Why Power Walking Is the Best Workout for You
We all know that regular exercise improves our health and helps us to live longer, but for many of us, it’s often not very much fun. When exercise becomes a grind, people often give up after only a few weeks. This is why gyms are packed in January but deserted by March. If you want to enjoy the benefits of improved health and fitness without putting in an all-out effort, power walking could be just the exercise you are looking for.
What Is Power Walking?
The main differences between regular walking and power walking are speed and vigor. The average walking pace is about 3 mph, but power walking speed is usually between 4 and 5 mph. Power walkers also swing their arms, which works their shoulders and upper backs.
Regular walking tones the legs, but power walking can help to transform the entire body. The best thing about power walking is that it’s cheap and easy. You won’t need any special gear, you don’t have to pay for a gym membership, and you can start to reap the benefits right away even if you are out of shape and have not exercised in years.
How to Power Walk Correctly
As with all forms of exercise, the correct form is critical if you want to get the best results. We all know how to walk, so getting the hang of power walking should be, quite literally, a walk in the park.
All you have to do to master your power walking technique is:
- Pick up the pace: The more steps you take during your power walks, the greater the benefits will be. Upping your walking pace from 3 mph to 4 or 5 mph could stabilize your insulin level and help you lose weight faster.
- Keep your head up: You will walk more quickly and vigorously if you maintain a good posture. Keep your head up and shoulders back, and pull your stomach in a little.
- Swing your arms: Swinging your arms while you power walk will work your upper-body muscles and help you to maintain a brisk pace. If you want to give your shoulders, arms and upper back a bit more of a workout, you could put on some wrist weights before heading out.
- Land on your heels: Runners aim for flat footfalls to avoid impact injuries, but power walking is a low-impact exercise. You should power walk the way you usually walk. Land on your heels, and push off with your toes.
- Make it fun: To keep things interesting and prevent exercise from becoming drudgery, you can listen to music or audiobooks while you power walk. You can also add fun by walking with friends, and few things in life are as great as a power walk with a happy and energetic dog. Lastly, you can change locations you power walk now and then.
- Push yourself gently: You should strive to increase the length of your power walks as your fitness improves, but don’t overdo it. After 30 minutes of power walking, the benefits start to dwindle. You can power walk every day if you like, but three walks per week should be enough to give you the results you want.
How Fast Is Power Walking?
If you don’t walk very much, your speed walking journey will probably start quite slowly. Meanwhile, the normal walking pace is about 3 mph, so that is the speed you should expect when you first start out.
You won’t have to push yourself to walk faster because that will happen naturally as your fitness improves. Before you know it, you will be power walking at between 4 and 5 mph, and that is when the benefits will really start to kick in.
Don’t focus too much on fitness apps and step counters, just enjoy your walks and let nature take its course.
Is Power Walking Good for You?
Most people start power walking because they want to lose weight, but the benefits of regular exercise go far beyond just shedding pounds. Power walking is good for the mind and body, and it provides a number of important health benefits.
Here are just a few of the health benefits scientists have noticed when they compared people who take regular exercise with people who lead sedentary lifestyles:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness: Power walking will increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular fitness, and even short walks can do a lot. In 2020, researchers discovered that just 1,000 extra steps per day could lower all causes of mortality risks by more than 35% and reduce the chances of developing serious cardiovascular disease by up to 21%.
- Accelerated weight loss: Power walking does more than just burn calories. It also increases the amount of serum adiponectin our bodies produce. Serum adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory protein that helps us to burn body fat more quickly.
- Lower rates of cancer: According to the National Cancer Institute, regular moderate exercise can significantly reduce the chances of developing breast, bladder, colon, kidney, stomach, esophageal and endometrial cancer.
- Lower blood pressure: Hypertension increases heart attack and stroke risks, and it can be treated with exercise as well as drugs. A study published in 2013 reveals that moderate walking lowers blood pressure just as much as vigorous running.
- Improved mental health: When scientists divided a cohort of women into three groups based on their level of physical activity, they discovered that the women who regularly participated in moderate exercise were happier, had more positive mental outlooks and seemed more satisfied with their lives.
- Stronger bones: Regular exercise strengthens bones. This was demonstrated when scientists discovered that perimenopausal women who take regular walks are 41% less likely to suffer a hip fracture.
Power Walking Benefits
Regular exercise improves our mental and physical health, and it also makes us look good. Toned muscles and good posture send out a very powerful message, and power walking can help you to get them.
Regular walking tones the quads, hamstrings, calves and hip abductors, but picking up the pace and swinging the arms turns walking into a total body workout. Power walking hits the glutes, upper back and shoulders without the huff and puff of lifting weights, and walking more quickly uses up more calories and burns more fat.
Finally, you’ll feel better, and your clothes will fit better too.
Power Walking vs. Jogging
Joggers enjoy the same health and fitness benefits as power walkers, but they take more risks. That is because a jogger’s entire weight is placed on their landing foot every time they take a step.
When you walk, one of your feet is in contact with the ground at all times. This all but eliminates the chances of suffering impact-related problems like shin splints, stress fractures and Achilles tendonitis that plague runners and joggers.
Shoes and Socks
If you are ready to start power walking to lose weight and improve your health and fitness, you will need the right kind of shoes and socks. Choose flat-soled shoes instead of running shoes with soles that are thicker at the heel, and wear compression socks on every walk.
Compression socks improve circulation, delay the onset of fatigue and protect you from injury, and TRUEENERGY® has them in a range of sizes and colors for men and women. If you would like to learn more about the health-promoting benefits of our compression socks, you can call us at 1 (800) 395-4290, or you could use our online form to ask a question.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does power walking tone your body?
Power walking tones your lower body just like regular walking, but it also hits your shoulders, arms and upper back.
Is power walking better than walking?
Both are good, but power walking is better. You cover more distance when you power walk, which greatly increases the weight loss and health-promoting benefits you receive.
Why is power walking better than running?
Joggers risk impact injuries every time they go for a run. Power walkers do not have to worry about impact injuries because one of their feet remains in contact with the ground at all times.
What are three benefits of power walking?
The benefits of power walking include improved physical fitness, reduced body fat, lower cancer rates, stronger bones and a more positive mental outlook.
What is the point of power walking?
People power walk because they want to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise without the physical exertion of lifting weights or running.
How long should a power walk be?
A power walk can be as long as you want, but the health benefits start to dwindle after about 30 minutes.
Does power walking tone your stomach?
Power walking can tone your stomach muscles if you pull your belly button in a little. As you get more used to power walking, you will do this without even thinking.
Can power walking build muscle?
Power walking builds and tones upper and lower-body muscles, and you can add even more lean mass if you use wrist weights.
Can power walking tone your legs?
Walking tones the thigh and calf muscles, but it does not do much for the glutes. Power walking tones the whole lower body.
Is a 20-minute power walk good?
A 20-minute power walk will do plenty of good as taking just 1,000 extra steps each day greatly reduces the chances of developing heart disease, which is the nation’s leading killer. However, the benefits will be even greater if you stretch out your power walks for another 10 minutes or so.
Does power walking strengthen your legs?
Power walks will strengthen your leg muscles, and the longer your walk, the stronger you’ll get. If you really want to build your leg muscles, find a power walking route that has plenty of hills.