Have you seen folks out speed walking and thought they looked a little, well . . . dorky. Well they might be onto something. Speed walking can burn more calories per hour than jogging with a lot less of the jarring impact to your joints. The reason why is the lead heel makes contact with the ground before your rear toes leave it. When you run there is a moment when both feet are off the ground, exponentially increasing the pressure on the joints.
Arm motion is key to speed walking since pumping the arms adds momentum and helps to get the heart rate up. They say that when the technique becomes second nature, you'll feel almost as though you're floating.
So the pay off is the amount of calories burned - 440 calories an hour if you weigh 150 pounds and are walking at the brisk pace of 4.5 miles per hour. Speed walkers generally walk at a pace of 3.5 to 5.5 miles per hour, so that pace puts you right in the middle.
To burn more calories the trick is not to speed up, since according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, walking harder or faster only slightly increases the calories spent. A better way to burn up more calories is to increase the time spent walking.
Now if they could only figure out a way to combine speed walking with speed dating.