As awareness about the health benefits of walking advances, variations in walking exercises are beginning to develop. One of the leading strategies is rucking — carrying a rucksack (backpack) weighted with to however much you want to carry.
Rucking offers a full-body workout that engages various muscle groups, including the legs, back, shoulders, and core. The added weight in the backpack increases the intensity of the exercise, making it an efficient way to build strength and burn calories.
And because it’s a low-impact activity, walking with a weighted rucksack places less stress on the joints compared to activities like running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This makes it suitable for a wide range of people, including those with joint issues or beginners looking to ease into a fitness routine.
In addition, rucking mimics real-life activities like carrying groceries, or a backpack you carry to school or work. It’s, therefore, cost-effective because you probably don’t have to invest in additional equipment.
But unlike carrying weights in your hands or using traditional exercise equipment, rucking distributes the weight evenly across your back, shoulders, and core. This can reduce the risk of injury and strain on specific muscles or joints.
Rucking also encourages you to head out into nature. Although this is not a necessity for rucking, walking in nature is shown to have positive effects on mental health. It provides an opportunity to de-stress, connect with nature, and clear your mind, which can help reduce anxiety and improve overall well-being.
It’s important to start rucking with a reasonable weight and gradually increase it as you build strength and endurance. Also, ensure you have a comfortable and properly fitted backpack to minimise the risk of discomfort or injury. As with any fitness routine, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have underlying health concerns.