Fitness Ver Fitness Before You Walking with Weights Read This

Before You Walking with Weights Read This

One of the biggest milestones of our first years of life is learning to walk. This activity becomes so habitual that it is easy to forget that it is actually exercise. The American Heart Association even calls it “one of the easiest ways to be active and stay active. “An article on walking from a 2009 Harvard Health School newsletter points out that although walking is such an automatic human function, “Modern man seems determined to walk as little as possible.”

Since walking is one of the simplest — and most accessible— forms of training, it may seem harmless to add a few weights when you start walking for fitness and hope to speed up the results and make the activity more difficult. However, carrying weights can do more harm than good. Here’s why and what you should do instead.

PROS AND CONS OF WALKING WITH WEIGHTS

First and foremost, even if walking is something we do every day before starting a walking routine, you should of course consult your doctor. A regular check-up before cardiovascular work will help to ensure that the heart and lungs are the healthiest and can effectively handle the stress of additional body activity.

If you are on the road, you may have seen people from your neighborhood or the local park walking around and carrying weights and thinking that this would be a convenient way to add strength training while doing Cardio. However, since these are separate types of exercises, in this matter it may be in your best interest to treat them as such.

“When done right, walking is an effective, gentle and low-risk exercise,” says Mark Sullivan, who offers one-on-one electronic coaching and advice to runners, hikers and multisports at iRuniCoach.com . “However, it is not particularly effective for burning calories. Although adding weight definitely increases calorie burning, walking with weights can also increase the risk of health-issue and even cause unexpected side effects such as back pain or increased blood pressure.”

Carrying weights in your hands can actually lead to postural imbalance and put extra pressure on your shoulders and neck. During a single walk, this may not be too much of a problem, but over time it can put extra pressure on your joints. If you choose ankle weights, you can put extra pressure on your ankles and knees.

“I would not recommend anyone to use ankle weights when walking, as this can lead to a couple in the ankle and knee joints,” confirms Jennifer Burningham, personal trainer and running coach at Right Track Health & Fitness. “In addition, the weights on the ankles when walking do not increase the value of the walk.”

Weight alternatives

You can always do a little extra power work when walking both indoors and outdoors. Changing your running direction can train different muscles and even increase the difficulty of your training.

“If you want to increase your workload, add a slope to the treadmill or find a hill for running or hiking,” suggests Carmen Jackinsky, coach and owner and founder of Reshod Walking Shoes. “If you want to include weight training in [after] your walking training, store it in your gym bag for a quick post-workout routine that is done separately.”

Separate strength training is the best way to make sure that you are working your muscles correctly while avoiding health-issue. To get the most out of each Routine, finding a trainer or personal trainer can help you make all the necessary changes while learning how to maintain proper form and posture.

“Weight training is a much better option for walking with weights,” says Burning ham. “For example, instead of walking with weights, you can start with push-ups, tricep dips, unweighted squats or a modified wall seat to build strength.”

Final result

In the end, most trainers agree that you don’t need to run with weights. It is best to focus on building strength separately and make sure that your walking form is as effective as possible.

“There’s really no need to use hand, wrist or ankle weights when you’re walking,” Sullivan repeats. “You will probably benefit more from adding extra strength training separately from your walking routine. And if you are just starting an exercise program or have not been active for a while, using weights can be too difficult.”

Before starting a program, define your fitness goals and make sure that the work you are doing matches what you are trying to accomplish. You will probably find that walking with weights is actually hindering your progress.

“Do you want better Cardio fitness, better strength or both?”Jackinsky asks. “My fitness goal is to walk quickly and efficiently. Adding weight while walking will slow me down. Resistance bands are a better way to target the muscles I want to challenge; I also do several repetitions of hills on a progressive slope. Yes, strength training is part of my overall plan, but I work separately on building strength.”

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