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.
Power walking/speed walking is often confused with racewalking, as the two activities are basically similar. The difference lies in the fact that power walking/speed walking is practiced principally to produce a training effect, whilst racewalking is a competitive discipline within the sport of athletics, and as such has specific rules applying at all levels of competition up to the Olympic Games.
Competitions and World Records