Walking. You would be surprised at how good a simple walk can be for your fitness and general health, but how can you modify your walk and daily routine for massive fat burning benefits? And what else can you change about your daily activities that will help you?
Endocrinologist James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA, explains the effect of sitting around too much:
Many overweight people have ‘sitting disease’ and would lose weight if they did more walking, standing and moving around during the day. We need to move more throughout the day. The key is to find what you enjoy doing.
Simple examples include a quick walk around the block before your morning shower; a 30-minute walk at lunch; having a couple of walk-and-talk meetings during the day (research shows you’ll think better); pacing when you’re talking on the phone; taking a 15-minute catch-up walk after work with your partner; walking with your children and listening to their music with them; doing some active volunteering such as taking a stressed mom’s children out for a walk or bringing a meal to an elderly person.
If you incorporate some of these ideas into your day, you burn an extra 500 to 1,000 calories.
What Levine is talking about here is increasing your NEAT; non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
So how can you make a real difference to your NEAT effect? Let’s focus on walking for a moment…
Consider this. In his research, Levine has noted that most people go about their daily activities at a pace of around 1.1 mph. Our advice? Speed up.
Walk ‘like a boss’ and concentrate on good posture while doing so. If you walk for just 30 minutes per day at 1.1 mph, you’ll burn around 67 calories. Increase that speed to 2.5 mph – a decent walking pace – and that increases to 101 calories. The difference adds up to an extra 238 calories per week, and the positive metabolic effects from increasing your heart-rate regularly will add up too.
Can’t find an easy way to fit in NEAT tasks and a good walk? Try European-style food shopping. Get your fresh ingredients once a day instead of stocking up with a ‘weekly shop’ at the supermarket.
How will you fit more NEAT tasks into your day? What can you do to increase your walking speed to burn more fat? Let us know in the comments below…