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Do I have to compete to be a racewalker?


Don't be fooled by the word "Racewalking." You don't have to be a competitive racer to enjoy this mega-calorie burning form of exercise. Racewalking is the perfect activity for any woman who has muscular skeletal injuries that would prevent her from running. There are two basic rules of racewalking:

  • Your feet must maintain contact with the ground at all times.
  • You need to keep the knee of the supporting leg straight from the moment of foot contact with the ground. It will remain straight until the leg passes under the body.

Good posture is important for racewalkers. Most experts will advise you to stand tall and lean forward from your ankles, as opposed to your waist. Try to resist the temptation to look down at your feet. Holding your head down will close off your windpipe, thereby making breathing more difficult. Your head should remain level at all times.

As your racewalking speed picks up, try to avoid the tendency to hunch your shoulders. Consider this: Any form of tension requires energy. If you waste energy by tensing your shoulders, there will be less energy available to create a dynamic, calorie-burning workout. Speaking of burning calories, a 130-pound woman will burn approximately 210 calories in a 30-minute racewalking workout.



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Patricia Walters-Fischer
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