Workday Walking – Make It Count

activeMany days, I’m working in our office in Mississauga, ON…meaning I’m not very active. To combat that, and get some calories burnt, I try to get out over a lunch hour and go for a walk. I’m typically alone, so I am just armed with my phone, some headphones playing some good heavy walking music and my Garmin vivoactive. I enjoy getting out on nice days (year-round) and have a couple of routes that I mix up depending what I feel like…one is about a 3KM route that takes 25-30 minutes and the other is 5KM and I can do that in 45-50 minutes. It’s all extra activity and calories burnt, and you get out in the fresh (Toronto-area) air and, for me, it’s a great “decompress” from the office stress, which in turn, I believe makes me much more productive for the balance of the day! I’ve been reading up about different ways to make the walks more beneficial from a calorie-burn perspective, and here are just a few things I’ve learned along the way…I hope you find them helpful…and if you’ve never tried a lunch-time walk, I urge you to…you may just like it! Read on for more…

  1. Vary Your Speed. I typically start out slower, and then as I feel my calves loosening up, I’ll pick it up to a moderate speed, and then get the heart rate really going for spurts by getting up to 7-8KM/ hour speeds. In a 30-minute walk I try to do five of these speed bursts. This will increase your total calorie burn as changing speeds increases your overall energy cost.
  2. Carry Hand Weights. This is something I have yet to try, but there are many articles suggesting that if you carry weights (1- to 3- pounds), it will increase your heart rate slightly, meaning, in turn, more calories being used up! I am going to look for some inexpensive dumbbells and give it a shot…worst case is I don’t like it and they sit in a corner somewhere in the house 🙂
  3. Find Some Hilly Routes. No surprise here, but walking up a hill takes more energy than walking on a flat surface or going downhill. You don’t need to go hiking on a mountain, though, to get some extra benefit…simply find a route (if possible) that has some inclines to burn off some extra calories.

I’d love to hear other tips on how to make these 30-45 minute Workday Walks a bit more beneficial…don’t be shy – comment below! Now it’s time to go and fill my coffee mug…

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