Varying your speed while out on a stroll can burn as much as 20 percent more calories than if you were just maintaining a constant pace, says a study by Ohio State University.
It turns out that many of the calories you burn when walking are down to the energy it takes to stop and start. This may also be why interval training is so effective at burning calories.
While we don't recommend the type of stop/start meandering you do when you walk around a shopping center, perhaps changing pace throughout your walk would be a great place to start.
"Measuring the metabolic cost of changing speeds is very important because people don't live their lives on treadmills and do not walk at constant speeds. We found that changing speeds can increase the cost of walking substantially," said Manoj Srinivasan, co-author of the study and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Ohio State University.
Srinivasan gave more examples: "How do you walk in a manner that burns more energy? Just do weird things. Walk with a backpack, walk with weights on your legs. Walk for a while, then stop and repeat that. Walk in a curve as opposed to a straight line."
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