 300 calories a day while exercising. (Note: Calorie intake is a general estimate, this figure varies greatly depending on the individual, body composition, exercise level, etc. For a more accurate measurement, a heart rate monitor or other tracking device may be useful.) On weekends, you can add an activity and/or find ways to move more (for example, gardening, cycling, roller skating, playing with children, etc.).

Although this is a walking plan, we recommend that you include additional strength and flexibility exercises to increase the benefits of this plan for fitness and weight loss, as well as prevent pain.

WEEKLY GOAL

According to this plan, your goal is to burn an average of 300 calories a day by combining walking, strength training and stretching. General recommendations range from three days a week, strength training for 2-3 days a week and flexibility training two days a week (or more), but they should match your current fitness level and schedule. Do this cycle four times and watch how much stronger you become with each week.

FOR INTENSITY: POWERED UP PACE WALK (30-40 MINUTES)

Start at an easy pace with a 5-minute walk to warm up your body, then use this 2-2-1 interval structure to increase the pace by 20-30 minutes.

2 minutes: walk at a fast but steady pace (intensity: 5 out of 10*; you should be able to speak, but your breathing will be rapid).
2 minutes: move at a fast but steady pace (intensity: 7/10; you should be able to answer short, short questions and not have a full conversation).
1 minute: increase the tempo as fast as possible and swing your arms quickly so that they move faster (intensity: 8/10; this should be very difficult, but can be done within 60 seconds).
Repeat the entire series of 5-minute intervals 4 times for a 30-minute walk and 6 times for a 40-minute walk (there is only time for a 5-minute warm-up and 5-minute cooling).

Adding such intense bursts while walking is a great way to burn more fat in less time without having to add the effects of jogging or jogging. Finish the walk with about 5 minutes of cooling at a light pace to restore breathing and heart rate (you can also finish the walk with these simple body stretching exercises)

FOR ENDURANCE: STEADY STATE WALK (40-50 MINUTES)

Start with a 5-minute light walk to warm up your body, then maintain a fast but steady pace of walking (intensity level 5-6) for 30-40 minutes. Cooling down for about 5 minutes, move at a light pace to restore breathing and heart rate (you can also finish the walk with simple body stretches).

STRENGTH TRAINING (20-30 MINUTES)

Do exercises that strengthen the whole body using your weight, dumbbells, expanders or any other equipment that you prefer.

STRETCHING (3-15 MINUTES)

Stretching can be done after walking when it is convenient for you, or at any other time of your choice. Focus on evenly stretching your entire body, pay special attention to this and spend more time on areas that may be tense or stiff (for more tips on stretching, see below).

REST DAY ACTIVE

Stretch, do some gardening, ride a bike or take a walk around the neighborhood. The goal is to take a day off from “exercise”, but you can always keep moving while your body is “resting”!

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