Guest Author - Hellie T.
Fitness walking is sometimes known as Power walking or Health Walking. Fitness walking uses more muscles so that means that you burn calories much quicker than say strolling or walking at 3 miles ahour.
It will also tone the muscles in your buttocks, thighs, hips, shoulders, upper back and abs. Most fitness walkers average about 12 to 15 minutes per mile.
Fitness or Power walking uses as many calories as running and is one step up from a brisk walking pace.
It is not just walking or strolling (click here for more details on these). Fitness walking gets your body moving, your brain active, and your blood flowing. It is walking with attitude, where you use your arms to help propel you forwards, which results in a very good overall body workout.
The only equipment you will need is a pair of comfortable walking shoes or trainers, some comfortable clothes and a water bottle.
Remember to start with 5-8 minutes of gentle walking to warm up and then you can quicken your pace. Aim to walk at a pace where you can feel that you are pushing yourself, however you should still be able to just about talk but it will take some effort.
The major difference between walking and Power walking is that you use your arms in a punching movement back and forth, holding your elbows at a 90% angle - swinging them front to back not from side to side.
Your arms should not go too high.
The push-off is very important – use your toes to push-off, keep your back leg straight.
The leading foot is placed directly in front of the back foot, as if you were walking down an imaginary line painted on the floor.
Your head should be looking forwards not down on the ground, this gives you good posture and helps you to breathe in deeply.
These should be relaxed and not tight – down and back.
Do not be tempted to over stride, big strides slow you down. If you want to go faster then take small steps.
Power walking one mile in 12 minutes will burn around 200 calories per half hour.
There are many clubs all over the world who organise walks so if you are interested there is bound to be one near you.
Enjoy your walking