Power walking or speed walking is the act of walking with a speed at the upper end of the natural range for the walking gait, typically 7 to 9 km/h (4.5 to 5.5 mph). To qualify as power walking as opposed to jogging or running, at least one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times (see walking for a formal definition
Power walking has been recommended (for example, by Kenneth H. Cooper) as an alternative to jogging for a low-to-moderate exercise regime, for instance 60–80% of maximum heart rate (HRmax). At the upper range walking and jogging are almost equally efficient, and the walking gait gives significantly less impact to the joints. When used in this way, an exaggerated arm swing is often used.
Kenneth H. Cooper (born March 4, 1931, in Oklahoma City) is a doctor of medicine and former Air Force Colonel from Oklahoma, who introduced the concept of aerobics. He is the author of the 1968 book Aerobics, which emphasized a point system for improving the cardiovascular system. The popular mass market version was The New Aerobics (ISBN 0-553-26874-0), published a few years later. His points system is also the basis of the 10,000 steps per day method of maintaining adequate fitness by walking.
In his career, Cooper had devised a simple test (the Cooper test, originally the distance run in 12 minutes) which correlated well with VO2max, and so could conveniently be used to quickly establish the fitness level of large numbers of people all over the World.
Cooper is the founder of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas and McKinney, Texas. He is also the founder of the non-profit research and education organization, The Cooper Institute, which was opened in 1970. Today, Cooper is Founder and Chairman at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, which comprises eight health and wellness entities.
Thousands of doctors recommend it. Hundreds of studies extol its benefits. It's simple. It's enjoyable. You can do it virtually anywhere. And, when it's done right, walking can blast away fat as fast as jogging—maybe faster. Even better, power walking is easier on your joints, since you hit the ground with less than half the force you do when you jog. As a result, you're less likely to have your fitness goals sidelined by soreness or injury.