Tempo day
Burns about 220 calories:

  • Warm-up: Stroll for 5 minutes.
  • Workout: Maintain a power-walk intensity for 30 minutes.
  • Cooldown: Stroll for 3 to 5 minutes.

Long-interval day
Burns about 355 calories:

  • Warm-up: Stroll for 5 minutes.
  • Interval Workout: Maintain a hard power-walk intensity (8 on a scale of 10) for 5 minutes. Recover at a brisk pace for 1 minute. Repeat for a total of 6 intervals.
  • Cooldown: Stroll for 3 to 5 minutes.

Short-interval day
Burns about 405 calories:

  • Warm-up: Stroll for 5 minutes.
  • Interval Workout: Maintain a hard power-walk intensity (8 on a scale of 10) for 2 minutes. Recover at a brisk pace for 1 minute. Repeat for a total of 15 intervals.
  • Cooldown: Stroll for 3 to 5 minutes.

Walk this way

When it comes to walking, your body and brain know what to do. Makes sense—you’ve been doing it since you took those first wobbly baby steps. But with these three form fixes, you’ll maximize your burn, big time.

  • Chin up. Your gaze shouldn’t be aimed at your feet, no matter how snazzy your sneakers are. Instead, focus on a point about 10 feet ahead of you. This will keep your stride longer and your neck comfortably in line with your spine.
  • Activate your abs. When you brace your core—pulling your belly button toward your spine—you automatically trigger good posture.
  • Squeeze your glutes. Your backside literally propels you through your walk. To get the most oomph—so you can go longer and faster—keep your glutes tight. Bad visual, good strategy: Imagine squeezing a winning lottery ticket between your cheeks.

4 ways to burn more fat

So you’re the impatient type? Use these tricks to up the challenge and calorie burn.

  • Add hills. When you hit the hills on a treadmill or in your neighborhood, you increase your calorie burn by nearly 20 percent—and that’s just on a 1 to 5 percent incline.
  • Go off-road. Head out for a light but brisk hike and you’ll torch about 430 calories in just an hour. Credit the uneven terrain—which forces you to work harder. Sub this in for one of your weekly power walks.
  • Swing your arms. With elbows bent at 90 degrees and hands in loose fists, move your arms in an arc, keeping elbows tight to your body. This helps drive you forward, says Weltman, builds upper-body strength and can increase your burn by up to 10 percent.
  • Make longer strides. Instead of taking more steps, “work on increasing your stride length,” Weltman says. “You’ll cover more ground,” and that means more fat fried.

Itching to run?

Let’s face it: Some of us would rather just run. But if you go from zero to Usain Bolt on your first outing, you might end up sidelined. Use this guide from Holland to transition from walking to running safely.

For the running newbie: Do this modified version of the Short-Interval Day (see “The Amped-Up Plan,” left) three times a week: Run for one minute (work up to two minutes over the course of a couple of weeks), walk for one minute and repeat for a total of 15 intervals. Do this for a few weeks, then transition to the Long-Interval Day, running for five minutes and walking for one, repeating for a total of six intervals. The goal is to eventually tackle Tempo Day—running for 30 minutes nonstop.

For the on-and-off runner: Assuming you have some running experience under your belt, you can dive right into the Long-Interval Day plan, subbing in running for the power walks. The intervals should be challenging, and the Tempo Day run should be done at a hard but comfortable pace.

For the gym-goer: You can also use this plan to cross-train, doing the exact same routines while on the elliptical machine, rowing machine or stationary bike.