"He's going the distance. He's going for speed." Cake.
Cover more ground on your next walk to increase endurance and lose those love handles. And if you need some inspiration to lift your pace on your next walk turn this baby up.
For all the attention we give the latest fitness craze (did you hear about the one that combines yoga and break dancing?), we're awfully quick to dismiss one of the best workouts around: walking. True, it's not exotic. But unlike so many of the fitness fads we believe will motivate us to sweat, it doesn't cost $60 a month to participate. It's free. It takes no gym membership or equipment. There's no learning curve because everyone already knows how to do it. In fact, it's something we do every day.
That may seem anticlimactic (walking is so simple, so familiar!), but before you write it off as a poor excuse for a heart-pumping workout, consider the science. Research has linked walking to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. It improves blood pressure, cholesterol, stress, and depression. And that's not taking into account the benefits walkers reap from losing weight.
Another way to ramp up your workout: Go farther. Instead of focusing on speed, distance workouts are all about endurance. You won't be able to sustain the same level of intensity you do on shorter walks, but that's OK. Instead of walking at a too-fast-to-talk speed for 30 minutes, try walking briskly for an hour. If 10 minutes of vigorous walking leaves you huffing and puffing, slow it down for a 15- or 30-minute distance walk. Just as you'd build up speed, you can gradually increase the distance you walk.
Cranking up your distance-walking program can work in tandem with your speed-walking plan.
"On the one end of it, you want to work on going a little bit faster even if it's a little bit shorter," says Dave McGovern. "And then on the other end of the spectrum, you might start building the distance one day a week."