Walk faster: The Effects of Brisk Walking
Slightly increasing the pace at which you walk can have a surprising number of benefits! Read more about the health effects of brisk walking.
Have you ever needed to move quickly in a crowded space but didn't want to appear to be in a hurry? If so, you've probably turned to a fast walk, which science has shown to be good for your health in many ways. Brisk walking, also known as power walking, involves walking at a pace of at least 3 miles per hour, making it a moderate-intensity exercise. This form of exercise has been shown to improve joint strength and cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and oxygen consumption. It has also been shown that power walking is a good alternative to traditional aerobic exercise. It can help you burn calories, reduce body fat, and get in better shape overall.
It’s impressive how walking briskly, a form of exercise that requires no expensive equipment, no special athletic ability, no apps or technology, and no gym membership (and is one of the oldest and simplest forms of exercise on earth), can be so helpful to your overall health.
The Benefits of Brisk Walking
There are many benefits to power walking, and it’s actually surprising that more people don’t do it more often. You don't need to have any inherent athleticism or use any equipment, just your two feet and the ground you walk on will do.
1. Helps You Lose Weight
Walking briskly helps you lose excess weight, which is especially helpful to those who are currently in a sedentary lifestyle because of work.
2. Improves Your Cardiovascular Health
Brisk walking also improves blood flow and reduces the risk of heart disease.
3. Good for Your Joints
Proper posture and dynamic movement can help keep your joints healthy. Walking quickly can make your bones and joints stronger, making it less likely that you'll get osteoporosis or arthritis.
4. Relieves Stress
When you walk quickly, you also feel like you have a purpose, which relieves stress and tension in your body and mind. By extension, it heightens your other senses and gives you clarity of mind.
The Proper Method
Brisk walking is more than just walking faster. There are still steps and techniques you need to use to ensure that you’re doing everything properly. Here are some tips to ensure that walking is giving you the benefits you deserve.
Steps: While walking, make sure that the heel hits the ground first and let the rest of your sole roll onto the ground. Take short steps, as more steps are much better than long, tiring strides. This also goes for walking upstairs, so don’t skip them!
Proper Posture: Look straight ahead, chest out, belly in toward the spine, and shoulders back. Don’t slouch. If you start feeling stiff, ease up a bit and slouch the slightest bit. Proper posture isn’t simply being ruler-straight, it’s about varying the positions your spine will be in.
Arms: Swing your arms as you walk. If your left hand is out, your right foot should be in the back, and vice versa. This helps you keep your balance and keeps your body light. Don’t flail your arms about, and make sure they never reach over your collarbone.
Location and Distance
You can walk briskly just about anywhere. However, brisk walks are best enjoyed in a safe and open environment free of obstacles and with lots of fresh air. Pace yourself and make sure you only walk distances that you can manage. You can also look for more opportunities to walk; for example, if you’re only traveling a short distance, don’t take your car anymore. Instead, power walk your way to your destination. You not only save on gas but also get some exercise. Indeed, brisk walking holds many benefits. Take that power walk today!