Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Benefits of Walking

I am a big walker, I love walking in fact, especially with  my two boys, Mungo and Otto. Walking is just as important for our four legged family members as it is for us! If you think about it, walking is really in our genes. Our ancestors walked miles most likely daily, hunting, gathering, finding and bringing water back, along with moving for the seasons. There were no motorized vehicles to carry them around. It was their feet! Why would walking be bad for us now?

Well, it is not bad for us. There are great benefits to walking. Walking is also not just for people who cannot do other forms of exercising, like jogging, HIIT, sprinting or other forms of heavy exercises. Walking is a wonderful all around exercise for all, from the most fit to the least. Still thinking I am crazy, well.... Look at people from Europe, Asia, Russia, basically anyone from another country. The one thing we all notice is how lean they are. What is one of the things they do that we here in America do not do? Walk.They walk and they walk and they walk. I actually have a friend who lived in Russia for a few years while her hubby worked there. When she came back for a visit, I could not believe how much weight she had lost, not that she had any to lose in the first place. I asked her what she had been doing? She just said walking. I walk every where there and because of this I have lost weight.

The reason walking is so great for us is the fat burn we obtain. Doing a low to moderate exercise will burn the fat that is in our blood stream. One of the best times to walk is after a hard circuit, HIIT training or first thing in the morning before you have eaten, doing a fasted workout. The reason going for a walk after this type of training is beneficial is because these workouts release the fat into our blood stream. Walking will use that fat. Any fat that is in our system, walking will use up! This is true for fasted walking also.

This does not have to be some endurance walk either. This is a moderate exercise we are talking about here. Something you could keep up for six hours, all day if you need to. How do you know if you are doing moderate workout? You want to be able to carry on a conversation with someone. If you are so out of breath you can no longer talk, you are going to hard. If you are just beginning, this will not take a lot, if you are more advanced, you can walk up a the side of the mountain and carry on this conversation. Yes, I do this and people think I am crazy. But I tell you, it is one of the best workouts I have ever done. And you will have a great perky butt doing hills. And who does not want this?! Do not start out with a hills or the mountain. Begin on something flat and even and work up to hills. I do not want you to kill over dead. If you begin breathing very hard and heaving, stop and rest. For the type of exercising we are talking about today, this is to hard. As all disclaimers, talk with your doctor before beginning a walking regimen.

It is easy to add walking into your daily routine as well. It will just take some adjustments. Also remember, walking, as with all exercises adds up. You do not need to do it all at once, you can break it up. In time, I would suggest trying to get in a half hour walk a day, along with these other changes. Here are a few ideas:
   Instead of parking at the front of the parking lot, park in the back and walk, this goes for all parking lots.
   When there are stairs, take the stairs. If you are beginning and need to walk up five flights of stairs, begin with one flight. After a week or two, try adding in another flight of stairs until you have worked up to doing all five. Try doing this with a co-worker instead of on your own.
   When you have a break at work, instead of sitting there bsing with everyone, go for a short walk either in the building or preferably, outside if you can. This can be a great time to clear head.
   Instead of sitting in front of the TV for hours on end everyday, take one of those hours, half hour, and go for walk as a family or for a date with your spouse. Dates do not have to be dinner and a movie, they can be working out instead. Exercising together can have many benefits, many...
   Wake up 20 minutes earlier, I know how precious sleep is, but just getting up 20 minutes earlier and going for a short walk, you will begin your day on a better note. Doing a fasted workout can also help you to eat less through out the day.
   Make going for a walk family time, time to spend with your spouse or a friend. It is always easier when you have someone else to walk with, to motivate you. For your children, this can show them the importance of exercising and be a fun bonding time, create memories.

These are just a few ideas to begin incorporating walking into your daily life. Think about your day and see where you can find ways to walk more.

Here is a link to a great article on more benefits of walking.

Well, I am off to take the boys for a walk. Maybe I will see you out there!
Until next time
In the Love of Christ,

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