What is speed walking?
Speed walking is walking at a pace of 3 to 5 miles per hour. The beauty of this activity is that it does not put wear and tear on your joints while still providing the benefits of a cardio workout. The speed, amount of time, and intensity of your arm movements will dictate the health benefits you can get. You can even crank it up a notch by increasing your speed to two-minute intervals and then bringing it back to your original pace.
Like any type of physical activity, incorporating safety measures into your routine can help you avoid injury.
Choose sneakers with good arch support, a firm heel, and a flexible sole. Running shoes may be a good option as many walking shoes are designed more for comfort than exercise.
Warm-up and cool down
Before walking, start at a slow pace to warm up your muscles. To cool down, slow your pace to bring down your heart rate and finish off with some gentle stretching.
- Check your posture—stand up straight, and keep your head high and your shoulders back.
- Place your arms at 90-degree angles, and gently swing them back and forth, increasing the intensity to raise your heart rate.
- Keep your hips straight, and avoid swinging them back and forth.
The benefits of speed walking
Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week for better health. Speed walking is a great option for doing this, as it can provide the following benefits:
- Reduces the chance of getting type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease
- Improves sense of well-being
- Relieves joint pain, increases flexibility, and improves range of motion
- Improves sleep and mental acuity
- Improves cardiovascular health, energy levels, and stamina
- Promotes weight loss
Finally, be sure to set realistic speed-walking goals for yourself. If you’re new to it, take your time building up your stamina. Now go ahead, put some pep in that step, and walk your way to a healthier self!