Maximise your power-walking workout

Good Health Magazine
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Image: Thinkstock
Here's how you can maximise your power-walking workout:

1. Pick up the pace
"A good power walk is 6km to 6.5km per hour, and a really good power walk is 7km per hour," says fitness coach Amelia Burton. "You should be able to say a few words, but not hold a full conversation."

2. Work your upper body
Rather than using hand weights, which can strain neck and shoulder muscles, make a park detour during your walk, and spend a few minutes doing bench push-ups* and tricep dips*.

3. Include inclines
To boost your burn, find a hill that’s 100m to 400m long, ideally halfway through your walking route, and power up it as fast as you can. Repeat four times. “If you’re on a treadmill, include a five-minute hill interval where you take the incline to three per cent for a minute, then six per cent, nine per cent and 12 per cent,” says Burton. "Bring it back to three per cent for a minute, then do a second round."

4. Use landmarks
Look for fixed landmarks like road signs and trees, and power walk between them as if you were rushing to catch the bus. As your fitness improves, keep challenging yourself by increasing the distance between landmarks.

5. Go backwards
Every 10 minutes, try walking backwards for 20m to 50m. "This Alexander Technique exercise is fantastic for improving balance and posture and engaging your glute muscles," says Burton.

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