4 Speed Walking Mistakes to Avoid

4 Speed Walking Mistakes to Avoid from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Whether you have been speed walking for a while now or you are just trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution, there are some common mistakes almost everyone makes or has made in the past. The negative impacts of these mistakes can range from mild inconveniences to being downright dangerous; fortunately, most of them are easy to avoid. Here are four tips to help you stay safe and healthy as you speed walk.

1. Stay hydrated: Most of us are guilty of not drinking enough water throughout the day, and it is certainly worthwhile to make a conscious effort to keep your daily intake up. When you are exercising, however, it is simply vital that you stay hydrated. Everyone knows how true this is during the summer months, but the winter months can be just as dangerous. Why? Because in the summer it is second nature to think about hydrating; however, in the winter, drinking water before a workout just does not seem as important. The truth is that once you get your heart rate up, you will sweat buckets in any kind of weather.

So how much do you need to drink and when should you drink it? You want to be sure to drink at least 16-24 ounces of water before you begin speed walking. The trick is to drink that water about a full hour before you plan on walking. That way, you will be able to use the bathroom right before your walk so that you can start your walk hydrated and with an empty bladder.

2. Use the right footwear: Speed walking is certainly not a fashion contest, so for goodness sake wear comfortable shoes! Even if you do have a good pair of walking shoes, it is a good idea to make sure that they are not too worn. Walking in shoes that are too worn can lead to repetitive stress injuries, so it really is worth keeping an eye on how much tread is left on your footwear. One helpful way to avoid repetitive stress injuries is to have two different pairs of walking shoes that you can rotate between. That way you will put stress on slightly different parts of your feet and knees every time you walk.

3. Don’t overdo it: There are two reasons that you want to keep your walks within a comfortable range. The first (and most obvious) reason is injury. If you are going faster or longer than your body can handle, you are far more likely to sustain an injury. Not only will this be painful and inconvenient, but it will also be counterproductive because when you are injured you cannot walk. The second reason you don’t want to overdo it is that you are far more likely to stay in the habit of walking if it is enjoyable for you. It feels great to exercise, but if you go at it too hard you can start to subconsciously learn to associate the joy of exercise with the pain you feel during extremely strenuous work. The old saying “no pain, no gain” is just untrue. You can absolutely have fun and stay fit.

4. Make sure you have the correct upper body form: I see speed walkers all the time making two specific upper body mistakes. The first is that they swing their arms from side to side. This negatively influences your posture by forcing you to slouch ever so slightly. Because of this slouching, it is harder to breathe efficiently. You will ultimately go slower, get a sore back, and develop a slouched posture. The correct upper body form is to swing your arms forward and backward so that they slightly brush your hip. You should be moving your shoulder joints, not your elbows. 

The second mistake I often see is walkers who hold their arms up near their chests. For some reason, our bodies just want to do this when we start to get tired, but it will actually make you more tired because it tends to lead to the first mistake of swinging your arms from side to side.

Done properly, speed walking is a great way to get or stay in shape. You do not need any special talent, you can get started right away, and you can socialize while you do it. Just be sure to hydrate adequately, use the right footwear, work within your abilities, and keep good upper body form. Stay safe, and have fun!

Similar Posts:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.