7 Reasons To Start Power Walking

Don’t call it basic.

Originally Published: 
The benefits of power walking, as explained by trainers.
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Walking is good exercise, but power walking ups the ante. Trainer Niki Eleni Bonanni says the benefits of power walking — an aerobic workout that emphasizes speed and arm motion — are vast. Here’s why you should add it to your fitness routine.

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Form 101

To get the most benefit, Bonanni says to focus on form. Engage your core, pull shoulders back, and look ahead. Keep your elbows bent, hands in loose fists, and pump your arms as you walk quickly in a heel-toe motion to engage leg muscles and boost your heart rate.

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It Boosts Heart Health

Better cardiovascular health is one of the main benefits of power walking, says trainer Corey Lewis. A brisk walk increases your heart rate and cardiac output, he explains, which trains your heart muscles so they stay strong and healthy.

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It Improves Circulation

Trainer Sam Wallace says power walking also increases your blood flow and circulation. And you don’t have to go super hard to see this benefit. “You just need to challenge yourself by increasing speed or distance,” she tells Bustle.

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It Reduces Stress

The feel-good endorphins released during a power walk can lead to reduced stress levels, anxiety, and fatigue, Bonanni says. Not to mention it’s the perfect time to listen to your fave podcast, which is always a perk.

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It’s Great For Beginners

Power walking is a great entry-level workout, says Wallace, noting it also boosts your strength in other exercises. A fast walk helps you gain muscle and stamina so that you can move up to walking greater distances — or running in the future.

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It Targets Multiple Muscles

Power walking also strengthens multiple muscle groups at once, Wallace says. It hits the glutes and calves as well as your core, especially if you make a point of engaging your abs as you go. And if you walk with weights, your arms get love too.

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It’s Low-Impact

Bonnani says walking is a great alternative to running, especially if you want a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints. Plus, one study found a 15-minute walk offers similar health benefits as a 5-minute run.

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It’s The Perfect Warm-Up

While power walking can be your whole workout, it’s also a great warm-up activity, says conditioning specialist Dr. Alex Tauberg. It gets the lower body loose so you can stretch before moving on to another form of exercise.

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