Get more from your walking routine

Get more from your walking routineMany people turn to a walking regimen to help them increase their physical activity level and lose weight. If you’ve been walking for a while, you may have considered using ankle weights to intensify your workout, but is this the best idea for your body?

The logic behind walking with ankle weights makes sense. It seems like your muscles would work harder and you’d burn more calories in the same amount of time, all while toning up your legs more quickly. Unfortunately, ankle weights may actually do more harm than good.

Wearing ankle weights can change your natural gait and affect your balance. You’re more likely to injure yourself if you walk with ankle weights on, either from falling or using your muscles and joints incorrectly.

A better way to get more from your walking routine is to pick up the pace. You might also look for hills or unpaved roads to increase the intensity of your workouts. Using walking poles can also help you get a more complete body workout.

In addition to walking for aerobic exercise, consider adding a separate strength training workout to your routine. Using free weights, weight machines, or even your own body weight to build lean muscle mass can help you manage your weight more effectively.