Unplug from technology and take your cardio to the trails. Hiking is an excellent way to burn calories without staring at an uninspiring digital treadmill screen. With the elevation and the extra effort your body will make balancing on uneven ground, you will already have a calorie burning advantage over standard sidewalk or treadmill cardio. However, there are additional ways to torch calories on your trek this fall.
Less is best
"Take your shirt off (women wear a sports bra) and wear shorts, ditch the hat and sweatshirt," Isaacs said. "Exposing your body to colder temperatures forces it to generate more body heat causing your body to burn more calories. The cooler temperatures in the fall are the perfect time to let your body chill out while you take your hike, but not cold enough to put your health at risk."
Pump your arms
Proper arm movement during walking and running is beneficial to your posture as well as loosening up the muscles around in your shoulders, ribs and upper back. And of course the movement helps to increase pace. However, being mindful of using your arms can also increase the rate calories are burned while hiking.
"Swinging your arms at a 90-degree angle while hiking will not only help you go faster, but research has shown that you can burn up to 15 percent more calories," Kwavi Agbeyegbe, weight loss and lifestyle coach, said. "You are also working out an extra muscle group, an added bonus. A trekking pole can also be used to enhance stability and provide support."
The woods offer a fine opportunity for individuals looking to use their imagination to find ways to burn extra calories, which could look a little strange in other places. For example, every time you see a squirrel, do 10 lunges. If you see a large, stable rock, do a set of step-ups. If you need a break from moving forward, try doing a wall sit against a tree. The variety of movements will not only be great for burning extra calories, but also to break up the constant one foot in front of the other movement.
While there are many trails within a 30-minute drive of midtown Atlanta, some of the most popular hiking trails are less than two hours away, like the Appalachian Trail. Regardless, hiking offers a sense of adventure that standard cardio doesn't always provide. Choose a trail, look at the check points you want to reach, the excitement will keep you moving longer and more vigorously which is always a healthy way to burn extra calories. "Hiking gives you the opportunity to experience the world without a filter and experience the beauty of a new season," Agbeyegbe said.
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