Get Walking – More Ways Than One To Walk Bonus: Walking Workout: Boot Camp Style

What happened to the good old fashioned walk around the block? Like most things these days, walking has changed! There are more ways to walk then ever before….

Walking: Boot Camp style walking, Race walking, Nordic walking, Power walking, Freestyle walking…what is all of this? Can’t I just walk- the- dog-kind-of -walk?  Absolutely !  You can and you should! But for some people, simply putting one foot in front of another is not enough.

There are many different styles of walking suited to people of differing ages, physical condition, and temperament. Check out the many styles of walking!

Race Walking

Race walking is defined as follows: at any time at least one foot has contact with the ground (to the naked eye) and the supporting leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment of the first impact of the foot with the ground until the supporting leg passes below the body. The participants swivel and tilt their hips to lengthen their strides. The world’s top racewalkers can walk a mile (1.6 km) in under six minutes! Try running a mile in six minutes if you want to appreciate what race walkers do.

Racewalkers must maintain good form and are penalized for bending the knee as it passes under the body or having their feet lose contact with the ground. Race walking is an Olympic sport with distances of 20 kilometers for both men and women and 50 kilometers for men only. Mile for mile, race walkers burn more calories than runners.

Power Walking

Power walking refers to walking with a purpose as opposed to a slow leisurely ” I need to digest my dinner stroll.” Power walkers have a certain look about them. They appear fierce and intense; their stature boldly speaks ” don’t mess with me right now.” I’m an avid power walker – once I get going I slow down for no one. (If my dog Louie needs to pee or poop, I start squatting too!)

Power walking is a moderate-impact activity, so make sure you have some good shoes. Make sure your shoes are not too stiff or too tight. There should be a thumb’s width of space from the end of your longest toe to the front of the shoe. Dunhams Sporting Goods has a fabulous  walking and running shoe selection and right now you can get a Dunham’s 30% discount coupon from to purchase a brand spankin’ new pair. I recently purchased a pair of the Reebok Zig Technology running shoes – they are awesome! Lightweight and flexible with great cushioning and support.  Pickup a coupon at any Market Square Store, Closet NV (Boardwalk),  Tru Bliss Salon, Body Boutique (Sylvan Lake) or click on the Dunham’s ad on our homepage and you will receive your 30% coupon via email.  For more info about our Dunham’s coupons contact us at: To burn the optimum number of calories, aim to walk at about a 4.5 miles (7.2 km) per hour. If you walk at this pace, you can burn approximately the same number of calories as someone jogging at the same speed. This is a pretty good clip, so if you haven’t been walking regularly, you should work up to that speed gradually. I love to clip on my Omron pedometer and keep track of my steps, calories and speed. Dunham’s  Sporting Goods also carries a variety of pedometers for your walking pleasure! 10,000 steps with a pedometer is approximately 5 miles depending on your stride length. Join for 10,000 Steps Together beginning May 16th. We will meet at The Market Square in West Bloomfield at 9:30 am. This walk actually happened yesterday and it was great! 35 walkers, 1 hour and 20 minutes, 10,000 steps or more, $ raised for The Haven Garden Project and  great fun!  Your turn – Clip on your pedometer and start walking toward 10,000 steps today! Stay tuned on for more 10,000 step walks together this summer!

Nordic Walking

Have you seen that guy who appears to be skiing along down the road but doesn’t have any skis? It’s called Nordic walking (also called ski walking) and it is a form of walking using ski poles. Nordic walking was first developed in Finland by cross country skiers as part of their summer training. It’s sort of a cross between walking, running, and cross-country skiing. The result is a total body workout that burns up to forty percent more calories than plain walking.

Nordic walking involves applying pressure on the ground with the poles. Because of this, Nordic walkers make more use of their shoulders and upper arm muscles, while getting an excellent back, chest and abdominal workout. Nordic walkers walk faster, walk for greater distances, climb hills more easily, get a better upper body workout, and burn more calories than regular walkers.

Nordic walking poles are available in solid one-piece design or in telescoping designs that allow changes in height for different terrain or different users.

Freestyle Walking

There was no way the kids were going to let their parents have a cool thing like walking all to themselves. So a bunch of skateboarders invented something called “freestyle walking” that is sort of like skateboarding with the boards. If you are young enough, flexible enough and fearless enough and you’d like to do tricks like grinds, railslides and backsides without a board, then freestyle walking might just be the thing for you.

Freestyle walking (also called soaping) is a combination of skateboarding, rollerblading and snowboarding, the major difference being that you do it in a pair of shoes! Participants might do back flips off fences, jump off curbs, slide down handrails – all using the soles of their shoes!

Freestyle walking can be done using an old pair of sneakers, but it’s easier if you buy a special pair of soaping shoes. These shoes are fitted with a special, removable plastic grind plate that screws into the bottom of the shoe under the arch of the foot. This plate allows you to smoothly glide down rails and do other tricks that would be much more difficult in sneakers. The shoes are usually made of leather and have special laces to avoid tripping on them.

Freestyle walking is definitely not for everyone. It is much riskier to life and limb than any other form of walking, but if you like the extreme edge of thing, you’ve got to check it out. Probably best left to the kids in your life!

Boot Camp Style Walking

By no surprise, this invigorating and rigorous style of walking just happens to be my favorite!  I love this Boot Camp walking workout so much that I have designed a mini version of a military fitness style walk – Just for you!  Honestly, this kind of workout is great fun with a friend or small group.  The dog really needs to stay in the backyard for this one because you will need to be hands free. Tie a jumprope around your waist, hook up your ipod , grab a set of 2-5 pound dumbbells and you’re ready to move – Walking: Boot Camp Style!

Take 30-45 minutes out of your day for an energizing, fat burning, butt lifting, bone building and core strengthening workout! This mini walking workout is easy to follow, convenient and effective – you’ll want to make it a regular event! Remember to attach your pedometer!

1. Moderate walking for 5 minutes

2. Pump your dumbbells with gusto and pick-up your pace for 5 minutes – walk as quickly as possible without breaking into a jog or run. (Of course, there is nothing wrong with a steady paced jog for a few minutes)

3. Squat low and reach to the sky 30 times with your DB’S

4. Speed walk for 1 minute, Giant steps for 1 min, full out lunging for 1 min, swing your arms alternately with your legs.

5. Put your dumbbells down and skip or jump rope for one minute! (optional)

Repeat # 1-5 one or two more times for a great walking workout!

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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