Interval walks to jump-start metabolism: Get a more effective workout in a shorter amount of time. An interval workout is where you intersperse fast-paced intervals of exercise with moderate-paced intervals. For example, let’s say that you typically walk at a pace of three and a half miles per hour for thirty minutes. If you mix things up and sprinkle in a few minutes of walking or running at, say, a five mph pace, you’ll burn more calories in the same thirty-minute workout. Your heart rate rises when you’re doing those fast-paced intervals, but it also stays up even when you switch to the slower-paced segments. And even if you aren’t able right now to walk or run at five mph for an entire workout, you certainly can do it for a short period of time, whether that’s thirty seconds or several minutes. Make your goal to do twelve miles each week.
In addition to walking, there are so many other forms of cardio that can get you moving and count toward your twelve miles a week. This includes swimming, biking, the elliptical machine, and stair climbing. In any of these forms of activity, you can also do metabolism-boosting interval workouts to burn more calories and work harder in less time. Simply alternate one minute of faster-paced activity with four minutes at a slower pace. As you get stronger and more fit, increase the length of those fast-paced segments and scale back the slower-paced ones. As long as you’re getting your heart rate up, it counts toward your twelve miles a week. You can do the same form of exercise for all twelve miles each week (for example, all walking) or mix it up doing a few miles of walking, a few miles of swimming, and a few miles of biking. You can also divide the miles any way you like. Perhaps one week, you want to do two miles a day for six days. Other weeks, you’ll walk five miles twice a week and bike for two miles on another day.