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A health walker is a popular piece of fitness equipment, that helps a person work out the arms and legs. This piece of exercise equipment is very similar to an elliptical machine, and features a low-impact walking type motion. Walking equipment is popular with exercisers who have bad knees or joint pain, and is an alternative to indoor walking. The health walker and other walking machines are part of the alternative walking for fitness movement.
The health walker can often be found by the steppers and elliptical machines in gyms and sports equipment stores. Walkers allow the user to engage the muscles in the legs that are used for walking and can be a good part of a cardiovascular fitness routine. While used more often for low impact workouts, it can also supplement regular high-impact workouts and lifting routines.
Like elliptical machines, the health walker sits on a large stand. The walker features platforms for each foot and handles for each hand, and allows the exercise to kick one leg forward in a walking motion as the other leg is pushed backward. At the same time, the handle opposite the forward foot is pushed forward, while the other handle is pushed back. This allows the user to move in a natural running motion so that neither both hands nor both feet are in front of the body at the same time.
A lower body workout can be performed with this equipment by using only the legs on the machine. When the hands are added, a full upper body workout can be performed by swiveling the hips and moving the hands back and forth. By pressing forward with the hands, more pressure is created for the hamstrings; by pulling the handles back, there is more pressure created for the quadriceps.
Whatever muscles are being engaged with the health walker, a workout can typically last around 30 to 60 minutes and can burn as much as 800 calories. The workout is popular as a warm up before lifting weights or to engage the muscles early in the morning. A health walker can also be used as a rehabilitation tool and to help increase strength, stamina, and flexibility in the legs.
Drentel - You're right, the machines do look a bit awkward at first sight. As the saying goes, looks can be deceiving. What I like most about the machine is that it is low impact. I can stay on it for an hour and not have any pain in my joints.
Many people think that a walking exercise is not going to be very intense, but, as you found out, the movements of the health walker and health walker plus machines provide a great workout for the muscles of the arms and legs.
I have used one of the health walker exercise machines like described in the article. I was vacationing and wanted to get a workout in after a long plane flight. I went down to the hotel exercise room. There were five or six machines in the room and the health walker was one of them.
I had never seen one at the time, and I wanted to learn how it worked. Since there was no attendant in the room, I hopped on the machine and figured it out for myself. Using it was awkward at the beginning, but once I got the hang of the way the thing moved, I enjoyed the workout. Not until the next day, when I was really sore, did I realize just how good of a workout I had gotten.
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