Power Walking – If Just Walking Isn’t Working…

If just walking isn’t working – maybe it’s time to ramp things up with some power walking!

Here are some tips for getting your walking routine going with power walking.

Power Walking Form

To get the most out of your power walk, you’ll need to follow the correct form. If you feel self-conscious, either get over it or move to a private area! When you power walk, sources say you need to keep your arms swinging and your chin up, and get your toes pointing up with each forward step (some refer to this as keeping your heels up. Either way, the point is to get your legs and feet moving in a heel-ball-toe formation).

Big Steps

One of the keys to power walking is to take lunging steps. When you power walk, you are moving fast but not necessarily taking long strides (in fact, sources say you should aim for quick, small steps as you power walk), but you can intersperse this with extra-long strides or lunges as you go. The lunges give your legs an extra workout and work the muscles a bit differently than the shorter strides.

Tighten Those Muscles

As you boost your walking program and get into power walking, you can amp it up even more by squeezing key muscle groups as you walk. Your rear and tummy are two places where contracting those muscles while you walk can help squeeze the most out of your workout.

Weights

Some fitness experts advocate the use of wrist and ankle weights to add even more challenge to your power walk. You can purchase such weights at most fitness shops or even some major retailers that have a sports section in the store. You strap these weight onto your wrists and ankles, which helps increase muscle exertion and ultimately muscle tone. Some sources also say that the weights increase the number of calories burned per workout.

Here are’s an inexpensive pair from Walmart.com:

TKO 2.5 lb. Pair Wrist/Ankle Weights
TKO 2.5 lb. Pair Wrist/Ankle Weights
Price: $29.99
Soft gel foam padding, full cotton terry lining Outside pockets for weights Easily adjustable closure for custom fit Pair weighs 2.5 lbs. Manufacturer’s warranty included (see product guarantee)

Think Speed

One way to help you in your power walking efforts is to walk as if you are in a great hurry. Think in terms of hustle, hustle rather than a pleasurable stroll. Listening to upbeat, active music while you walk can help. Sources say you should aim for 4 1/2 miles per hour, but this is not a speed that most people can achieve automatically. So make this a goal and start out walking as fast as you can (with the proper form), and work up to the 4 1/2 mph goal.

How to Start a Power Walking Program

Decide Where You’ll Walk

You can go for a treadmill, a track, your neighborhood, or wherever you can get a good, hard stride going. You will be walking in a particular form, so if you are self-conscious about how you appear, you may prefer to walk somewhere a bit more private, such as a quiet neighborhood or a home treadmill. If you like company and appreciate a group setting, a gym treadmill or public track might be just the place.

Gear Up

For power walking, a good pair of walking shoes is essential. You may have to spend a bit, but look for shoes designed for the purpose. The support these shoes offer is important for preventing injury and cushioning your joints. Dress appropriately for the weather, and make sure your clothing allows free movement. Carry a fanny pack for keys, cell phone, and other essentials; a purse won’t do as well.

Here’s a shoe that is especially designed for power walking, available online at Shoemall.com

Hush Puppies Women's Power Walker Walking Shoe
Hush Puppies Women’s Power Walker Walking Shoe
Price: $72.95
This walking shoe has it all, from top quality to a comfortable fit Full grain leather upper Fully padded collar and tongue Moisture-wicking DRI-LEX lining Removable molded footbed Bounce technology cushions every step Durable, flexible rubber sole PDAC approved for Medicare

Schedule Your Walks

Making your walks a regular thing not only helps you get them done, it also improves the overall fitness benefits, sources say. Since you are just beginning, experts recommend starting slowly and working up to 20-30 minutes 5 days a week. In fact, according the fitness experts, it’s best to begin at a moderate walking pace before beginning with the power walking.

Here’s an example of a beginner’s schedule, assuming a week is 5 days of walking:

* First week: Walk for 15 minutes at a moderate pace.

* Second week: Each day, add 5 minutes so you’re walking for 20 minutes. On week 2, you can up the pace for those 5 minutes, so you’re power walking for 5 and moderately walking for 15.

* Third week: Add another 5 minutes a day so you’re walking for 25 minutes – 10 minutes of those will be power walking, 20 moderate.

* Fourth week: Add another 5 minutes. Now you’re power walking for 15 minutes, and moderately walking for 15.

* Fifth week: Begin increasing the number of power walking minutes within your 30-minute walk. Increase in 5-minute intervals as described above until you are power walking for all 30 minutes.

Now liven up your walking workout with great music and walking programs/workouts:

Kathy Smith Powermix Lean Walk Workout Music
Kathy Smith Powermix Lean Walk Workout Music
Price: $14.99
Track Listing: 1. Ain’t No Love, Ain’t No Use, 2. Lady, 3. Crash, 4. Hey Mama, 5. L.O.V.E, 6. More More More, 7. Boyfriend, 8. My Style, 9. Hung Up, 10. Da Hype, 11. Here Comes the Rain Again, 12. When Doves Cry

Shape Fitness Music: Walk, Vol. 2: 70s Hits
Price: $11.99
Track Listing: 1. Freak, Le – Chic, 2. Funkytown – Lipps, Inc, 3. Ring My Bell – Anita Ward, 4. Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste of Honey, 5. Bad Girls – Donna Summer, 6. Relight My Fire – Dan Hartman, 7. Disco Inferno – The Trammps, 8. Enough Is Enough (No More Tears) – Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand, 9. Let’s All Chant – Michael Zager Band, 10. Xanadu – Olivia Newton-John, 11. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor, 12. Hustle, The – Van McCoy

The Healthy Heart Walking CD: Walking Workouts For A Lifetime Of Fitness
The Healthy Heart Walking CD: Walking Workouts For A Lifetime Of Fitness
Price: $12.6
Walk your Way to Health and Well-Being Regardless of your level of fitness, you can improve your cardiovascular health, weight control, stress management, and overall well-being through a simple walking program. In the American Heart Association’s Healthy Heart Walking CD, the leading crusader in the fight against heart disease and stroke presents two complete walking workouts to help you get started. Designed to be listened to again and again, whenever you have time for a half-hour fitness walk, The Healthy Heart Walking CD includes:  A 30-minute beginner’s walk; A 30-minute intermediate walk – for walkers ready for a faster pace; Original music written exactly to American Heart Association-recommended paces; Easy-to-do stretches and a diary in an illustrated booklet

Leslie Sansone: Walk The Walk - Firm Walk (A Christian Inspired Workout)
Leslie Sansone: Walk The Walk – Firm Walk (A Christian Inspired Workout)
Price: $10.96
Good health is a blessing – a connection of mind, body, and spirit. This uplifting, In-Home Walking(TM) workout is a great way to get both physically and spiritually fit. It’s a faith-centered, energizing workout that will leave you feeling revitalized every day, inside and out. It’s time to build strong muscles and a firm faith with this terrific strength-training workout that will leave your spirit refreshed and your body lean, firm and energized. when you add muscle, you’re giving your body beautiful shape and definition – that sleek, well-proportioned look we all want! Challenge all the muscles of your upper and lower body with these simple, effective exercises that target trouble spots like the upper arms, mid-back, the hips, thighs and buns, abs and waistline. The inspiring music keeps the focus on God’s blessings, so you’re not just challenging your body. you’re nurturing your soul. Are you ready shape up, inside and out? Have faith – you’ll love what this firming workout does for you.

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