Walking: The Easiest & Most Misunderstood Way to Health & Vitality
The training world is rife with debate over what functions human anatomy is “supposed” to perform well naturally. For all the back & forth people have on that subject, one thing that makes sense to everybody is the human body’s ability to walk. Perhaps only secondary to mating, walking is the most basic moving function we do.
Science will never “prove” this, but it’s one of my beliefs that the fastest way to optimize our physical health & well-being is to perform activities we’re designed for. Walking is one of the most biomechanically efficient tasks we do. Even someone in relatively poor shape can walk a considerable distance when compared to other transportation functions like running, swimming, climbing, & jumping.
Yet, it’s something that almost nobody does in significance anymore. Indeed, we go out of our way to figure out ways to avoid walking. I’m not sure why walking is loathed so much nowadays, especially when one considers what it can do for you.
For how loathed it is, it’s ironic that a lot of people think walking shouldn’t be included in their routine because “it’s too easy for them.” Thoughts of feeble grandmothers on treadmills tend to follow such a statement.
Yes, walking is easy…and that’s the point. It’s supposed to be relaxing & to help give you peace of mind. If you’re goal is to make walking into intense exercise, you’re efforts are misguided. Save that for the weight room, the track, the bicycle, or whatever you prefer doing. Walking is the purest form of “active recovery” there is. It’s an entirely aerobic activity, so even though it doesn’t burn a huge amount of calories, most of them will come from stored bodyfat (especially if you decide to do a walk before breakfast).
In addition, walking has just enough impact to help develop increased bone density, while not so much as to cause injuries. Like any other type of physical exercise, walking improves the body’s ability to uptake glucose, which improves insulin sensitivity and helps stave off diabetes. If emphasis is placed on it, walking is great way to reinforce good posture, and learning to walk as such helps to portray confidence, security, & happiness.
If you enjoy walking, feel free to do as much of it as you like, but most individuals would be fine with just a mile every day (about 16-20 minutes depending on your pace). Strolling along might be nice, but for fitness reasons, we want to keep a brisk pace. You don’t need to be a race walker swinging your arms everywhere, but walk with a purpose. You can do it as a warmup for more intense exercise or as a cool down, or both. Walk to the store, walk to work, school, wherever. Do yourself a favor and buy a quality pair of shoes while your at it too; you don’t want to have your heels or toes chafing.
Until next time…
Keep it strong, keep it vegan.