Also called load marching, rucking is quickly becoming a favorite in fitness circles. Its simplicity and effectiveness as an exercise routine contribute to this activity’s growing prominence.
Before getting into rucking, though, you might want to know what to expect. You won’t be the same before and after rucking, and I explain how in this post.
Beyond The Hype
You might have come across the term as you go about your regular workout regimen, and wondered what the fuss was all about.
Given how fitness trends change every other month, I wouldn’t blame you for doubting if load marching is what it’s peddled to be. Does it offer the benefits advertised out there?
I can tell you for a fact that rucking is not a fad. The US military has been using it for training for ages. Other forces around the world also incorporate rucking in their training.
So, you can be confident it works. Yes, you can take my word for it. Why else would I keep at it even after leaving the Special Forces?
As a survivalist, I am meticulous about preparation in every form, including the body and mind.
Rucking is one of the activities that help with that. It has done wonders for my health, and hopefully, it does the same for you.
If you are new to rucking, the following are some differences to expect.
Less Body Fat
A major change you will notice after several weeks of rucking is a decrease in body fat. Load marching burns a substantial amount of calories. In fact, it uses up more calories than walking.
Therefore, adding a loaded backpack to your scheduled walks can make all the difference in your weight loss journey.
Another plus side is that you can boost calorie burn by adjusting the weight of your backpack and the distance covered.
Even if you are not aiming to lose weight, shedding excess body fat doesn’t hurt, especially if you are at a high risk of weight-related illnesses.
So, if you had trouble getting rid of calories before, it won’t be a problem once you start rucking.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Cardio workouts focus on increasing the heart rate; the faster your heart pumps, the better.
Rucking forces different parts of your body to work, elevating your heart rate. However, it’s not as intensive as other activities.
Heart health is one of the reasons regular exercises are recommended. Keeping your heart functioning optimally decreases the risks of various conditions, including heart diseases.
If you find it hard to complete cardio exercises, rucking is a decent alternative.
A load march a few times a week might be all you need to get in the necessary cardio workout.
Improved Mood and Reduced Stress Levels
For many people, working out is a way to eliminate stress. However, the intensity of some exercises makes this difficult. Rucking gets you outside in the open air, which offers several benefits.
Although you could ruck on a treadmill, I don’t advise it because you then miss out on all the good the outdoors do to your body and mind.
Walking while taking in the fresh air calms your mind, getting rid of all that stress and boosting your mood.
If you are lucky to be in nature, then the effects double. You can stop to admire the settings and enjoy some quiet time bonding with nature.
Another way I find rucking fulfilling is the chance to disconnect from tech. In a world where electronics are part of our daily lives, unplugging can be challenging.
If you have difficulty letting go of your gadgets, then rucking can help. Disconnecting even a few hours each week makes a considerable difference in your life.
Discover the Outdoors
The availability of home exercise equipment means that some people don’t see much of the outside during workouts. Gyms have the same disadvantage.
Rucking requires you to get out there and see what’s around you. If your workouts are restricted to the indoors, that changes when you begin rucking. It’s one of my favorite aspects of this practice.
I can ruck almost anywhere, although I prefer the woods and anywhere away from civilization. Every time I ruck is an opportunity to try a new place. You can do the same.
Even walking with a loaded backpack in different parks around your home makes a lot of difference. I especially recommend it for people who work from home.
After rucking, you have a deep appreciation for nature because undisturbed environments are the best for this fitness activity.
The before and after differences of rucking make this exercise worth every effort you put into it. When you follow expert advice about the best way to walk with a load, expect to see positive changes, like;
- Improved heart health
- Reduced body fat
- Less stress and better moods
- An appreciation for the outdoors
Now that you see what rucking can do for you, you might consider including it in your fitness routine. Ensure you learn how to ruck safely for desirable outcomes.