The Benefits of Walking
People often act like WALKING isn’t really that great. They act like it sort of doesn’t count.
But walking is an important part of any healthy lifestyle.
Actually I think walking is often overlooked as an essential part of being healthy because of our belief that we have to do MORE to be healthy or lose weight.
But as I’ve repeated almost every day recently, “More isn’t always better. Sometimes LESS is actually MORE.”
In a society where we are constantly told to do MORE when it comes to a healthy lifestyle – diet more, workout more – could the push to do MORE actually be causing us to get worse results?
I think the answer is a big, “YES!”
I mean think about it. You are told to eat fewer calories. To cut out more foods. To DIET MORE.
But sometimes doing more, cutting out more, when it comes to diet can actually hinder your results.
Just this week I talked about the importance of fueling your activity level – about eating more and dieting when your body needs it. Restricting too much can hinder your results just as much as doing nothing can. Again…More isn’t always better.
Same goes for working out.
Overtraining isn’t some myth. It is actually easier to overtrain than you would even think. And more people than you would expect are actually training too much!
Exercise is meant to improve health, aid in fat and weight loss and reduce injury, aches and pain, and fatigue…Yet when you do too much, you do exactly the opposite!
So often you read about how you have to exercise more. Or you see your weight loss progress stall and instantly think you need to put in more hours at the gym. Or up your intensity.
TOO MUCH CAN HAVE NEGATIVE EFFECTS!
Often we find it easier to do more than to reassess and try something simpler. I find a lot of clients need to feel a certain way after their workout to feel like they “worked.” They need to be out of breath. Or feel like they are going to puke. Or have sweated a certain amount to feel like the did ENOUGH.
But that attitude is exactly what gets people into trouble. That attitude is what makes people ignore some of the best diet and exercise programs and activities out there for them!
That attitude is what causes people to end up struggling a lot more to become healthier, fitter, stronger, and leaner than they need to.
And one of those activities that is often overlooked as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle is WALKING!
Many people skip walking in favor of activities like running that burn more calories and help them FEEL like they’ve gotten a workout.
They skip walking because they don’t realize how much bang for their buck they really get with walking. All they consider is calories in vs. calories out or working out as hard or as much as they can.
But walking is a great exercise and an important part of a healthy lifestyle and even a weight loss program.
Instead of keeping it simple, people do two-hour workouts. They include 15 different exercises and do 100s of reps. They take themselves to the max every single workout.
But if you break your muscles down every day, you aren’t going to reap the benefits of your workouts! Workouts break your body down so you can become stronger. But doing MORE breaking down, if you don’t take enough time to rebuild, is really just wasted effort.
And rest is when you REBUILD.
Your body can’t go at 100% every single day. You can’t lift heavy or run hard every day. Your body needs workouts of varied intensities. Your body NEEDS easy days.
Walking can be a great lower intensity activity you can use as active recovery. It can be a great way to MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY recover!
And we’ve all heard that if we move more, we will be healthier.
This doesn’t mean going and doing longer workouts. And it doesn’t mean doing hours of intense cardio.
Guess what is a great way to move more though!?!
Walking! It allows us to move more without wearing our bodies down and overtraining!
Walking is one of those activities that we see as “less bang for our buck.” But it is truly one of those exercises where LESS IS MORE.
Yea…maybe you don’t get the same calorie burn as an hour of intense exercise. But walking means less stress. It means better sleep. It can enhance your move. It can help you fight against disease. It allows your body to recover and rebuild. It can mean a lot of great health benefits not only because of the activity, but also because you can be relaxed and social with it while even soaking up some sun!
And all of these things lead to better health. All of these things mean that you will get MORE out of the time you do spend doing higher intensity workouts.
Walking is often overlooked as EXERCISE but trust me, it is the one exercise that EVERYONE needs to be doing no matter their age or fitness level.
Right now too many people suffer from the attitude that MORE IS BETTER – more restriction, more intense, longer workouts.
But if you want great results, LESS IS MORE.
Do you go for walks? Maybe you should go out this weekend and soak up some sun!
Posted on August 24, 2013, in Cardio, Conventional Wisdom - How I hate you, Rants and tagged active recovery, benefits of walking, health, overtraining, walking benefits. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.