3. USE HIKING POLES
Before you make fun of them for looking dorky (we all know they do), you should know that they could be your calorie-torching secret weapons, says Straub. One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that trekking poles increased calorie burn without making participants feel like they were working out harder. (Win/win.) Plus, working the poles takes pressure off of your joints, which can prevent injury, says Straub.
4. START RUNNING UPHILL
Adding speed is an easy way to get more calorie-burning power out of your hike, says Barsanti. You can do this by walking at a faster pace or running uphill, he says. (Your knees will tend to hurt more when you’re going downhill, so stick to a slower pace on your descent.)
Break up your climb into one-minute intervals of running and walking, says Barsanti. You can also do two-minute intervals of running and one minute of walking, he says.
5. INCORPORATE SQUATS AND LUNGES
Get a bigger burn during your hike by incorporating squats or walking lunges, says Lisa Reed, C.S.C.S. “They improve your balance, engage your entire core, and are amazing for conditioning your legs,” she says.
6. PACK LOTS OF WATER
An easy way to increase how many calories you expend while hiking is to add more weight to your backpack. “One way to accomplish this would be to fill up any empty space in your pack with bottles of water,” says Tyler Spraul, C.S.C.S. and head trainer at Exercise.com. “And you’ll be sure to stay hydrated out there,” he says.
A good rule of thumb: Pack at least one quart of water for each hour you’ll be hiking, says George Padilla, C.S.C.S. and a trainer at Los Angeles Athletic Club. A gallon of water (four quarts) in your backpack can add eight pounds of weight, which increases your calorie burn while hiking by about 14 percent, Padilla says.