Before jumping over to the benefits of brisk walking, let us first try to answer the question, “What does brisk walking actually mean?”
What is Brisk Walking?
The term brisk actually means to do something energetically or to quicken up the pace of the task in hand. So, brisk walking can be attributed to being walking energetically or walking at a good pace. Although, this quick pace, may vary from person to person, depending upon their height, weight, structure, culture, etc. It may also depend upon the daily activity of a person.
In essence, if we talk about an inactive person, who has just started walking, he/she might feel exhausted at speeds where an average person would walk regularly. In that case, what would be the ideal pace of brisk walking?
In other words, it can be said that the average brisk walking pace is somewhere around 4 km per hour to 6.43 km per hour. While the average walking speed is around 4.5 km per hour. On that note, it is tough to decide the actual pace of walking as all these researches and tests are based on certain parameters.
Facts on Walking
Knowing what brisk walking actually is, let us now look into the facts of brisk walking.
- According to research from the Duke University Medical Centre, a brisk 30-minute walk around a track three times a week helps reduce the chances of depression in elderly and middle-aged people.
- Taking the circumference of Earth as 40075 km, for a person brisk walking at a pace of 5 km per hour. It would take him/her 333.95, which is 334 days of non-stop walking to cover the circumference of Earth.
- Walking on hot stones or coals with bare feet is a religious ritual around the world. Many countries like China, New Zealand, and the Fiji Islands, practice this ritual. It is supposed to purify the person, walking on fire, from their sins.
- Many modern literary scholars also appreciate the benefits of brisk walking. “Writing is one way to make the world ours, walking is the other,” is quoted by Michel De Certeau.
Fitness experts on Brisk Walking.
When we think about it, all of us believe that running is more efficient than walking or even brisk walking. But, experts have a different say in it.
“Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better than running,” says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, a certified strength and conditioning specialist in Arizona. “You hear of people ‘plateauing’ when they continue to do the same workout routine and stop seeing results. I see patients all the time that plateau from running, they will run the same distance, speed and time, day in and day out. You need to constantly be switching up your exercise routine in order to get the maximum benefit for your health.”
Yes! Walking is more efficient than running altogether. We believe running is better since it is physically more demanding than running, but it isn’t. Walking stimulates the right muscles for a bit longer period of time than running, keeping the muscles active for a longer period than running.
It is not that you must only keep walking or only be running to be fit. But, as Dr. Tanneberg says, you must switch your routines from walking to running and keep alternating between them so that your muscles and body takes a longer time to get familiar with any single workout.
Lucy Knight on Walking
Another personal fitness trainer Lucy Knight, author of a new book on exercise says, “Walking is a refreshing alternative to complicated aerobic routines and overpriced gym memberships. It is free, enjoyable and already a part of everyday life. All you need to do is correct your technique, walk faster and for longer and you will lose weight.”
There are many scientific pieces of research proving the benefits of brisk walking. One such research conducted by the University of Pits berg states that an overweight person loses weight even if they walk for about an hour at a brisk pace.
Brisk Walking is a Workout
When you go to a gym, your trainer first focuses to warm you up, isn’t it? That means he wants your heart rate to pump up in order to attain the right heart rate before you jump on to a workout.
Attaining a good or to be specific, a constant yet higher than usual heart rate is the first priority of any workout so that the blood circulation remains constant. That is what happens when you walk briskly. As mentioned earlier, the ideal brisk walking speed is in a debate, yet we can define it in terms of your heart rate.
Brisk walking for any individual can be defined as the speed at which your heart rate is higher than normal. The desired heart rate to gain the benefits of brisk walking must be at least 50 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. This said, we can compare it in layman terms as;
You will have said to brisk walked when your heart rate is higher than normal. You can talk efficiently. But you face problems while singing and walking.
How to walk efficiently?
In this age of smartphones and technology, there shouldn’t be an issue in finding a suitable tech to measure your heart rate, isn’t it? This is where the rote of fitness bands and smartwatches come in to picture. What you can do is, check your heart rate, just before you start jogging or walking fast and walk up to a speed where your heart rate is at least 50% higher than your normal heart rate.
A few days earlier when I was walking, I found a woman, twice my age, walking at twice the pace than I was. That is when I understood the importance of posture while walking. You see it is not only the pace that matters, but the posture, the correct arm movement, the right gears also add up to brisk walking. Wearing flexible athletic shoes and workout clothes, make it easier for swift and productive walking.
Tips for faster walking:
- While walking, keep your eyes straight ahead of you. Your chins must be raised with relaxed shoulders and chest forward.
- Do not arch your back. Keep your spine straight. Do not raise your shoulders.
- Keeping your face straight ahead helps to reduce strain in your neck while brisk walking. Focus your eyes about 15 feet away.
- Keep your arms at about 90 degrees and swing them back to front and not sideways. Make sure your arms do no come in front of you. This ensures maintaining the chest posture.
- Move your arms in the direction opposite to your feet. Right arm, moving opposite to that of the left leg and vice versa.
- Carrying anything in your hand while walking is undesirable. Be free of carrying anything while walking, instead, cup your hands.
- It is a common misconception that taking longer strides helps you walk faster, instead, taking short but quick strides helps you increase heart rate more efficiently. Thus, maintaining good blood flow rate throughout your body.
- While walking, make sure you don’t stamp your feet. The movement must be a smooth gliding movement from your heel to your toe.
- Push from your toe while walking so that your calf muscles stiffen a bit. Not very hard but gently.
- Keep your abs and butt tight while walking. Again, not too hard but not too gentle as well. This will ensure you have a full-body workout just by walking every day.
Brisk Walking vs Running
We have already read a lot about brisk walking and how it affects which part of the body. We know that brisk walking is more efficient if we have the correct posture and gear.
Experts say Brisk walking through a slope or an inclined path burns just the same amount of calories that one would burn while running. So, you know, just a tip of the day.
To gain the benefits of brisk walking, or in order to burn more calories, walk on an inclined plane. This will burn the same amount of calories that you would burn while running.
Do not walk on a rough or hilly path. This causes strain in your legs and may effect in wrong body posture.
Benefits of Brisk Walking.
- One mile a day keeps 100 calories away! Walking for a mile (1.6 km) every day burns 100 calories. Just imagine! you would burn ten pounds (4.5 kg) per year without changing your eating habits.
- Brisk Walk for 10,000 steps per day and you lose weight more quickly.
- Brisk walking helps you to lose weight or even maintain your weight.
- Brings form to your body. You remain in shape for a longer period of time.
- Brisk Walking every day increases stamina.
- It boosts mental health and well-being.
- Walking every day brings peace of mind for adults who deal with a lot of stress.
- An hour of walking every day is suggested for adults dealing with tension or stress on a regular basis.
- Brisk Walking boosts the immune system.
- It strengthens your heart and provides a longer life!
- Prevents the chances of chronic diseases.
- Reduces anxiety and depression.
- Brisk walking boosts confidence and self-esteem.
- Improves balance and co-ordination.
- It improves strength and builds posture with strong muscles and bones.
Concluding the topic.
Concluding the topic I would say that, Brisk Walking is actually beneficial. Definitely more than normal walking and a little less than running. But, you see, we can compensate for the little less by walking on an inclined plane.
Brisk walking every day for even half an hour is very helpful. It increases immunity, improves metabolic rate and keeps the heart and lungs healthy. Brisk Walking improves life expectancy by improving, stamina, health and making the lungs stronger.
It also boosts confidence and self-esteem. So, when in doubt, go for a walk into nature. It will refreshen your mind and relieve your stress and sway off your depression.
Yay! to brisk walking.