WORKOUT BY WALKING
Strength training! Circuit training! High Intensity Interval Training! Sprinting! Running!………how about……….walking?
Time and time again we are told that it’s “go hard or go home”, more is better, and that if you don’t feel ready to throw up after a workout then it didn’t count. All these pieces of so-called advice can be incredibly dangerous and often totally false. Don’t take this the wrong way, of course you want to push yourself to the best of your own abilities, endeavour to step over your own boundaries, and broaden your individual capabilities and when it comes time for you to train to reach that goal of yours, whatever that goal may be, give it all you’ve got and reap the results of that hard work! However true health and wellness is well rounded and balanced – it’s important not to look past the smaller, seemingly simple elements of our lives that we could be improving on whilst we travel through our personal health and fitness journeys.
Take walking for example, so often disregarded for its running counterpart, why walk when you could jog right? For the average able-bodied person, walking is an exercise that can be done, it is perhaps undeniably the safest, most accessible and most natural form of fitness known to man, and yet despite this, it is so underrated.
The reason walking is so easy to add to your routine is because it’s low impact, meaning that it’s a far better choice for those of us who are working with knee, ankle and back problems, also for those of us who are overweight or obese. A much better option than running is, which can jar your joints and is often performed incorrectly resulting in many injuries and health problems later down the line. Yet, whilst being kind on the joints, walking still stimulates a small amount of impact on the bones, which is vital for keeping those bones strong essential for preventing condition such as osteoporosis. Walking comes with a huge list of benefits, to name just a few: regular walking has been linked to having a lower blood pressure, a reduced risk of stroke and heart attack, lower cholesterol levels, lower stress levels and an increase in bone density. More benefits include an enhanced mood and an improved level of balance and coordination. Also, walking requires no equipment whatsoever and can be done whenever and wherever you are in the world and can even be slotted into your daily routine so that you are working on your health and wellness at the same time as completing your family, life & work commitments. Simple ways to incorporate more walking into your daily & weekly schedule include:
- walking to your local shops/dairy instead of driving
- walking your kids to school instead of having them catch the bus
- Parking a couple of km’s away from work and walking to the office
- Stopping at a park/beach on the way home
Walking can be exciting and progressive too! You can level up your walking by changing the pace and the duration, finding hills to walk up because incline is great for increasing the intensity, or adding in a few bodyweight exercises along your route to increase intensity (5 push ups when you get halfway etc)
The moral of the story is that health and fitness doesn’t need to be over complicated and stressful, sometimes the best thing we can do is take it back to basics!
Go on, enjoy that walk!