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Why People Dislike Power Walking and Why You Should Power Walk Too?

September 7th, 2008 · 10 Comments ·


If you have seen some elderly walking at high speed at the park with some weird hand movements, don’t laugh at them. They are doing power walking. So, what so great about power walking (also known as speed walking) and what are the tips to get the most from it?

We walk everyday and based on the normal speed, most will walk about 5 km an hour. When we walk faster, we are able to walk as far as 8 km for the same period. This is what we call power walk which is actually an aerobic activity. The difference between jogging or power walking is that your foot is always in contact with the ground at all times if you are power walking.


Some do not like power walking because of few reasons:

  • The fear of looking like an idiot with exaggerated arm movements during the walk.
  • The fear of being perceived as weak because power walking is normally done by elderly.

Forget about the fear, some of the benefits of power walking are:

  • Tones and strengthens muscles, particularly the legs [thighs, hamstrings, calves and even butts (glutes)] and even the abdominal.
  • Helps build stamina, boost heart health and manage body weight as it is a cardiovascular exercise. Calorie burn for each walk is between 150 and 175 for 20 minutes.
  • Some people prefer power walking over jogging because power walking is considered low to moderate exercise. What is more important is that it causes less impact to the joint.


12 Tips to Get Started:

  1. What you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Make sure it has supportive cushioned shoe. The shoe has to be soft and flexible. Walking boots, flit flops and sandals are definitely not suitable for power walking.
  2. Keep hydrated. Remember to drink water before you go.
  3. Warm up by spending five to ten minutes walking and stretching.
  4. If you prefer indoor power walking, you can do it on the treadmill in the gym. Do not incline the treadmill yet. If you are doing it outdoor, select a route with even ground.
  5. Start with a 20-minute walk, probably 3 times a week.
  6. Get someone to walk with you so that you will not feel bored.
  7. Once you get used to the exercise, you can try different route if you are doing outdoor. For people who prefer walk outdoor, if you cannot get to any hills, you can use stair climbs. As for indoor power walker, do it on the incline platform of the treadmill.
  8. You can also pick up the pace or even increase the walk to be 30 to 45 minutes.
  9. Try to avoid busy commercial streets. But, if you have to, always walk facing oncoming traffic.
  10. Walk at various times of the day, but not under the hot sun in the afternoon. The sights to see first thing in the morning are bound to be different to those of early evening.
  11. To add some spice, you can try overtake others. The faster you get, the fitter you will become.
  12. If you have extra money, consider buying a pedometer. You can key in you stride length and then calculate the distance covered and calories burned. Some people use it to keep track of their performance as motivation to walk further and faster.


Simple Power Walk Technique

  • Focus your eyes 5 to 6 meters ahead and keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • You do not have to clench your fists while walking. Loose fist and your thumbs up will do.
  • Do not swing your arms from side to side rather move backwards and forwards. Do not do it with rigid arm.  Not to worry too much about the form.  Just walk naturally.
  • For advanced users expecting more weight loss result, one of the ways is to wear weight vest. Theoretically, you burn more calories because you move more mass. Adding to your weight to your body is better than using weight gloves or adding weight at the calves which are exposed to joint injury.  Start with light weight before adding more weights.

Hopefully, by now, you have better understanding on this exercise. If others stare at you with funny smile next time when they see you power walking, they most probably miss out the benefits of this affordable and joint-friendly workout.




Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles

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10 responses so far ↓
  • Karen // Sep 7, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    I am a bit cacat i think..i cant run..yes its weird.. thats why i always use that machines which looks like a step and walking machine but has the hands as well..u know?? I dont know what its called but i love that machine because you can power walk and do a lil jog at the same time. and its good for the butt :)

  • Tom Parker // Sep 7, 2008 at 9:24 PM

    Personally I’m more of a fan of jogging than power walking. I know it’s not as good for my joints but I just find jogging a little more challenging. If I’m ging outdoors to do some exercise then I will usually choose to jog. However, I still try to power walk when I’m actually going somewhere. I find it gets me there a lot quicker :-)

  • Yin Teing // Sep 8, 2008 at 10:48 PM

    Actually swinging the arms is really a good workout for the hands. I remembered initially my arms and shoulders got sore very quickly but now I can swing througout the workout and they’re ok. All the vigorous arm swinging really helps- after that, I noticed I could carry more and heavier groceries and walking longer distances without tiring out. Great suggestions.

  • foongpc // Sep 9, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    I prefer to jog instead but when I’m not exercising, I walk very fast during my daily activities so it’s like power walking in a way.

  • Usman // Sep 9, 2008 at 6:56 PM

    I would much rather do some sprints. It’s quick fast and effective.

    However, power walking is still a great workout for people with slightly lower fitness levels.

  • fred // Sep 10, 2008 at 4:33 AM

    Nice art!
    Actually if you powerwalk on the threadmill, you don’t even have to swing your arms; especially if you set a decent angle (4-5 deg)…
    I definitely prefer fast walking than running – hopefully my joints will thank me for that :)

  • wgd4082 // Sep 12, 2008 at 8:33 AM

    For weight loss, walking is far far far more effective than jogging. To my knowledge, jogging is maintain body weight.

    In the late 2006, I had to walk home from the bus stop every night for a distance of 3 km (15 – 20 minutes) and sometimes further than that if fall asleep in the bus. For almost three months, my weight reduced from 78kg to 56kg….and you can see the power of walking. I bought new pants every month as my waist keep reducing from 35 in to 28 in.

    I was very happy with my body. After that….got a second car…no more power walking. In order to maintain that, I changed my style of eating habits.

    No more fast foods, mamak food, fried food (not 100%), carbonate drink & processed foods (also not 100%).

    Drink a lot of warm water, eat more fruits (apple, plum, oranges & lemon), vegetables (salad, broccoli, spinach & carrot), oats (rolled oats) and the most important is…..meals prepared by my wife….try to avoid eating outside.

  • Ana // Oct 18, 2008 at 9:07 PM

    I power walk eveyday, and it helps me maintain my weight very well. I LOVE POWER WALKING!

  • sydney // Jan 19, 2009 at 6:14 AM

    im a 14 year old female
    and im trying to lose about 30 pounds (im 160)
    it is very cold here in New york!
    so how can i go out and walk?!?!?! i cant wait until spring to get a move on excersising–>i wont have enough time to lose the weight

    please help
    i cannot join a gym or anything

    and how long do i have to walk at a quick pace to burn 500 calories?

  • LL // Mar 23, 2009 at 5:47 AM

    If wearing a weight vest is good then what about getting a more intense workout while walking if your 60 pounds overweight? I’m walking an hour a day now at a fast pace, but I thought that 2 hours may be better. But, for me, is 1 hour like 2 hours, since I carry that 60 pounds everywhere I walk?

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