Great news: You might burn more calories just from walking around than you think you do. Engineering researchers at Ohio State University theorized that since people don’t walk at a constant speed IRL, studies on calorie expenditure have likely been shortchanging us. So for a study published in Biology Letters, they had participants walk on a treadmill set at a low speed and asked them to alternate between walking faster (closer to the display) and slower (more toward the back) and found that varying your walking pace can burn up to 20 percent more calories compared to maintaining a steady pace. They say that just the act of changing speeds takes energy that isn’t accounted for in calorie-burning estimates.
So continue to speed up through those crosswalks and downshift as you pass people swiping on Tinder. It you want to really feel the burn, follow this advice from study co-author Manoj Srinivasan, who leads the Movement Lab at Ohio State: “Just do weird things. Walk with a backpack, walk with weights on your legs. Walk for a while, then stop and repeat that. Walk in a curve as opposed to a straight line.” In other words, channel your inner Joanna Rohrback and Prancercise your heart out. White pants optional.