“Researchers in the University of Pittsburg have recently revealed that overweight people who brisk-walk 30 – 60 minutes a day lose weight even if they don’t change their regular habits”
If walking is good for health, then speed walking is better, way better! Walking is something we start doing pretty early in life, and most of us take around 4000 odd steps everyday doing mundane, routine tasks anyways.
But since not an awful lot of attention is paid to it, the effort simply does not yield any weight loss. Walking when done right can melt away pounds and tone muscles faster and without the risk of debilitating injuries that strenuous exercises usually carried out in gyms can inflict on you.
Lucy Knight who is a personal trainer and has authored a new book on the benefits of speed walking says “Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and over-priced gym memberships. It is free, enjoyable and already a part of everyday life.
All you need to do is correct your technique, walk faster and for longer, and you will lose weight”. The exercise is easy to perform and enjoyable and when done right can do wonders for your body.
Some benefits of brisk or speed walking
For all the goodness that brisk walking can bestow upon you, it is perhaps one of the most underrated exercise in existence. In fact study after study has consistently proven that people who walk often not only lose weight, but also maintain an overall healthy and toned body.
Here are a few benefits that you can hope to gain by walking faster and more consistently:
A study conducted in America states that people who walk at least 4 hours a week gained on an average 9 pounds less weight than people who did no exercise as they got older.
Speed walking allows you to burn calories faster and elevate your heart rate to levels equal to moderate intensity exercises.
Here is a chart of calories you burn per mile of walking based on your speed in mph and weight in pounds from MET research:
As you can see, there are clear benefits to be gained by walking, and the faster you walk, the more calories you burn. Technically if you are walking between 3 and 5 miles per hour, you are speed walking, and burning more calories per mile.
Prevent bone diseases:
Bones respond to stress much the same as muscles do, meaning they become stronger and healthier as you put them through the paces and speed walking is by far the best way to do that. In fact you can even prevent or control bone related issues such as arthritis and osteoporosis simply by walking more regularly.
Increase your mental acuity:
Conventional wisdom has always regarded walking as a great way to refresh your mind and now science is backing that claim. Speed walking greatly helps you improve your blood circulation by elevating your heart rate and oxygen intake.
This in turn leads to better brain function which can help you accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently.
Reduce hypertension: Walking is the best way to reduce hypertension, or preventing it for that matter.
Hypertension is usually the result of increased blood pressure which can be caused by a number of factors and in today’s society it is all too common.
Speed walking can burn more glucose as well as fat and get blood moving within the veins and the arteries which in turn leads to better blood pressure management.
Researchers from the Massachusetts University’s medical school have discovered that people who walked everyday had 25% fewer colds than people who did not carry out any form of exercise.
So, is there a correct way that we should be walking faster? Yes there is! Read on…
Speed walking with the right technique
Speed walking or power walking as it is sometimes known is regular walking done at a greater pace.
Why is fast walking better than regular walking?
Simple, it stimulates your body to shed weight faster, not to mention you can also complete your workout quicker. However you still need to walk right in order to make the most of it.
Here are some “steps” you can follow to ensure that you are walking right:
Start in a relaxed position and keep your eyes pegged at about 10 feet ahead of you.
Bend your elbows at 90 degrees, keep them in that position as you walk.
Now start walking, leading with the heel and also move the opposite arm backward swinging both arms in opposition.
Walk by transferring the weight of your body from the heel of the foot to the toe.
When you walk try to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth also try and establish a rhythm and repeat it to make a habit out of it. Make sure that you are breathing and exhaling fully; meaning you need to fill your lungs up and exhale completely. In fact breathing correctly alone can help you burn more calories.
At first, walk for about 10 minutes as you normally would and then gradually pick up the pace.
It is hard to estimate your mph unless you have a device which can tell you that, however if you have ever been late for a meeting, then you already know how fast you need to be walking.
Try walking slightly over what you are comfortable at and keep it at that.
Once you start to register your heart rate elevate, you are there. Now walk at that pace for about 30 minutes and you should see a noticeable build up of sweat and slight fatigue building up in your legs and abdominals.
Do not exceed your limits by a great margin right off the bat, take your time and build some stamina.
The most important aspect of exercise is continuation so try and focus on speed walking every day and you will within a few short weeks begin to register your weight dropping and health improving!
Be sure to check out our review on the top 3 walking shoes for women, so that you can comfortably and safely speed walk those pounds away!
You can learn more about speed walking here.