Whether you’re taking a walk in your house or outdoors, you are engaging in heart-healthy exercise. Here are some tips to turn your walk into a major calorie burner.
Walking 30 minutes a day is one of the best things you can do for your health. In fact, any amount of walking—even five minutes—can give you a health boost, according to the latest fitness guidelines. That’s especially good news for anyone who has never exercised before, wants to lose a significant amount of weight, is managing a health condition, or recovering from an injury.
As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.
Pick up the Pace
Find an opportunity to increase your speed. If you’re outside, you might find a landmark ahead (a tree or stop sign) and choose to pick up your pace until you reach that point. You can also set your stopwatch and increase your walking speed for 30 seconds every few minutes.
Add an Incline
Look for a chance to add an incline to your walk to engage your muscles in a different way and maximize your time. If you’re walking around your neighborhood, you might find a small hill at your local park and walk over it, rather than around it. If you’re walking at home, you might choose to walk up and down the stairs for 30 seconds. No inclines available near you? No problem. You can add to your walk by lifting your knees to about hip level with each step for about 30 seconds.
Include Upper Body Work
Engage your upper body muscles to boost intensity. As your walking, reach both arms forward and then pull back. You can also raise both arms up overhead, then pull down. You might find a landmark on your walk and add upper body movements until you reach that point, or set 30 seconds on your stopwatch.
Take all three of these variations and create intervals.
- Start with a 5-10 minute warm up
- Walk at your normal pace for 2-3 minutes. Then, increase your walking speed for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
- Walk at your normal pace for 2-3 minutes. Then, add an incline for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
- Walk at your normal pace for 2-3 minutes. Then, add upper body movements for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
- End with a 5-10 minute cool-down.
Want help creating a routine? Download SilverSneakers GOTM, our free mobile app, for 13 audio walking workouts led by a walking coach. Just turn on your walking guide, pop your headphones in and you’re off!
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