Walk This Way—Your Action Plan
When running isn’t in the cards, walking with weights might be the next best solution to getting in an energized workout. One study showed walking at a 4 mph on the treadmill with hand and ankle weights was comparable to jogging at 5 mph without the extra poundage. (And if anyone looks twice, hand weights are totally in right now, don’t they know?) No matter which pace feels right, always make sure the body is ready for action. Sixty percent of runners experience an injury serious enough to keep them from being active.
So remember that a sweat session may be too strenuous if talking to that workout buddy leaves us gasping for air (aka the “talk test” FAIL). Listening to the body and completing a proper warm–up and cool down are all ways to prevent injuries, so stay informed and spend more time running on the treadmill (and less time running to the doctor). Bored with both walking and running? There are about, oh, a bazillion other ways to keep active, from yoga and pilates to weight lifting and mountain biking, and pretty much everything in between. Don’t be afraid to try new activities to stay happy and healthy!
Regular cardio (at any speed) can help keep the body healthy, not to mention improve mood and energy levels. But, lap for lap, running burns about 2.5 times more calories than walking. Running may also help control appetite, so runners may lose more weight than walkers no matter how far the walkers go. Still, running isn’t for everyone; going full-speed might increase injury risk. Adding hand and ankle weights can help pick up the intensity while maintaining a slower pace.