Wear comfortable, lightweight shoes that are flexible. Avoid wearing shoes that don't bend. When walking with hand weights, start out using 1-pound weights and gradually increase the weight amount. Use a pedometer to keep track of the distance you walk. Start out slowly and work up to the recommended number of 10,000 steps daily. Add interval training to vary your routine. Walk up and down hills, increase your pace and walk up and down steps to burn more calories and build strength and stamina. Swing your arms more for added resistance. Walk as much as possible. Always warm up before performing any physical activity, and stretch afterward.
Do not use weights if you have high blood pressure or any form of heart disease. Take short, fast steps instead of lengthening your stride, which might increase the strain on your legs and feet. Some modifications may be needed if you suffer from joint pain or are recovering from an injury. Other risks involved with walking with hand weights include bursitis or tendinitis of the arms, elbow, knees, shoulders or wrists from overuse. If you walk outdoors, some environmental risks include dehydration, overexposure to the sun, heat stroke, traffic hazards and unsafe walking conditions due to poor weather. Too much weight may put unnecessary stress on shoulder and arm muscles along with elbow and wrist joints. Hand weights, like any other weights, should be used with caution. If used inappropriately, they may change or interfere with your arm swing, which could lead to injury or muscle soreness.
Regular walking, without added weights, provides a good lower body workout. However, walking with hand weights improves the muscular strength and endurance of both the lower and upper body. Increased muscle benefits can be derived from simply carrying the hand weights or by performing some resistance moves while walking. The extra weight, along with deliberate arm movements, will force your muscles to work harder for a great cardiovascular exercise.
Obviously practice makes perfect with hand walking and hand yoga will help. Look at the other our page title strength and exercises for more ideas on how to improve your hand and arm strength.