Power-Walking: A Cardio Workout for Women of All Ages
Posted Aug 25 2008 3:19pm
Tonight, I thought I'd talk about one of my favorite exercises that is perfect for women of all ages, and that's power-walking.
Power-walking can give you a great cardio workout, without putting tremendous strain on your joints. It is also good for relieving tension and provides a boost to your metabolism. In addition, it will help strengthen both your legs and abdominal muscles.
Of course, your number one priority should be to purchase a quality pair of walking shoes. Shoe fit is extremely important. It is critical that you are able to wiggle your toes and that you can squeeze a finger between your heel and the inside of your shoes. If you are in between sizes, always choose the larger size.
First off, do a dynamic warm-up, which consists of warming up the muscles prior to walking. Be sure to emphasize your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles. Power jumps are great for this type of warm-up and consist of standing stationary, then doing a squat and jumping with full power. Repeat 5-10 of these power jumps to ensure an adequate warm-up.
Although people walk every day, there is a power-walking technique that ensures that you get the most benefit from this exercise. Walking of course is a heel-to-toe exercise whereby you should always land with your weight on your heel before rolling onto the balls of the feet. Then, push off with the ball of your foot before landing on the heel of your opposite foot.
Throughout the stride, keep your arms at a 90 degree angle at your sides and pump them with fists closed. At the top of the pump, your fists should reach your forehead, while at the bottom of the pump, your fist should reach your waist. Keep your back straight, your eyes positioned forward, your chin up, your shoulders straight, and your chest pushed forward. Keep your stride steady while maintaining proper balance, form and speed.
Many power-walkers prefer to use weights, whether held in the hands or strapped to the legs, because walking with weights can build additional strength and endurance. Other power-walkers do interval training to ensure they get the most fat burning possible. This would consist of walking at different speeds for different set time periods. You can make up your own intervals or search online for some great interval workouts.
After only a few weeks of power-walking, you are sure to notice an increase in your stamina and a change to your physique, due to the strengthening of your heart, legs and abdominals and an increase in fat-burning.
So women of all ages and athletic ability, give it a go. And then let me know how you feel.