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Brisk walking, sometimes also referred to as speed walking, is a type of exercise where a person walks quickly in order to increase the heart rate and get in shape. It can be a great way to lose weight and increase physical fitness, and is very easy to do. There are many benefits to incorporating such an exercise routine into everyday life.
Speed walking can be a great exercise for people of all ages. There are a few different ways for individuals to tell if they are walking quickly enough for physical benefits; these are perceived exertion, heart rate, and a measure of distance versus time. The perceived exertion when walking briskly should cause the walker to begin to sweat and to breathe slightly more heavily, but he or she should still be able to talk easily.
When measuring heart rate, the target heart rate for aerobic exercise should be between 60% and 85% of the person's maximum heart rate, which is 220 minus the person's age. So, a 25-year-old's maximum heart rate would be 195, and 60% to 85% of that is between about 117 and 160 beats per minute. Keeping the heart rate in the target heart rate zone is not only safer, particularly if one has not been exercising for a while, but it delivers the best fitness benefits.
Finally, brisk walking can be determined by the amount of time it takes to walk a specific distance, such as a mile (1.6 km). A walker can measure the amount of time it takes the first time exercising, and try to set goals to decrease that time. Alternately, he or she can try to increase the distance walked at regular intervals, while keeping the pace the same. People should be sure to select good walking shoes when starting a new exercise routine.
Walking shoes should be supportive, with a thick, cushioned heel and a flexible midsole. Mesh vents on the top of the shoe can make them more comfortable on hot days. It is important that the shoes fit tightly — the feet should not slide back and forth in the shoes or roll to one side or the other, which is known as pronation.
In addition, walkers should remember to stay hydrated when walking, and to wear reflectors if walking along the road at night. Brisk walking can be done outdoors or on a treadmill. It is a good idea for the walker to try to keep a steady pace the entire time he or she is walking in order to keep the heart rate up and receive the most aerobic benefits. Some people incorporate walking interspersed with periods of jogging in order to get a more challenging workout as well.