Use these simple strategies to up your calorie burn, drop the pounds, and boost the effectiveness of your walks.
By Karen Asp
Here's a good excuse to download some new songs: A recent study from the Journal of Sports & Exercise Psychology found that music can literally move you. When people walked in time to fast-tempo music (approximately over 120 beats per minute) with a strong rhythm, they walked 15 percent longer than those who sweated in silence. Why the big increase? Music improved participants' moods, motivated them, focused their attention, distracted them from feeling tired for longer periods of time, and helped them to move more efficiently, according to lead study author Costas Karageorghis, PhD, of Brunel University in West London.
How to get started: Use music to maximize your walking workouts by loading up your MP3 player with rock or pop songs that are around 120 to 145 beats per minute. To calculate beats per minute, simply count the beats during 15 seconds of a song and multiply that number by four. Sound too complicated? We've already done the math and created walking playlists for 15-, 30-, and 45-minute walks, plus playlists for walking at easy through speedy tempos.