Use various arm movements when doing the side-step.
The side-step is an aerobic movement that elevates your heart rate to burn calories and aid in your weight loss. According to the American Council on Exercise, you burn approximately 8.6 calories each minute performing aerobics if you weigh 140 pounds. These benefits occur when you perform the side-step at a quick pace and add arm movements to increase your pulse to a level that burns fat as fuel. The side-step is easy to learn, can be increased in intensity to challenge your endurance and does not require any equipment. You can side-step in front of your television watching your favorite program or in your kitchen listening to motivating music.
Warm up to prepare for your aerobic exercise with five minutes of full-body movements such as walking, marching in place or low-intensity side-steps.
Perform the side step by standing with your feet together and then stepping to the right with your right foot to create a space of approximately 6 to 12 inches. Close the space by stepping your left foot next to your right foot. Repeat the side-step by stepping out with your left foot and then closing the space with your right foot.
Increase the speed of your side-steps to elevate your heart rate. Maintain a speed that leaves you slightly breathless but still able to talk. Vary the side-step by adding a slight shuffle to increase the intensity, as if you are circling a boxing ring.
Create different side-step patterns to avoid boredom and repetition. For example, do eight side-steps to the right before completing eight side-steps to the left. Alternatively, perform four one way and four the other.
Vary your arm movements to increase the calorie-burning benefits of the side-steps due to the increased circulation demands from your upper-body movements. As you step side to side, raise and lower your arms overhead or out to the sides. You can also move your arms in circles from overhead down to your waist. Another option is to do windshield wiper arms, in which your upper arm is out to the side at shoulder level and your lower arm swings back and forth from your armpit out to the side. Variety is also gained when you move your arms in opposition to your feet and reach both arms out in front of you and then pull back.
Add sport movements to your side-step to change the workout intensity. For example, do boxing punches as you shuffle side to side, pretend to swing a tennis racquet or hit a baseball, dribble an imaginary basketball or throw a football as you side-step.
Perform 10 consecutive minutes of side-stepping to burn calories and contribute to weight loss. Gradually increase your duration, or include multiple daily sessions for a 30-minute workout.
Cool down with five minutes of slow side-stepping or walking.
Complete your 30-minute side-steps every day to lose weight.