How to Smash Your Speed Walking Workout
We earn commissions ( at no additional cost to you) if you purchase. Do you need to run to get fit and slim? The answer to that question is no. When you are trying to get fit, lose belly fat, or shed a few extra pounds, walking fast is a much better alternative to jogging and running. One of the main advantages is that you can walk anywhere. Once you have bought the right walking shoes, you are exercising for free. On this page, we will cover the top benefits of a walking workout. As you will discover, walking is not only about your feet and legs. The right arm motion will help you maximize your workout and improve posture. By the way, so that you know, speed walking is often referred to as race walking. How Many Calories Do You Burn When You Speed Walk? Most walkers new to speed walking would like to know the calories you burn when walking fast. How many calories you burn depends on four main factors: Walking Speed Shoes What you are carrying Equipment You can increase the number of calories you burn, but most speed walkers burn about 10 calories per minute. If you are thinking about competing in fast walking, you will probably find you are going to want to "up your game." That could mean you may end up burning 20 - 30 calories per minute. Many speed walkers walk as fast as joggers. Keep an eye on your diet as serious speed walking can make you very lean. How Fast Is Speed Walking? Once you get into your stride, you will be walking at a minimum of 4 mph per hour. However, many professional speed walkers or race walkers walk much faster than that. Many speed walkers that compete reach speeds of 7.67 miles per hour. Getting Started With Race Walking Getting into speed walking is not very difficult. You don't need a lot of equipment or accessories. Above all, there is one thing you need: commitment. This is a list of the equipment you will need: Good walking shoes Scandinavian walking poles A pack When you first get into walking, you will notice that many speed walkers don't carry a pack, but there is a good reason why you should do so. What Is a Pack Anyway? Your pack can be anything from a small drawstring bag to a rucksack. It would be best if you tried to carry at least 6 lbs (3 kilos) in your pack. Why carry extra weight? Carrying extra weight will help you improve your posture and increase your endurance. Your body will work harder, and you will burn more calories. How Far Should I Walk? The answer to that question is not straightforward. If you have not done any speed walking or exercised recently, the best way is to do a 1-mile walk every day. Try to fit in two 1 mile walks per day when you can. That is how you increase your endurance. You should aim for at least 2 miles per day in one go in week two. The best idea is to see your walking as a long-term project. You should preferably be up to at least 8 miles per day by week ten. If you have a weight problem, you can try one of the Walk At Home programs on YouTube. They are great to get you going. But, if you are serious about speed walking, you need to walk outside, taking in both hills and flat areas. Does My Walking Stride Matter? Yes, it does when you want to get fit and build endurance. Striding it out as it is called will help you increase your lung capacity. The more efficient your body can use oxygen, the more calories you will burn. An increased oxygen level in the bloodstream will also help to build muscle. How Do You Increase Your Stride? When you first start walking, you may struggle walking up hills. The trick is to walk slower and with shorter strides on inclines. Once you reach the top and a flat section, you should increase your stride. Your stride will help you build muscle and increase your aerobic function. When you have been walking for a little while, you will notice that you are coping better with inclines. That is the time when you want to increase your pace and stride on the steeper parts of your walk. A great way to build more muscles without going to the gym is doing squats for about 15 minutes per day. Once again, you can check out YouTube. Squats will not only help you build muscle. In themselves, squats are a fantastic aerobic exercise. They also help to support your posture, balance, and flexibility. What About The Pace and How do I Increase My Pace? Believe it or not, conscious walking will help you increase your pace. Conscious walking means that you are aware of how you move your body. This is where your Scandinavian walking poles come in. Not only are they excellent to use as part of your warm-up routine, but they will turn you into a better walker. The trick to good speed walking is posture. Once you have improved your posture, you may no longer need your walking poles. They are there to open up your chest and make you aware of how you walk. Most walkers who use walking poles use them in the wrong way. They often hold them low and only slightly lift them off the ground. The idea behind walking poles is to be used as cross-country skiing poles. Instead of letting them almost drag, you should purposely place them out in front of you. Grip the poles firmly and extend your arm fully with only a slight bend in the elbow. Place them on the ground in front of you and walk towards them. Keep on doing that, and you will notice your posture will improve. Once your posture is better, you will walk faster without your poles. However, to get the most out of your walking workout, you must get the technique right. When you are a beginner, you should pace your walkout by walking at a slower pace for about 2 minutes and then speed up your walking pace for about 3 minutes. Once you have improved your aerobic function, you will find that maintaining a constant fast speed is easy. Walking poles will help you achieve the right arm motion you need for an effective walking workout. They will also help to tone up your arms. The Warm-Up Yes, it is important to warm up. But, you should not only focus on warming up your legs. To avoid injuries, you need to warm up your entire body. This is where your walking poles come in handy again. Start by walking using your poles. After about five minutes, place your poles on your shoulders lengthwise, holding one end of the poles in one hand and the other end in the other hand. Start lifting the poles above your head as you walk and carry on doing so for about 5 minutes. You will notice that this simple movement will help you loosen up your shoulders. Stop and stand with your legs slightly apart. Place your poles behind your back close to your waist and twist from side to side without moving the lower part of your body. You only need to do this exercise for a few minutes. Once again, you are working on your posture and flexibility. Walking poles are a great tool, and you can also use them when you do squats. What Shoes Should I Wear? The choice of walking shoes is pretty endless. You want to make sure that you invest in a pair of shoes that cushion your feet. If you are planning on walking fast for long distances, the shoes need to support your ankle and your feet. Your feet are going to get warm. Make sure that you buy a pair of shoes with breathable uppers and sides. Be aware that they may not be suitable for walking in the wet. If you plan to walk fast in the wet, you need to buy a pair of good quality hiking boots. One of the most dangerous things about walking fast in the wet is losing your grip underfoot. Once you are fit, there is no reason why you should not walk fast in hiking boots. MBT Walking Shoes Should you train in the same shoes all of the time? When you are serious about walking fast and getting fit by walking, buying a pair of MBT walking shoes is a great idea. The M in MBT stands for Masai walking. The Masai is a tribe in Africa that walks when they go hunting. Check them out on YouTube, and you will notice they have excellent walking posture. MBT shoes simulate the way the Masai walk. They will help to build strong muscles and lengthen your tendons. MBT shoes are not meant for walking uphill. The right time to use them is to plan a walking workout on the flat terrain. You will get amazingly toned legs when you walk using MBT walking shoes. They will also help you improve both your stride and pace as they propel you along. In Conclusion: Walking is a great way to exercise. Take a look at your body, and you will see that we are meant to walk. Our joints are flexible, and when we walk, we use our joints naturally. Stop and think about it, and you will realize that it is the build of our bodies that helped the early humans walk out of Africa almost 2 million years ago. The advice given on this website does not constitute or replaces medical advice. Please consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or nutrition plan. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.