Get the Ruck Out of Here 

You have to add more weight than an empty bag before you call it “rucking”.

Recently, I’ve seen multiple news stories about rucking. Rucking is pretty straightforward, just walking with added weight on your back. It comes from the military, where ruck marching is both a way to train soldiers and a way to move infantry en masse. Recently, rucking has been adapted for civilian exercise. It’s a solid way to get exercise, as CNN reports:

One of the reasons rucking is growing in popularity may be due to the fact that it’s an easy, low-impact, all-body exercise that boosts cardiovascular and muscular health

What’s more, rucking torches calories. A person burns 30% to 45% more calories with weighted walking than when strolling sans backpack, Smith said. A 180-pound soldier carrying 35 pounds while walking 15 minutes per mile for 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) burns 680 calories, according to the US Army. Since, in general, the more you weigh, the more calories expended during any activity, that 180-pound soldier is burning calories at the rate of someone who weighs 215 pounds.

Another bonus: Since rucking is typically performed outdoors, it’s also good for your mental health.

That all sounds pretty good. So, how does one get started with rucking?

“Start with an empty backpack and walk a distance you’ve already done,” Stephenson said. “When you start adding weight to your pack, try something low, like 10% of your body weight. Adding weight is going to put more stress on your ankles, knees, hips and back, so do it gradually.”

Wait one minute. An empty backpack? That’s just walking!