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Walk Your Way to Health and Fitness

Posted: April 25, 2013 - 9:35am

     I am a definitely a proponent of more intense exercise like compound movements when strength training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) when doing cardiovascular training.  The greater the intensity, however, the less frequently you should perform the activity and the shorter the sessions must be.

     Overtraining and not working hard enough for maximum benefit are both possibilities when one does the above-mentioned exercises too often or for too long.  Two to three intense workouts a week is ideal for many of us.

     Our bodies are made to move, however, and three times a week really isn’t enough to satisfy this need.  Walking is a great way to bridge this gap and allows you to spend as much time as you like being active with little chance of overtraining.

     The treadmills at any fitness center are always the busiest pieces of equipment for a reason.  Walking is an exercise that virtually everyone can perform and it’s a natural movement.  Any exercise is good for your mental health, but something about walking really lends to peace of mind.  I don’t remember who said it, but I really like the saying, “God talks to people who take long walks.”

     I do own nineteen treadmills and treadmills can be very inviting during inclement weather. Of course nasty weather is rarely an issue in Juneau, is it?  One of the beauties of walking, however, is that you don’t need any special equipment to do it.  You don’t even have to drive anywhere to get started.  Step outside and you are on your way.

     Spending time outside is another component of healthy living that all too often gets left on the wayside with our busy lives.  Walking and hiking are great for both getting exercise and for getting some outside time.

     Sometimes when a person makes lifestyle changes that require a lot of their time, others in their family can feel left out or neglected.  This is another advantage of walking; most people  can do it.  Even if your loved ones aren’t ready to do any formal exercising, you can probably coerce them into joining you for an after dinner stroll.  Whether you walk with your spouse, a child, or the whole family, this can be real quality time. 

     Walking can also be an efficient way to add activity to our lives when we use it as one of our forms of transportation.  If you live too far from your work to walk, you could sometimes park a distance from your office and walk the rest of the way.  Walking right after work is especially good for letting go of stress and becoming refreshed for the rest of your day.  If you are going to be walking on the roadway, please make sure that you wear clothes that make you visible to motorists.

     The roads are clear and the trails will be soon.  Now is a great time to make walking a part of your week.  Although there is little risk of overtraining, you should still be careful to give your body time to break into this new activity.  Start with outings that are enjoyable and increase your time and distance as you can.   Good luck and enjoy.

      

    

       

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