Walking is not only a fun, convenient, and cost-effective form of low-impact exercise, but research shows it can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol (LDL) and improve bone mineral density. Walking is also a proven weight maintenance tool—according to the National Weight Control Registry, it's the most popular activity cited by people who've lost weight and kept it off long-term, Matthews says.
Boost your burn: Moving at a brisk pace on a firm surface burns about 350 calories an hour, but according to Matthews, there are various ways to boost your burn while walking! She recommends picking up the pace (ramping up from 4.0 to 4.5mph burns an extra 93 calories an hour), or walking slower on an incline (walking uphill at 3.5mph for one hour burns about 72 calories more than walking on a flat surface). Adding resistance can also help you torch more calories with every step. Try wearing a weighted vest (a vest is preferable to holding dumbbells or wearing ankle or wrist weights which can stress the joints) or using Nordic walking poles, Matthews says.
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