Hello fellow readers!!
So glad you are back again for my new post!
Last time I spoke a little about HOW to make small adjustments, leading to a complete lifestyle change.
This week we will be getting into WHY THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS WALK and how to get started with this very beneficial, yet simple exercise.
Videos taken and created with GoPro HERO5 Black
I believe this is one of the most important posts I will ever share, as it is applicable to everyone and is crucially important.
Ok, so this blog post is very straight forward. As you have seen from the name of the website, we completely and undoubtedly, as humans on this earth, are meant 2 move.
So what exactly does that mean?
Back before we invented cars or even wagons, humans walked everywhere - walked across vast land for water, walked thousands of miles to search for cover, and were constantly on the hunt for food. Even far after that time era, most humans walked their commute to and from work daily.
Think about how much that has drastically changed…
The majority of humans now wake up, drive seated in their cars to work, sit at a desk inside air-conditioned office spaces all day, sit to drive back to their homes after work, where they then sit down to eat dinner and watch a few hours of TV before they lay down for sleep to wake up and do it again… wow.
If that is not a shocking opposite to you, then I don’t know how else you could be surprised.
We have gone from non-stop demanding, life-or-death, survival-type physical activity to absolutely none.
I am sure it does not take a rocket scientist to see how this is extremely detrimental to our health (and unnatural at that).
So what are the benefits of being active? Why is it so important and why do we need it so badly? Well please read over my first blog post for that answer, then return here to finish off this one.
Walking… Any person alive has the smarts to know we were meant to at least walk.
So if what I described here fits your lifestyle; if you’re sedentary at an office job all day, tired of being out of breath after walking from a far parking spot to a game stadium or concert venue; if you’re sick of feeling like you’re about to have a heart attack after finally make it up a couple of flights of stairs; if you’re put up with feeling so lethargic, tired, and out of shape that you’re unable to enjoy anything outside or any fun activities like bowling with co-workers or jumping on the trampoline with your children for five minutes… it’s time to make a change.
Deep inside, you probably know you should have made a change a long time ago…
But, good news for you, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START.
In fact, it is only too late when it’s actually too late (when it kills you, because it can and mostly likely it eventually will).
Yes, this may seem insanely harsh, but only because I want this to open your eyes. In fact, I truthfully want this message to slap you so hard in the face that you start living differently tomorrow and you never, ever look back.
I want you to kick your lame, stupid, pathetic excuses to the curb and do something to fix the situation you got into.
Now, I know it is more than just excuses that got you here, but it is definitely what is preventing you from fixing it going forward.
I want it so badly or you because I know how important it is - it really is a matter of life or death. And believe it or not, I do what I do because I truly care about your life, and the QUALITY of your life for that matter… as should you.
So now that my little emotional rant is over… back to walking.
As babies we start out crawling until our bodies have developed enough to support an upright position and support us on 2 limbs. We generally start walking by the age of 16-17 months, before we can even speak - Obviously we are meant to walk.
You may be asking - But just walking? What good could that really do?
Well as I mentioned earlier, years of eating drive-thru burgers, loaded potatoes, pizza, and fried foods along with being sedentary day-in and day-out will absolutely catch up to you and you will notice walking has now become the biggest, most grueling chore.
Walking is extremely benefit for your health, especially for your heart.
Walking is amazing because like I keep saying - it is for everyone.
I know of several pro body builders, fitness models, and professional coaches that use only walking or primarily walking as their form of cardio training.
It is also an ideal place to start for someone who has never worked out a day in their life.
Benefits of walking:
Reduce risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
Improve blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
Maintain your body weight and lower risk of obesity
Enhance mental well-being
Reduce risk of osteoporosis
Reduce risk of breast and colon cancer
Reduce risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
Improve your cholesterol profile
Boost bone strength if you are currently sedentary
Enhance joint health and cardiovascular function
Walking can also be very enjoyable. There are many different ways you can walk for exercise:
Walk with your dog(s)
Walk with a neighborhood friend
Walk and talk on the phone
Walk and listen to music while enjoying nature and fresh air
Walk on the treadmill and watch TV (if that's your thing)
Walk incline on the treadmill for more advanced cardio without the destruction to your joints
Walk around different historic sites, parks, or downtown cities
Walk around the office a few times during the day
The point is to make it enjoyable so that you will be more likely to stick with it long term.
How to walk correctly:
Like I mentioned in my last post, Small Tips, Big Achievements, it is always important to keep good posture. This also goes for walking - keep your chest up, gaze straight ahead, arms by your side, stomach pulled in, and shoulders back.
Try to take light steps. Pretend like you are walking on a cloud or trying to be as quiet as possible. This will help avoid unnecessary impact on your joints.
Make sure you have some good, supportive shoes meant for walking distances. I LOVE my ASICS Women's Gel-Cumulus 18 BR Running Shoe - and got them on Amazon for a third of their regular price!
Try to keep your toes pointed forward - do not let your feet point outwards like a duck or inwards like a pigeon. Train your body from the start to use the correct walking form so that it becomes a natural movement. This will make the transfer to other exercise movements easier.
Pay attention to your heart rate. As I mentioned earlier, walking is very beneficial for your heart health. Your heart is going to get a very good workout from walking especially if you are currently physically inactive. Technically you should not be able to talk a whole lot if you are walking at the correct speed/ intensity. For those who study exercise, this is called the TALK TEST. Your heart rate should be higher than normal and you should feel like you are exerting energy as you would with any other type of cardio training.
I love to use my Garmin vivoactive Watch, as it has a GPS and will map our route, it has a step counter, and has attachments you can order that will tell you your heart rate.
The benefits of walking are very similar to those of running, with the additional plus of less impact.
The longer you do it, the more your body will adapt and CHANGE. Before you know it, your walks will be too easy and you will have to increase the intensity (speed or grade) and/or increase the duration.
Advancements once you have mastered walking would be:
I have included a list below of websites with walking programs and other articles about the health benefits of walking.
WEBSITES FOR WALKING PROGRAMS:
American Heart Association - Six-Week Beginner Walking Program PDF
Mayo Clinic - Get walking with this 12-week walking schedule
The Walking Site - Beginning a Fitness Walking Program
Runner's World - Start Walking Plan (PDF option)
Explore Best Walking Programs on Pinterest
That is all for this time! I hope this post impacts someone enough to get up and make a change.
If you need more motivation, more clearance, or just need help - please email me. That is why I do what I do! To help people like YOU succeed.
Keep a lookout for more Meant2Move Fitness blog posts! Articles, motivation, and videos to help you on your journey to becoming fit.
Signed with Sweat,
RESOURCES and RECOMMENDED ARTICLES:
American Heart Association - Why Walking?
American Heart Association - Walking 101
American Heart Association - Walk, Don't Run, Your way to a Healthy Heart