Power Walking: How to Get the Best Results

Power walking involves much more than taking a leisurely stroll. For this form of exercise to be truly effective, you need to pay attention to a specific set of conditions. Pace, posture, and breathing must be taken into consideration when practicing this sport.

Last update: 22 November, 2018

Power walking is an increasingly popular form of exercise, gaining new devotees every day. Closely related to running, it’s a healthy activity recommended for experienced athletes. Power walking offers the same benefits as running but doesn’t require as much physical preparation in order to get started.

Power walking and the body

Whenever you adopt a new form of exercise, it’s a good idea to understand the demands that the body will face. Those considering taking up power walking might imagine that it’s as easy as regular walking. But, this idea can lead to mistakes that compromise your health.

Walking as a sport is not the same as a recreational stroll, going shopping, or doing chores around the house. What, then, does a power walking session involve?

Power walking
  • Duration: generally a power walking session lasts a minimum of 45 minutes. The pace is constant, with no stops along the way. If you’re not accustomed to physical activity, start with a shorter duration, and increase it gradually.
  • Distance: once you’ve achieved a certain level of conditioning, the distance will increase to about three miles. The average pace will reach five miles per hour.
  • The trunk: posture is very important; the back needs to remain straight, with the shoulders down and back. The abdomen and the glutes will contract lightly.
  • The feet: one of the advantages of power walking is that there is less wear on the joints. To this end, it’s very important that one foot is always in contact with the ground. This way, you’ll avoid the kind of impact that can damage the joints.
  • The arms: flex the arms at a 90-degree angle with respect to the hips. When you walk, they’ll move back and forth in an alternating fashion.
  • Breathing: your breathing intensity should reach 75 percent of your maximum heart rate. This frequency is different for each person and depends on a number of factors. Using a pulsometer will allow you to keep track of this information.
  • Power walking should be practiced outdoors.


In addition to your workout sessions, you need to adopt a proper diet:

  • As with all physical activity, hydration is essential. As such, you need to drink a lot of water before each session so that the body does not become dehydrated.
  • We recommend taking a bottle so that you can drink along the way, especially if it the heat and sun are intense. If the walk is particularly long, rehydration salts in the water will allow you to recover what you lose through sweat.
  • With respect to solid foods, a walk of less than an hour does not involve specific caloric requirements. As such, a healthy and balanced diet will be enough to keep the body in optimal condition.
  • If the session lasts for more than an hour, it’s advisable to eat carbohydrates so you have the energy you need. It all depends on the pace and physique of each individual. If possible, consult a nutritionist.
Woman walking on beach

Health benefits of power walking

These are the health benefits of power walking:

  • It promotes fat burning, and therefore, weight loss. It’s easy to stay in shape with this activity, thanks to its relationship with the heart rate and breathing.
  • It tones the muscles, especially the legs and midsection. Your calves, glutes, and abdomen will be doing most of the work. The synchronized movement of the arms also allows you to work the muscles of the upper body.
  • Power walking outdoors provides vitamin D, which is linked with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.
  • The activity promotes mental wellbeing and a healthy psychological state.

Power walking has the big advantage of being available to everyone, regardless of their age or physical condition. In addition, it can be adapted to fit the needs of each individual.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.