Female runner outdoorsThe year is halfway gone—but can you say the same about your love handles? How quickly time passes, especially when it feels as though the beginning of the year was just here and you were so diligently focused (and on your way to achieving) your weight loss and fitness goals.

Whether you’re still going strong in the weight room or your exercise routine has taken a back seat to a nightly Netflix marathon, we have the solution to supercharge your health: walking. Crank up the intensity just a few times a week, and you’ll see your heart rate speed up, those pounds melt off, and your mood become happier than it’s ever been.

Crank Up Your Speed (and Lose the Belly Fat!)

Isn’t it amazing what a little extra effort can do? Just by adding some ‘ooomph’ to your stride, you can increase your confidence, sleep better, reduce your stress and even appear thinner…immediately! Crank up your speed by changing up a slower pace with a more intense, faster one. Begin by walking faster every third minute, and keeping it at that pace for 60 seconds. Then, return to your original pace, and follow this pattern for 20 minutes. Do you need even more intensity? Find a hill or rougher terrain than usual and turn your ‘walk’ into a challenging hike!

Walk With Weights—and Say Goodbye to Back, Thigh and Face Fat

Are you dying to know the secrets of truly fit people, and specifically, how they maintain their washboard abs or sculpted legs? Here’s the secret to their trade: they stay active every single day…and especially on the days when it’s the last thing they want to do.

Staying active doesn’t mean you have to push through an intense, total body workout seven days a week, but it does mean that you move, elevate your heart rate and sweat. What better way to do it than by walking with weights? If you’re already walking on a regular basis, adding 3-5 lb. weights on each side will be an easy transition to make. If you’re a beginner to walking, incorporate weights once to twice a week. Walk at a brisk pace, and feel the burn with bicep curls, and overhead arm extensions.

It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or shining outside. When it comes to your overall fitness, walking is a lifestyle—and you’ve got this. The trick is, maintaining your workouts so that they allow you to become fitter and healthier than ever. Add intensity to your morning or afternoon walk, and immediately reap the benefits—body, mind and soul.