- Exercise & Fitness
Walking Gadgets For Extra Calorie Burning
Do you burn more calories walking or running? Lots of people would say running, but the correct answer is actually not that simple. It depends on how you pursue these exercises. Speedy running will burn more calories than brisk walking. However, moderate-paced jogging might not burn as many calories as brisk walking uphill. The number of calories you burn is mostly determined by your level of effort. It's all about heart rate, oxygen and energy expended. The higher your heart rate is, the more oxygen your muscles need. The more oxygen used, the more calories burned. So it's quite possible for people who're regularly engaged in intense walking workouts to burn more calories and lose weight faster than slow joggers do.
There're many ways to intensify your walking workouts. Quickening your steps, extending your walking time and heading uphill are some very effective strategies. But what if you're not comfortable with a faster pace, don't have much time to extend or can't find any hilly roads? That's when these walking gadgets come in handy. They add intensity of strength training to your regular walking routine while allowing you to maintain the same speed, duration and route. The result is an increase of 10% - 40% in calorie burning. If you walk to lose weight, these walking gadgets can help you achieve your goal faster.
Nordic Walking Poles
They look pretty similar to hiking poles but are supposed to be used more like ski poles. Planting them parallel to your body as you walk or simply dragging them along won't do much for your walking workout. You have to plant each pole slightly behind you making about a 45-degree angle to the ground, then forcefully push it back as you make each stride, pretty much like what skiers do. This vigorous arm action is a great workout for your entire upper body, which can help you burn up to 40% more calories while walking.
Pros - Nordic pole walking can reduce the impact on your ankles and knees, as well as help you maintain stability. It's an effective upper-body strength training for everyone and a safe exercise for older people and those who recently recovered from a leg injury.
Cons - There's a learning curve. You've got to practice the proper techniques in order to get the most out of this walking gadget. Also, they might not be the best devices if you get self-conscious easily. Nordic walking poles haven't gone mainstream yet. Some people might look at you with extreme confusion and ask "You need help finding a ski resort?"
Small Dumbbells and Wrist Weights
Carrying small dumbbells or strapping weight bands around your wrists while walking can give your arms and shoulders a pretty good workout. Just bend your elbows and pump your arms vigorously as you walk, then bid farewell to those unwanted calories. Adding this gentle weightlifting and active arm movements to your walking workout can burn up to 30% more calories than you usually do.
Pros - It's pretty easy. These arm movements are very similar to what you would normally do while running or walking briskly, so you should be able to do it quite naturally. Plus, these little walking gadgets are convenient to pack and store.
Cons - Although the dumbbells or wrist weights used for this purpose are supposed to be very light, this weightlifting routine can still raise your blood pressure quite a bit. If you suffer from heart problems or high blood pressure, consult your doctor first. Also, this walking workout might be too strenuous for those with preexisting arm or shoulder injuries.
The vest in this photo is not part of a SWAT team uniform but a nifty walking gadget that will heighten the intensity level of your walking workout and help you burn more calories. Fitness experts suggest that the weight vest you wear while walking should weigh about 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, or else you might strain your shoulders and back.
Pros - There's no need for learning and practicing. Just put it on and start walking like you normally do.
Cons - It doesn't contribute to an impressive increase in calorie burn. You will burn just about 10% more calories wearing this vest while walking on level ground. The only way to really rev up the calorie burn with this walking gadget is to walk uphill, as you'll have to bump up your effort to carry the weight against gravity.