Walking is one of the easiest and simplest exercises you can do to improve your overall health, lose weight and improve your mood. However, research has determined that people who go out for a stroll, or cover a mile in 24 minutes or more, do not enjoy the benefits of exercise and in fact, will suffer the same risk of overall mortality as those who don’t exercise at all.
The research supports the concept that the people who walk with a higher intensity will experience the most benefits. The intensity of your program will be based on your current level of fitness. So while walking 15 minute miles may be fast for some, others may barely break a sweat. The recommendations for a high intensity walk is a 15 minute mile pace, but that might be something you work up to doing.
Power walking is speed walking at a pace that is generally about 10 minutes per mile. Power walking is an alternate to jogging because it places less stress on the knees and hips. The upper range of powerwalking and jogging are almost equally efficient in calorie burn, motion and energy potential, but because the motion is different, the stress is less with powerwalking.
Powerwalking also is better at blasting the fat and calories than just walking. And it is all done through a different mechanism and motion than just walking or by jogging. The concept is through a change in the motion of the hips and the factor that both feet are not off the ground together at the same time.
If you think about increasing the pace, most of the time you increase the length of your stride. However, with powerwalking you increase the pace of the stride which is more efficient, rather than increasing the length. Power walkers will land on the heel, roll to the instep and push off the toes, unlike jogging which happens mostly on the toes. This change in action is how you reduce the stress load on the knees and hips because the power absorption begins in the feet.
Powerwalkers also use their arms to help with propulsion forward. By holding the arms bent to 90 degrees at the elbow, close to the body and swinging in an arc formation from waist to chest, they help to move the body forward and increase the calorie burn by engaging more muscle mass.
Hold your hands in a relaxed fist to reduce the swelling in your fingers as you pump through the miles. After walking for 30 minutes with your hands to your sides you may notice that the fingers swell. By holding your hands in a relaxed fist and at chest level you reduce the amount of swelling.
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Active: Forget the Gym: Why a Brisk Walk is a Really Great Workout
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Oprah: Power Walk to a New You
Fitbie: 30 Minute Power Walks that Blast Fat
FitDay: How Power Walking 3 Times a Week Can Help You Lose Weight
The Walking Site: Tips for Walking Faster
Prevention: Power Walking 101