This week Vogue reported that (much to the delight of the audience, I'm sure) fashion brand Aalto showed its Resort 2019 show by designer Tuomas Merikoski featuring models and athletes power-walking down the ramp. 

This low-impact exercise routine was popularised in the eighties and became synonymous with groups of friends walking down suburban streets at a swift pace. 

Image: Giphy

Unlike fashion shows showcasing predominantly activewear like Kanye's Yeezy, where models are seen in a stationary position, it's refreshing to see activewear on models and athletes actually moving like one would when active. Clothes have to move differently in this context, and adding a bit of fitness nostalgia to fashion is perfect in this age of eighties and nineties fashion revivals. 

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Off the runway, should we be considering power-walking as a good form of exercise?

A few years ago it was CrossFit.  Now running is very much the big exercise trend of the moment – just think about the meteoric rise of running groups and park runs. But what if you want to start getting fit, but don't see running as your perfect fit? Should you maybe consider power-walking, or just walking more in general? 

Luke Saner, local biokineticist says, "The best advice I could give someone wanting to start increasing physical activity levels is to start out slowly, to find an activity that you enjoy and not to bite off more than you can chew. Essentially this ends up exhausting people and becomes unsustainable in the long run, simply resulting in people reverting back to previous unhealthy habits.

Walking/Power-walking vs running?

"While running itself is a great activity for improving cardiovascular health, for many people just starting out exercise, walking may be a better alternative. Walking is a much lower impact alternative that is safe for the joints but can still cause quite a sweat,” adds Saner.  

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Richard Woolrich, personal trainer at Virgin Active Claremont says “It is important to find a routine that is going to be sustainable. If walking is the chosen option your goal should be 3-4x a week. Ensure that while walking you work at a relatively high work rate. So try not to fall into a trap of just wondering along. The goal is to increase metabolism so make sure the heart rate does increase.

“Running has been shown to be one of the best cardiovascular workouts to help reduce weight and increase cardiovascular fitness. However, with running does come increased impact and chance of injury. 

“Power-walking will have less of a cardiovascular stimulus, but will still see positive changes. There will be less impact, and therefore, less chance of injury. 

“If niggles or concerns over injuries play a role then power-walking is a great option and highly recommended.”

So it's important to consider your level of fitness before diving into any new sport or exercise routine. But we are definitely keen to try power-walking this weekend in some cool activewear by the Cape Town promenade. 

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