Brisk walking is one of the most effective cardio workouts. What’s even better is that you might already have everything that you need to get started.
You do not require any special equipment to do a brisk, sweat induced walk, whether indoor or outdoor. A good pair of shoes is about all you need to begin reaping the rewards of a fast-paced walk. All you have to do is maintain a high pace throughout the workout to give your heart and lungs the training they need, but not so hard that you run out of steam too quickly.
Read along to understand how to boost your well-being with brisk walking as well as the benefits that are attached to this form of exercise.
How “brisk” should you be?
The term “brisk walking” is somewhat vague. Is it just a little faster than your normal walks? Is it walking too fast? There are 3 ways to measure your pace and to make sure you’re in the “brisk” zone:
Higher Heart Rate
One of the easiest ways to determine that you are walking briskly is to measure your heart rate. You need to make sure that you set a safe target heart rate for your workouts. A safe target heart rate while exercising would be 50 to 85 per cent of your maximum heart rate. But what is your maximum heart rate?
Your maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute (bpm) minus your age in years. So, for a 40-year-old person, it’d be 220 – 40 = 180 bpm. The target heart rate for a 40-year-old person would be 50 to 85 per cent of 180 bpm.
To reach your target heart rate zone, aim for the following bpm ranges:
|Age in years||Target bpm(50–85 per cent of maximum)|
More steps taken per minute
Another way to measure your pace is to count your steps. Research suggests that walking at least 100 steps per minute would ensure that you reap all the benefits attached to brisk walking. You can use StepSetGo to help keep track of your steps and how fast you are walking.
Walk and talk
The 3rd way to measure if you are walking fast enough doesn’t require any math at all. Just start talking to your friend over the phone or talk to your walking companion, if you enjoy walking with other people. If you are able to talk comfortably with some breathlessness then you are walking at a moderate but brisk pace. If you can’t talk freely and are out of breath, the pace is probably too fast.
What are some of the benefits of brisk walking?
Regular exercises like brisk walking can offer a range of physical and mental well-being benefits. Some of them are as follows.
- Weight loss
Brisk walking can help you lose more weight by burning more calories, increasing muscle mass, and boosting your mood so you’re more likely to keep on walking.
- Improved cardiovascular health
Studies have proven that walking 5 times per week can decrease the chances of heart disease. Regular cardio may also help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.
- Improved mental health
There are plenty of studies that show that exercise can boost self-esteem, improve sleep, and much more.
How to burn more calories with brisk walking?
- Walk uphill
Inclinations make your lungs, muscles, and heart work harder, which will burn more calories. Use your treadmill to set the incline to your walk to pump it up.
- Add interval training
Studies have shown that HIIT workouts (short bursts of vigorous workouts alternated by low-intensity recovery periods) are an effective way of burning calories and reducing body fat in a shorter amount of time.
You could include walking uphill for 5 minutes at a fast speed and then walking slowly on flat terrain for almost 3 minutes and repeating the circuit for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Carry weights
You can carry light hand weights that bring no harm to your body but add some effort to your walks.