10 Ways To Improve Your Walking Speed
Improving your fitness level, regardless of the activity, is always an excellent choice. If you love to walk, but you want to get better and increase your speed, there are plenty of ways you can do that.
Why you should Improve Your Walking Speed
Increasing your activity has so many benefits for our overall health. As we walk faster, we increase our heart rate, which provides benefits like increased energy, preventing obesity by increasing the calories we’re burning, improving heart health, and improving bone health. Walking is a safe alternative to other exercises. It’s free and doable for most people.
By increasing walking speed, we also help regulate our sleep-wake cycles, prevent diseases, and much more. There are so many reasons to improve your walking speed, now here’s how to do it.
10 Ways To Improve Your Walking Speed
Here are some simple ways to improve your walking speed.
Improving your flexibility by daily stretching can help you beyond increasing your speed during a walk. You’re not only improving your range of motion, but you’re increasing blood flow to your muscles, improving your performance and posture. Some excellent daily stretches include:
- Ball overhead
- Calf stretch
- Glute bridge
- Chin tuck
- Lumbar twist
- Quad stretch
- Lateral Flexion Stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
Using Your Arms
If you’re walking briskly and not paying attention to your arms, you may be swinging them around in a way that is hindering your speed. Walking with your arms at a 90-degree angle while pumping them, you can help increase your speed. You will also help build muscle in your arm.
Focus on Your Posture
When thinking about walking, posture may not be on the top of your list of improvements to be better at walking, but it’s incredibly important. Keeping your head up, your shoulders back, and your spine straight, you’re working to properly engage your muscles and help create proper form.
Make Sure You Have Proper Footwear
Like running, having proper footwear while walking is essential to your form and safety. Opting for a lightweight shoe that is comfortable with enough cushion is ideal when walking. Your shoe should have a good amount of flexibility and not be too stiff. Visiting a local specialty store is helpful if you can’t find a comfortable shoe you like, as they can suggest some great options.
Use Your Body the Right Way
During any exercise, you have to have proper form and have your body work for you, not against you. Here are some of the ways you should position yourself during a walk:
- Stride: When trying to increase your speed, you should focus on taking smaller strides that are faster than longer strides at a slower pace. Your stride should be longer behind you than in front so that you can launch forward off the ball of your foot.
- Footstrike: Strike with your heel before you end with pushing off your toes. If you want a faster pace, focus on improving the back foot push to generate more speed.
- Head: Keeping your head up and back, and always parallel to the ground. Keeping your eyes focused on 20 feet in front of you will help you be in the best position for walking.
- Torso: Working with proper posture is essential for engaging your core. A strong core will help you to increase your speed, as long as you avoid heavily swaying your hips from side to side.
Related: Is Ok To Run If You’re Overweight?
Use a Weighted Vest
Weighted vests are a great way to increase strength and endurance while improving your speed. Weighted vests come in the range of 4 lbs all the way up and beyond 80 lbs. Check out my recommended weight vests for walkers and runners on my recommendations page.
Adding other exercises to your routine will promote increased strength, which will improve your walking. Walking requires stamina, leg strength, pushing your body weight forward, and many other muscles. Working on building strength in those areas will help you overall. Some excellent exercises you can do in your spare time, for free, include:
- Glute Bridges
- Romanian Deadlifts
- Hill repeats
You only get better at your favorite hobbies by doing them daily and practicing. If you keep at it, you will improve your speed over time. If you want to track how fast you’re going, you can use a step counter, and by timing your walks, you can measure your progress.
Aim to walk every single day for thirty minutes or one-hour sessions four times a week to keep up your skills. Once you’re comfortable with your speed in your daily walks, increasing the duration, choosing more challenging paths, and working hard to keep your pace up will have you improving in no time.
Use a Treadmill
Treadmills are a great tool that allows you to walk or run at any time regardless of how the weather looks outside. Treadmills have become more sophisticated and allow much more functionality. They now offer competitive features that allow you to race other walkers as well as ghost racing yourself (you basically race against a previous record best of your past performance). You can also incline and decline the ramp making your walking more challenging while increasing the speed and strength of your legs. Are you looking for a treadmill that’s decently priced and offers lots of functions? check out my recommended treadmills on my recommendations page.
Related: 9 Treadmill Workouts
Interval training among many different kinds of exercise is vital to help you improve. Setting a timer for yourself and doing one minute of intense walking, one minute of regular walking, and so on, can help you increase your stamina and speed even more. Incorporating interval training during your walks, especially if you’re walking among unpredictable terrain, will do amazing things for your walking times.
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