Go to contents

Power Walking

Posted April. 18, 2004 21:43,   


- To walk or to run, that is the question. Power is directly proportionate to mass and velocity. This law of motion also applies to walking and running.

Running creates a great shock wave of three or four times the runner’s weight to the lower part of the body due to speed and the descent of both legs after being held up in the air. This will naturally affect joints and muscles. Running slowly has a similar affect.

Of course, running is an effective way to enhance endurance of the primary lung. However, its weakness is that it requires lots of energy to kick out feet and let them fly.

Alternatively, one can exercise for a longer period time with less energy consumption when walking because acceleration is attained through the movement of feet like a pendulum. Walking is considered to be a safe exercise for all age groups.

In terms of calorie consumption, running burns calories at about twice the rate of walking. However, there is not a big difference in consumption of fat. For instance, in the case of a man weighing 60kg, when walking fast for 30 minutes, he will consume 142 calories, opposed to the 250 calories consumed by running for the same amount of time. However, fat consumption in these instances is similar, at 71 calories and 82.5 calories respectively.

How, then, should we walk? It is easy to experience pain in the shin and sole of the foot if we walk carelessly. These ailments mainly occur when plodding or walking on solid ground for an extended period of time. Taking intermittent rests when walking for long periods of time easily solves this problem. Walking with clenched teeth will cause further injury.

It is best for beginners to start at a lower speed and accelerate by 6 to 6.5 km. It is important to walk every day and to always stretch for more than five minutes. Change running shoes often since their life span is only about 800km.

- To walk 10,000 steps or walk fast: there are many people who walk 10,000 steps a day due to their desire to maintain personal well being. However, experts say that it is useless to walk slowly, even when going 10,000 steps a day. To stimulate the heart, the pulse should beat 50 percent more than usual. This means the average person has to walk more than three km for 30 minutes.

“Power walking” is the term commonly used to refer to walking fast. It is classified as strong strides at 6.4 to 8.0 km per hours. The only difference between power walking and regular walking is that one’s arms are swung more actively when power walking. Put your eyes 15 meters ahead. Walk by bowing your elbows in the shape of an L or V. The point is to move quickly, with a stride equaling approximately your height minus 100 centimeters. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

The fastest walking pace is similar to jogging in terms of speed. This is, however, difficult for the average person since hips, knees, and ankle joints are easily injured.

Walking 10,000 steps aids in weight loss. Calories are consumed by increased activity. Caloric intake for the average person is 2,500-3,000 calories per day. Of these, 300-400 calories are stored by the body. 10,000 steps, or walking seven or eight kilometers per day, consumes these extra calories.

According to studies done by a Massachusetts medical school, walking for more than 45 minutes a day, four times every week, reduces 8.2kg of weight. Walking reduces fat. (Tips from Yoon Bang-bu, President of Korea’s Walking Rally, Professor Park Won-ha, Samsung Hospital in Seoul, and Professor Jin Young-su, Asan Hospital, Seoul)

Sang Hoon Kim corekim@donga.com