Walking For Fitness

What is the Average Walking Speed and Can You Improve it for Better Health...

OPEN FIT, July 2019 

Meagan Francis

For people who are very overweight or elderly, walking is a great way to start losing fat and improving fitness. And walking speed is “a predictor of important outcomes” especially as we get older, according to a meta-analysis published in the British journal Physiotherapy. Researchers have even referred to it as the “6th vital sign.”

But while it may be gratifying to clock your speed and find that you’re trucking along faster than average, there’s no one-size-fits-all benchmark for walking speed. “It’s very much dependent on age, heart rate, and level of fitness,” explains Dr. Bianca Beldini, DPT and founder of Sundala Wellness in New York City.

“Technically, if one walks to lose fat, they would be in heart rate zones 1 and 2,” she says, which is 50 to 70 percent of max heart rate. “The Karvonen formula (220 – age = max heart rate) is a common, easy way to determine heart rate zones, and the fat-burning zone is considered 60 to 70 percent of max heart rate.”

(It’s important to note that, while it’s called the “fat-burning zone,” it’s not actually the ideal zone for losing fat; rather it’s the zone in which fat is most used as an energy source during exercise. So while you might see results from walking initially, you’ll need to quickly increase the intensity of your workouts to continue losing fat and improving your fitness.)

Using the Karvonen formula, says Beldini, a 30-year-old’s max heart rate is 190 beats per minute (bpm). So he or she would want to stay between 114 and 133 bpm (60 to 70 percent) in order to build an aerobic base, improve cardiovascular function, and burn fat. A 55-year-old’s ideal zone, on the other hand, would fall somewhere between 99 and 116 bpm.

That’s not to say that slightly slower speeds are a waste of your time. Aerobic conditioning is important for cardiac function, circulation, and lymphatic movement. And you can still build an aerobic base between zone 1 and low zone 3, which is a bit slower than your “optimal” walking speed for weight loss and fat burning.

For a more accurate measurement of your ideal zone, Beldini suggests wearing a heart rate monitor or a watch-based heart rate tracker to chart bpm, rather than relying on your treadmill’s readout.

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How I Treated My Plantar Fasciitis

How I Treated My Plantar Fasciitis…

SELF Magazine, May 2019

Emilia Benton

This inflammation can occur as a result of overuse, poor running, or overstraining of the calves and hips, says Bianca Beldini, D.P.T., a physical therapist and USA Triathlon level 1 coach in New York City. The plantar fascia is meant to absorb impact that we put on our feet, but when it’s subjected to high levels of repetitive physical stress (which is what happens when you run), the tissue can become damaged and irritated. This triggers an inflammatory response, resulting in the stiffness and shooting pain that’s a telltale sign of plantar fasciitis.

Once you get up and moving, the pain should improve as you walk, and using a tool like a lacrosse or tennis ball or spiky massage roller several times a day may help the pain gradually go away. “Anything that allows the bottom of the arch to roll and lengthen is a good way to treat [the pain],” Ragland says. Beldini adds that self-massage also helps increase blood flow in the area, which may help repair damaged tissue more quickly.

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This is the BEST time to work out…

This is the BEST time to work out, according to science…

Readers Digest, June 2019

Emily DiNuzzo


Making time for exercise is sometimes as challenging as the actual workout. When it comes down to it, the best time to exercise is when you can. And exercise timing is very subjective, explains Bianca Beldini, DPT, MSOM, LAC, SFMA, and a USA Triathlon Certified Coach. It might take some trial and error to find what works for your body. Plus, you shouldn’t let exercise timing deter you from working out since there are so many benefits of exercise no matter when you work out, too.

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Preventive Measures for the Athlete: Dry Needling

Preventive Measures for the Athlete: DRY NEEDLING

USA Triathlon Magazine, July 2019

Sarah Wassner Flynn

Dry needling targets trigger points in overworked and tired muscles to release tension, pain and inflammation. While often used to treat injuries, dry needling can work for hip flexors, quads, calves, glutei and hamstrings – and to prevent further restriction of the soft tissue.

“When an athlete feels tightness in tissues that goes unresolved with foam rolling, stretching and manual therapies, dry needling can typically work immediately” says Dr. Bianca Beldini, DPT, USA Triathlon Certified Coach



How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

How Many Calories Does Swimming Burn?

Shape Magazine, July 2019

Ashley Mateo

Grab your paddles and lets expend some energy!

What Factors Into Your Calories Burned While Swimming

But don’t get caught up in those numbers. How many calories you burn swimming depends on many factors, says Bianca Beldini, D.P.T., a physical therapist, USA Triathlon-certified coach, and certified Schwinn Cycling instructor.

Your body: “Someone who weighs more will expend more calories than someone who weighs less because it takes more energy to move a larger body than a smaller one,” she says. (Which, yes, is taken into account in the METs formula.) “But a larger body will also create more surface area in the water thus creating more drag resistance. More drag means it takes more energy to push through the resistance, therefore increasing the heart rate and resulting in higher caloric expenditure.”

Your swim speed: How fast you can swim also affects your calorie burn. “The slower you swim, the less energy output there is, resulting in less calories burned,” says Beldini. Hence, the faster you swim, the more energy you use. Using swim devices such as pull buoys, pull paddles, parachutes, and bands, to increase resistance or increase drag will also increase your energy output, upping your calorie burn, she adds.

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