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The "next big thing" in boomer fitness

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As boomers age and begin suffering the knee injuries and back strains that have been dubbed “boomeritis,” they may find their old exercise routines aren’t working anymore. According to Lenny Bernstein in The Washington Post, those boomers can turn to racewalking (not sure how this is any different from speedwalking).

Racewalkers, unlike runners, must maintain contact with the ground at all times, and must keep the forward leg straight at all times, Bernstein writes. While this may result in a funny gait, the sport can use more muscles than running, and provides a lower-impact workout. In fact, Bernstein cites research from Brent Bohlen, author of “BoomerWalk: Why Baby Boomers Should Replace Running and Jogging With Racewalking.”

“[R]acewalkers on average suffer only a single injury for every 6.4 years of participation, and only once in every 13 years is an injury serious enough to affect a racewalker’s training. Other studies indicate that runners and joggers can expect to get hurt about three times as often.”

And it seems it’s already catching on. Bohlen estimates there are 10,000 racewalkers in the United States, and there is at least one international race. As Bernstein writes, once word gets out to the 78 million boomers, it could be the “Next Big Thing.”