The Benefits of Increasing Your Walking Speed
While your speed should not be a big consideration when you first start walking for exercise, it might eventually be something you are concerned about. This is especially true if you do your walking on a treadmill, as you are able to adjust your speed as needed. Here are some benefits of increasing your walking speed.
You Can Reach Weight Loss or Fitness Goals Faster
When you walk faster, you burn more calories in less time, and have the opportunity to reach those goals much faster as well. Walking is a good source of maintaining your weight and can even help you lose weight, but if you always go the same weight even after you get in better shape, the amount of calories you burn will actually start to go down. This is because your heart rate goes down during the workouts.
If you want to keep working toward your goals, you need to gradually increase your speed as your body becomes used to the workout, which you can tell based on what your heart rate is doing. If you noticed your heart rate used to be in the “Peak” zone during your walk, but now doesn’t get past “Cardio”, it is time to step it up a little.
It Becomes Your Own Form of Motivation
It is not uncommon for people to lose steam pretty fast after they start a walking routine. But when you switch things up, like trying to walk faster or increasing your incline, it becomes another way to stay motivated.
When you always go the same route or walk on the treadmill at the same speed and incline, your walk becomes boring. Even more so when you have become so used to it, than you feel like it’s taking longer because you’re in better shape, so that 2-3 mph speed feels like a snail’s pace. You are not forced to keep going at this pace!
Feel free to speed up whenever you feel up to it. It doesn’t have to be much faster either. If you have been walking at 3 mph for a while, just go up to 3.2 or 3.3 and see how it feels. This is such a small difference in speed, but you can really feel it.
You Can Shorten Your Workouts
Do you hate having to commit to 45-60 minutes of walking every day? If you walk faster, you can burn the same amount of calories and get a similar workout in half the time. This is great for people who know exactly how many calories they want to burn during their workouts. While it used to take close to 60 minutes, you might find that with a higher speed, you get there in just 30-40 minutes.