When done right power walking is one of the most effective workouts you can do. Not only can it burn more calories than jogging, but it is also easier on your joints and less likely to cause injury.
Once you start power walking you will realize its not as easy as it looks. Its a tough workout that requires the right knowledge.
Here are a few power walking tips for the complete beginner.
Make Sure You Invest In a Pair of Quality Walking Shoes
A good power walking routine starts with the right pair of walking shoes. And while it may not seem like a big difference, the way a walking shoe is designed when compared to a running shoe really does matter.
When you walk it is very important that your weight is able to roll evenly from the heel of your foot all the way to your toes.
Your walking stride is therefore different than a normal running stride. And since you won’t be forced to absorb the same impact when you walk, the type of cushioning you need in your shoe is different than the type a runner would need.
When looking for a walking shoe make sure you have plenty of flexibility all the way through the ball of the foot. You also want to make sure there is adequate arch support and that the heel is flat.
Pick Up The Pace
While you won’t be running, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be moving fast enough to work up a sweat.
The ultimate goal is to work your way up to walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour. Doing so will put you on pace to burn just as many calories as a slow jogger.
Walking at 4 miles per hour is not as easy as you might think. For best results focus on a quick turnover and not trying to take bigger steps.
When you first start out walk at a pace that makes you comfortable. Each week you should slowly increase your pace until you reach 4 miles per hour.
Make sure you pump your arms while walking. Doing so will help you increase your foot speed. You should also avoid adding any extra hip motion.
Instead focus on moving your hips back and forth in a natural way.
Slowly Increase Your Distance
Power walking is a lot tougher than most people realize. And just like with other forms of exercise, its easy to overdo it if you aren’t careful.
After your first few power walking sessions there is a good chance you will be a little sore. That’s why its a good idea to start off slow and limit your mileage.
As you get stronger you can gradually increase the distance you walk each time.
It is recommended you only increase your weekly mileage by 10%. If you are currently walking 10 miles per week, next week you should increase it to 11 miles.
This gradual approach ensures your body is able to properly adjust. It also prevents unnecessary injury.
Challenge Yourself With Intervals
As you get stronger your walking routine will become easier. Including intervals in your routine is a great way to challenge yourself.
Adding intervals in your routine is fairly easy. Let’s say you do a 30 minute power walk everyday. Instead of walking at the same pace each time you go out, try switching up the pace every few minutes.
For example, every 3-5 minutes you should walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds. You could even do a light sprint if you wanted to.
You will then come back down to your regular pace for a few minutes so you can recover. Continue to do this for the remainder of your power walking session.
Eventually your 30 second intervals will start to feel easier. Once that happens you should increase the length of each interval.
Instead of going 30 seconds you should now go 40-50 seconds. As you get stronger not only will the intervals become easier, but you will also notice you start to recover a lot quicker.
Interval training can be very taxing on your body. It is therefore recommended you do it every other day. This will give your body plenty of time to recover so you can be fully ready for the next session.
The great thing about power walking is you don’t need an special equipment to get started. And while we do recommend you invest in a good pair of shoes, the reality is you can start right now with whatever you have.
Just go outside and start walking. As you start to enjoy the activity more you can then invest in a better pair of walking shoes.
Remember to always be safe when you are out walking. While its good to have your music on, make sure its not so loud that you aren’t aware of your surroundings.
For added support invite your friends and family members to come along with you. Chances are you will all fall in love with power walking.