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6 Ways to Ramp Up Your Walking Workout

Bored with your walking routine? Try these fun and effective ways to shake up your walks, stay motivated, and burn more calories.

By Leslie Goldman

Listen Up

Crank up the tunes while you walk (and watch your calorie intake) and you'll lose more weight, according to a study from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Women who walked at least three times a week with music lost about 16 pounds in six months, whereas those who skipped the tunes lost only 8 pounds.

Do the Grapevine

Add some variety to your walks by trying the Grapevine (instructions below). If this tangles you up, do a sideways shuffle. Both moves work your inner and outer thighs, says Lalo Fuentes, a personal trainer in New York City. Incorporate a one-minute Grapevine every five minutes during your walk and alternate going to the right and then to the left.

How to Grapevine
1. Step your left leg across in front of your right leg.
2. Take your right foot to the right.
3. Step your left leg behind your right.
4. Repeat.

Throw Some Punches

Release stress and incinerate calories by taking jabs while walking. Begin with your hands in fists in front of your chest. Punch one arm out at a time, rotating each fist so it is palm-side down. Throwing punches tones the upper body and strengthens the cardiovascular system, says Victor Khabie, MD, a sports medicine specialist at the Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel, New York. Walk for five minutes and then jab for one minute. Repeat.

Walk with Your Dog

The majority of dog owners take at least two walks a day, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 42 percent of owners tally 30 or more minutes of walking daily. Pet free? Volunteer at a dog shelter or offer to take out a neighbor's pooch. You'll be doing a good deed while burning calories.

Try Nordic Walking

Grab some walking poles and you'll tone your triceps and burn more calories. In fact, using poles can torch 20 to 25 percent more calories than heading out without them, according to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. To get the most from your workout, bend forward slightly from the ankles and swing the poles so the one in your left hand hits the ground at the same time your right foot makes contact, and vice versa.

Change Your Scenery

Map out a new walking route at your computer. Go to usatf.org, click on "America's Running Routes," and pick a starting point anywhere in the U.S. At gmap-pedometer.com, input a route you plan to take and the program will calculate the mileage for you.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.

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