How do you define brisk walking?
Walking is the easiest form of exercise that can be adopted by anyone. It is simple and can be practically done anywhere. It is a cardio exercise that has various health and fitness benefits.
An exercise that takes the benefits of walking notches higher is brisk walking. So how do you define brisk walking? Brisk walk meaning is a walk during which you take 100 steps per minute or clock 3.5 miles an hour. This is a moderate-intensity cardio-aerobic exercise.
How to do brisk walking?
Though you may know brisk walking meaning and it may seem like a common enough activity that you know well, it is always good to refresh on the techniques of how to do brisk walking. Follow these steps to do the brisk walking exercise:
- To start brisk walking exercise, gaze ahead by keeping your head upright.
- Keep your shoulders, neck, and back stable and straight. Ensure that you are not slouching. Remember, straighten your back but never keep them rigid or stiff.
- Engage your abdominal muscles.
- Start walking with a steady gait.
- Roll the foot ahead from the heel instead of using your toes.
- Keep your arms loose. You can swing or pump them while doing the brisk walking exercise.
If you are a beginner, start doing the brisk walking exercise 15-20 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration.
How do you know if you are brisk walking?
Though it may look like a simple exercise, brisk walking needs to be understood well to make it a worthy part of your routine.
Brisk walking doesn’t mean walking faster than your normal pace. Here are some ways to measure if your walking qualifies as brisk walking. Here is how you can test if you are walking fast enough:
- Heart rate test: A way to measure if you are brisk walking is by measuring your heart rate. According to the American Heart Association, during a moderate-intensity exercise, your target heart rate is around 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. Your target heart range is measured by subtracting your age from the maximum heart rate. The maximum heart rate range is 220 bpm. So if a person is 35 years, their maximum heart rate will be 220-35= 185 bpm.
The lower end of your target heart rate is calculated by multiplying 220 bpm minus your age by 0.50. The higher end of your target heart rate is calculated by multiplying 220 bpm minus your age by 0.85.
- Steps per minute: If you walk at least 100 steps per minute, you are brisk walking. Your steps can be measured using your smartphone or a pedometer.
- The talking test: This measure of brisk walking doesn’t require any readings or maths. Instead, you need to just start talking while walking fast. If you can talk comfortably while walking, you may be walking fast but not brisk walking and need to pick up the pace.
If you get breathless while walking and talking simultaneously, you are brisk walking.
How to make your brisk walking exercise more challenging?
Just like any other exercise, brisk exercise may also become boring. Or you may hit a plateau with it. Whether you are brisk walking for weight loss or any other objective, here are some ways to challenge yourself more:
- Using weights intensifies the benefits of your brisk walking. You can use hand weights or ankle weights. However, ensure that you use weights only 2-3 times a week on your walks.
- Try interval training. For instance, walk as fast as you can for a minute then get to your normal pace. Repeat.
- Wondering how to do brisk walking for weight loss? Increase the duration of your walk.
- Walk on an incline.
- Try lateral or backward walking for a minute during your walk.
- Thinking about how to do brisk walking for weight loss? Incorporate stair walking in your brisk walk.
- Incorporate calisthenics in your walk. For example, add squats or lunges once every fifteen minutes.
What are the benefits of brisk walking?
There are great advantages of brisk walking not just for your physical health but also for your mental health. Here is a roundup of these benefits:
- One of the most important brisk walking benefits is that it helps reduce your blood sugar levels. This helps in preventing and managing diabetes better.
- By helping you burn more calories and build lean muscle, brisk exercise promotes weight loss. This benefit of brisk walking for weight loss not just gives you a toned body but also saves you from serious chronic health conditions such as diabetes, kidney problems, hypertension, and heart attack.
- Brisk walking improves your cardiovascular health. It reduces the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, plaque, and blood pressure, which in the long run prevents heart diseases.
- Brisk walking is a great way to lubricate and strengthen your joints. This prevents joint pains and stiffness especially for people with a reduced range of motion or those who lead a sedentary life.
- One of the most important brisk walking benefits is that by releasing the happy hormones (endorphins) and reducing the stress hormone (cortisol), it helps elevate your mood. This also prevents stress, depression, and anxiety.
- This is an excellent workout for beginners. It costs no money, can be done anywhere, and is easy to do.
How to avoid some common brisk walking mistakes?
Here are some common mistakes to avoid while doing your walking exercise:
- Maintain proper form without hunching or twisting your body.
- Don’t tense up your shoulders.
- If you are walking on a slope, allow your body to bend forward slightly.
- Avoid looking down while walking.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you cant meet your brisk walking target. Break your walk into smaller durations distributed throughout the day.
Experts recommend that to gain the advantages of brisk walking, a moderate-intensity exercise, you should do it at least 150 minutes every week. The key is to keep yourself engaged and motivated while doing this exercise. Also, enjoy your exercise and have fun while doing it, and see your body transform.