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Finding Happiness
Healthy Lifestyle
Can you Walk the Walk?

Jun 30th, 2018

Category: Body

Can you Walk the Walk?

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!

Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise. When done correctly, walking is an effective, low-impact, low-risk exercise but it is not especially efficient for burning a lot of calories. If you have been walking for fitness for a while now and are hoping to make the activity more challenging, it may seem harmless to just add in some weights.

* However, carrying weights may be doing more harm than good. While adding weights will definitely increase the calorie burning, walking with weights may also increase your risk of injury and may even cause unexpected side effects like back pain or an increase in blood pressure.

Carrying weights in your hands can actually cause a postural imbalance and put added stress on your shoulders and neck. During a single walk, this may not be too much of an issue, but over time it can cause added stress to your joints. If you choose ankle weights, you can put added stress on your ankles and knees. “I would not recommend anyone using ankle weights while walking due to the torque that it could cause on the ankle and knee joints,” confirms Jennifer Burningham, personal trainer and running coach at Right Track Health & Fitness.

Weight Alternatives:
– Changing up where you walk can help you work different muscles and even increase the difficulty of your workout. Add an incline to the treadmill, find a hill to walk or hike, or walk barefoot on a sandy beach. *This can increase the number of calories you burn at a given pace by up to 50 percent.

– Consider including weight training AFTER your walking workout. Doing a separate strength-training routine is the best way to ensure you are working your muscles the correct way and avoiding injury at the same time.
– Instead of walking with weights, you could include some pushups, tricep dips, unweighted squats, or a modified wall (tree if you are outdoors!) sit to begin to build strength.
– Resistance bands are a great way to target muscles that you want to challenge; consider bringing them with you on your walk and stopping at “stations” to include strength training every five minutes between your walking.

First and foremost, even though walking is something we do every day, before you start a walking routine, you should, of course, consult your doctor. Getting a regular checkup before doing cardiovascular work helps ensure your heart and lungs are at their healthiest and can effectively handle the stress of added physical activity.

Before you start a program, set your fitness goals and make sure the work you are putting in aligns with what you are trying to achieve. Then, to get the most out of any routine, come to moreFIT and talk to our personal trainers who can help you make any modifications you may need while teaching you how to maintain correct form and posture for maximum efficiency.

(*Reference: American Council on Exercise)