How fast should I walk
By Brent Fairbanks
Walking is the way that I choose to get my body the cardio exercise it intently craves. I don't crave doing it, but my body and mind like the results of this activity. Since starting my walking program I have tried various things to alter the walk and see what works best for me.
Once I had built my strength up to the point where I was able to walk for 30 minutes, non stop, I began to increase my pace. I kept increasing the pace of my walks and timing my walk to see that I was progressing. If you have access to a treadmill this is much easier to do, just increase the speed of the machine.
What you want to do is get to the point where you are still able to speak, but holding a conversation is a bit difficult (because of your breathing). This is the pace that you are trying to achieve in your walk. Depending on your individual physical makup the speed you walk for each person will be different. If your legs are longer for instance, you can move faster than the shorter legged person. Your level of physical condition will affect your speed. Never go to the point where you are hurting to move at the pace you are going. For me, I have found that 4.5 miles per hour is the absolute fastest that I can walk without serious discomfort.
Once I found my maximum speed that I can walk at it seemed like the natural progression for me to start running. Wrong! For me, maybe I'm weird, running is very difficult to do and my body hurts for days after just a few minutes. Since I didn't seem to be able to run to increase my workout I decided that I needed to add more resistance to the activity. If you are walking outdoors you will want to find areas where there are hills to walk up and down. Again, if you have a treadmill this is easy, just add incline to the walk. By adding the incline to your workout you will be getting both a cardio and a strength training workout at the same time.
I was able to continue increasing my workout to the point where the incline was not enough and I wanted more. At this point I began carrying hand weights to increase the resistance, start very light - like 1 pound. You will be surprised to see just how much 1 pound adds to a 30 minute walk.
So, how fast should YOU walk? Use the "talk test" and be sure to build up to the 30 minute walk first. From there you can increase your workout by walking faster. If you are interested in a walking program to get healthy and lose weight get a copy of my 'weight loss myths' book.
Thanks for listening, leave me a comment.
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