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Walking Gadgets For Extra Calorie Burning

Updated on October 26, 2015

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.


Weight Vest

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.


Submit a Comment

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    I've never seen anyone in my neighborhood use them, either. Perhaps I should try to start this trend in sacramento! :)

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I haven't seen anyone walking with those poles yet and like you said they are not yet mainstream. I do see people walking with wrist and ankle weights in our subdivision. We simply walk although it would probably be smart to add some of these extra calorie burners. Thanks for the tips!

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    Thanks a lot, Prasetio. I love the fact that you often call me your brother. You're like a brother to me as well. There's just one tiny problem. Uhh....I'm not a dude. So maybe I can be your sister instead. :)

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I love all these gadgets and I love walking too. But Nordic Walking Poles is new for me. Thanks for writing and share with us. Well done, my brother. Vote it up!


  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    @quester - Yeah, running isn't for everyone, especially those with previous leg injuries. Walking, on the other hand, is much safer and more enjoyable for almost everybody. Thanks so much for dropping by.

    @akirchner - Thanks a lot for your feedback, Audrey!

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

    Great info and definitely worth thinking about - how many calories can one burn? The older we get, the harder it is to burn anything! Great idea for a hub!

  • profile image 6 years ago

    This is a very informative site - thanks for the information.

    There are a few of us who simply cannot run - no matter what; for us, walking is the only walk.


  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

    @Peter - Thanks. I always appreciate your feedback. :)

    @Movie Master - My pleasure! And thanks for voting up. :)

    @Pamela - Hi, Pam. Glad you stopped by. And yep, you got my vote. :)

    @Carlon - Yeah, please try some of these walking gadgets. They're very effective and not too pricey. :)

    @rsusan - Fun indeed! Thanks for the read and comment, Susan. :)

    @Cardisa - Thanks, Cardisa. Glad you enjoyed this.

    @carcro - Yeah, I want to try the walking poles myself. Those Nordic pole walkers in the video seem to have lots of fun. :)

    @randomcreative - That's awesome. Happy walking! :)

    @tebo - Well, I haven't tried them myself but from what I've seen and heard, they're a super cool walking gadget to have. Besides helping you burn more calories, they also strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and abdomen. :)

  • tebo profile image

    tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

    I rather like the nordic poles. I imagine they would create a great work out.

  • randomcreative profile image

    Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Good information! I've recently started using weights while walking and am impressed with the difference.

  • carcro profile image

    Paul Cronin 6 years ago from Winnipeg

    Really good information, I like the idea of the walking sticks, walking in general works for me but I like all the additional ways you have noted to increase the intensity. Thanks!

  • Cardisa profile image

    Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

    Thanks for the tips OM. Information very easy to follow. This will definitely come in handy for those who do a lot of walking and need to increase the intensity.

  • rsusan profile image

    Rika Susan 6 years ago from South Africa

    Good info. It is amazing what difference small changes can make. Every little bit of exercise helps. These are fun ways to add to calorie burning.

  • Carlon Michelle profile image

    Carlon Michelle 6 years ago from USA

    This was really informative. I will have to try one or two of these ideas. Smile!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Thanks for the excellent information. I can't run due to arthritis but I can walk, so this information is helpful for ways to make it effective but easier on the ankles. Rated useful and awesome.

    If you haven't voted in the Tug of War contest I would really appreciate your vote if you think my hub is worthy. It is about the information you need to know if you are caring for your elderly parent in your home. The link is: Thanks for your consideration.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Om, I really enjoy walking and jogging, thank you for the useful information, I had never heard of the 'vest' before.

    I certainly need as much help as possible!

    Many thanks for sharing and voting up.

  • PETER LUMETTA profile image

    PETER LUMETTA 6 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

    Thanks for the info, Good suggestions and technique,