Regardless of whether you are in shape or not, walking fast at certain intervals can definitely help your fitness program a great deal. It can be more effective than jogging in that people tend to go for walks more easily. Speed walking is much safer and less painful on the knees than running to boot.
The History of Speed Walking
Speed walking or power walking was founded in the 1990’s. In 1999, the Berlin Marathon included a Speed Walking division. The Speed Walking technique includes:
- The walker must walk straight.
- The walker must walk doing an alternating movement of feet and arms.
- The walker must walk with one foot in permanent contact with the ground.
- The leading leg must be bent.
- Each advancing foot strike must be heel to toe at all times.
- The walker must walk not doing an exaggerated swivel to the hip.
- The arms spread completely at the elbow and these move back.
Speed Walking is great way to exercise.
Approximately 2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity, according to the World Health Organization. Sedentary lifestyles can be attributed to countless health problems, including the risk of
- all cause mortality
- cardiovascular diseases
- colon cancer
- high blood pressure
- lipid disorders
It is easy to do:
- Except for a good pair of shoes, it won’t cost you a thing.
- You can do it anytime anywhere. No need to pack a gym bag or worry about showering later.
- It’s low impact and gentle on the body, so it’s even good for people with arthritis or extra weight.
- Walking in nature is especially good for your mental health. Studies show it boosts your mood and creativity and can even be a form of meditation.
How much to walk.
Walking at least 3 miles per hour counts as moderate exercise. You’ll need 2.5 hours of this level every week, so many experts recommend 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. If you can still carry on a conversation but can’t sing a song, for most people this is a good sign that they’re in their targeted heart rate zone.
If you’re going 4.5 miles per hour or up a steep hill, then that is considered vigorous exercise just like running or biking. Just an hour and thirty minutes of this level of workout each week can improve your overall health.
Public Health’s recommendation is that we should get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. This translates into roughly 8,000 steps a day. It has been shown that bumping this up to 10,000 steps per day is most effective for not only losing fat but also keeping that fat off in the long term.
What is your step goal?
With the explosion in popularity of step counters and fitness trackers, it is easy to now count your steps. Step counting has become so popular that there is even an unofficial benchmark of 10.000 steps per day. Some fitness trackers even termed 10,000 steps per day as the magic number.
Some claim that individuals can lose a pound of fat a week just by taking 10,000 steps a day because of the potential to burn 3,500 calories from walking. As a general rule a pound of fat contains around 3,500 calories. If you create an average caloric deficit of 500 calories over 7 days, that’s equal to 3,500 calories which is good for a pound of weight loss per week.
30 minutes of exercise each day
Certainly, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day would be an excellent goal to achieve. Numerous studies have found that as little as a half an hour daily of aerobic exercise like walking can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other cardiovascular related diseases.
The most comprehensive study of successful long term weight loss ever conducted, the National Weight Control Registry, found that the vast majority of it’s more than 4,000 members averaged about 60 minutes of moderate exercise like speed walking every day.
So, in addition to your formal exercise like your 30 minutes on the treadmill, put on a pedometer and incorporate more steps into your regular daily activities. Formal exercise steps plus steps throughout the day, adding up to a grand total of 10,000 steps, could most likely get you to that 60 minutes of daily exercise that has proven so successful for weight loss.
Speed Walking is a great way to start your daily fitness routine.
Working out is time consuming and hard enough to begin with so to start off with a simple walk is huge way for me to get going. It not only gets my heart rate going, but it also gets me in the work out mood. I begin to think much clearer and I also find that i am feeling very good about myself because I am taking care of number one. Me. You can do it at work or at home and its always better with a partner if possible. Its a great way to spend time with a friend or family member. I spend many hours a week seeing my 27 year old son by just being his speed walking partner. That is priceless.