I do enjoy when new research confirms principles we’ve been teaching for years. A recent study showed that varying your walking speed can increase the amount of calories you burn by as much as 20 percent.
The study used an interesting method to change participants’ speed. They set the treadmill to a consistent speed and then asked the participants to alter their own pace so that they would walk on different parts of the belt. This random slowing down and speeding up significantly increased their caloric burn compared to people that moved at a consistent pace.
Efficient movement saves energy
So how did we here at lolo know about this years earlier? We just ran a simple training principle in reverse. One of the first things you learn during long-distance training is that you need to keep your pace consistent in order to save energy. The more you vary your pace, the more likely you are to run out of energy before you cross the finish line. Efficient movement conserves energy, so that you stay strong throughout your entire race.
People that are working out for weight loss don’t want to conserve their energy, they want to burn it up as quickly as possible. That’s why we constantly change up the speed in our apps like BeatBurn. Frequently changing the pace also keeps your workouts from getting monotonous. Your brain is always looking forward to the next speed change. If that change is 30 seconds away, then the effort seems short and manageable (even at faster speeds), but when that change is 30 minutes away at the end of your steady-state workout, boredom can set in pretty quickly. Whether you’re using our apps, working out on your own, or just walking around, add some variability to your speed to get the most out of your effort. As I’ve said many times before, our bodies are lazy (efficient) and will quickly settle into a pattern that conserves energy (calories). Alter your natural rhythm to throw off that efficiency and increase your burn rate wherever you go.