Learn by doing
The most important thing is to begin fitness walking. You can do this by taking a brisk 15-minute walk every weekday, excluding a rest day on the third and sixth day of the week. Never work through pain, and remember to warm up and stretch efficiently. Once you’ve got yourself started — or if you really want to hit the ground running — it’s time to sharpen up your knowledge on technique and form.
It’s not always the who but also the what when you are wondering how to learn to power walk, race walk or Nordic walk. You’ve gone for a few power walks, and now you fancy honing your technique, or perhaps you want to get competitive or add poles to your exercise routine. Type in ‘how to power walk’ into YouTube and you will find a cache of videos to guide you through the technique — like this one here.
Type ‘how to race walk’, or ‘how to Nordic walk’, and you will find many more videos explaining the technique and form for these two — often competitive — styles of fitness-orientated walking. Particularly due to their competitive nature, race walking and Nordic walking have more advanced techniques as you potentially progress toward a competitive level. This is where you may consider joining a group or club, where you can fine-tune your skill set under supervision and guidance.
There are a host of options when it comes to joining walking clubs, whether it be fitness or power walking, race walking, Nordic walking, or even nature walking and hiking. Google is your friend here. Type in your desired walking style alongside ‘clubs near me’ or ‘groups in (insert location)’ and you will be sure to find a group or club where you can get fit along with like-minded individuals.
Exercise is always more rewarding alongside others, whether that be due to gaining friendships, or the drive of competition. See Walking For Beginners - Where Can I Join A Walking Club for more information.
Whether you are going it alone, alongside friends, or part of a group or club, there are a host of smartphone apps that can benefit your fitness walks. While YouTube is the best to teach you technique and form, these apps can act as a pocket-coach, tracking your progress and giving you something to work on for next time — building up your walking program steadily.
We recommend MapMyWalk. One of the oldest fitness walking apps, MapMyWalk has stood the test of time — a testament to its quality, but easy to use interface and features:
- You can watch your walk unfold in real-time on the map, which allows you to explore new paths while finding your way back to where you started.
- Your pace, speed, distance, calories burned and elapsed time are all measured using your phone's GPS, with audio feedback on some of these measurements as you walk.
- You can create new routes, or even find routes other MapMyWalk users have taken in your area.
- Other quality apps with similar features include Argus and Fitbit.
- All three apps have smartwatch functionality (Fitbit linking with its own Fitbit range of watches).
While technique and form are important long term, the first thing to do is to start. The great thing about walking is you can do it anywhere, so grab your trainers and fitness outfit, and get out on the street. You can start off power walking around your local area or find a nice park to perform laps. Hit the road, Jack.