If you have always believed your workout required you to run and jog mile after mile and become a sweaty mess, you may want to think again.
Power Walking is an effective workout, and the following health benefits have been proven by published medical studies:
- burn calories
- improve your heart health
- boost your fitness
- reduce your risk for high blood pressure
- decrease high cholesterol
- manage diabetes
- reduce stress and support mental health
- optimize joint and bone health
What Is Power Walking?
Power walking is a low-impact form of exercise. It requires no expensive equipment, unique athletic ability, apps, or technology.
By emphasizing speed and arm motion, power walking increases your heart rate. Think of it as a way to empower your daily walk.
You’ll walk at a fast pace that is at the upper end of your usual walking speed. That puts most people in a range of 4 mph to 5.5 mph, equivalent to 13 to 15 minutes per mile.
This type of brisk walking can help you lose weight, especially belly fat…and who wouldn’t want that?
How to Power Walk for Maximum Results
As with most fitness exercises, form matters! To get all the advantages of power walking, follow these guidelines:
- Posture perfect. When you power walk, keep your back straight, shoulders back, chest up, and your gaze forward.
- Engage your core. To activate your core muscles, contract your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Be aware not to arch or round your back. Concentrating on your core will help to build strength and improve balance in your body.
- Use your arms. Arm movement is a key element of power walking. Move your arms up and back, while keeping them bent at a 90-degree angle, so that the opposite arm and leg move together. Adding this arm motion will help you walk faster. Please remember, you don’t need wild swings or chicken wings to get that benefit. Focus on controlling your range of motion for optimum results.
- Shorten your stride. Shortening your stride helps you easily quicken your pace. Scientific research shows that taking more steps per minute positively impacts insulin level, body mass index, and waist circumference. In other words, more steps equals more health benefits.
- Land on your heel. Concentrate on your foot placement when you power walk. Land on your heel and roll forward towards your toes to push off with every step. Try to be light and quick on your feet.
It’s even easier than it sounds, and with a little effort and practice, your power walking style will become natural.
4 Tips to Get Started Power Walking
As you begin your power walking routine, remember to:
Get Comfortable Gear
Invest in walking shoes. For power walking, choose footwear that has proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick and flexible soles to cushion your feet while absorbing shock.
Plan Your Path
If you’ll be walking outside, beware of cracked sidewalks, potholes, and low-hanging limbs. However, don’t let the weather deter you. If the climate isn’t appropriate for outdoor walking, consider walking inside, such as a shopping mall or indoor track.
Warm-Up, Cool-Down, and Stretch
Jumping straight into a power walking workout can raise the risk of injuries. It’s best to walk at a slow pace for at least 5 minutes to warm up your muscles. Then, once you’ve completed your workout, walk leisurely for 5 to 10 minutes to cool down. The last step is to take a few moments to stretch and aid your recovery.
Make It Fun
Any exercise is only beneficial if you enjoy it and make it part of your lifestyle. If you thrive in a social setting, walk with a friend or colleague. If you walk solo, go somewhere you find inspiring. Do whatever makes it fun for you!
How to Incorporate Power Walking Into Your Routine
Now that you realize power walking is a great way to boost your workout’s effectiveness, you may want to vary this exercise to stay motivated.
Consider adding faster intervals to your power walking workout. For example, during a 30-minute session, you might walk quickly for 1 minute, slow down to a moderate or casual pace for 2 minutes, and then repeat.
However, you don’t have to ditch high-intensity interval training (HIIT) altogether. This type of exercise is an efficient way to burn calories and build endurance.
Diversify Your Workouts
Varying your exercise program to include high-intensity and group workouts will not only keep you enthusiastic and driven, but the diversity will also help you:
- build balanced strength in all muscle groups
- optimize the time and energy you spend at the gym
- prevent injuries by overusing one muscle group
- breakthrough a weight loss plateau
Our workouts at Fit Body Boot Camp get your heart pumping. Our expert trainers will help you get the most out of your exercises, and then guide you through active recovery so you bounce back quicker and are ready to ace your next session.
Excited to revitalize your fitness game with a well-rounded approach?