The Most Overlooked Form of Exercise
The fitness industry is booming right now. As I’ve mentioned in a prior article, there has been a shift in mindset. Getting into shape is no longer seen as beneficial just for jocks and meatheads, it’s something that can benefit everyone. Because of this, the style and types of programs and gyms out there has increased drastically. There’s HIIT, Crossfit, Yoga, Peloton, Orange Theory, etc etc. The common denominator between most of these different programs is the high intensity aspect. And while getting some intense work should be part of a well rounded training program, there needs to be variation in intensity in order to avoid injury and burnout and to most efficiently achieve your goals. This is where the most overlooked form of exercise comes in: walking.
Walking has many benefits both mentally and physically. It helps with weight and disease control, lowers blood pressure and improves your lower body health for better balance and strength. Mentally it can reduce stress and anxiety, improve energy and help with sleep. And for even more health benefits take your walks into a nature preserve or park!
Walking by itself is a good form of exercise but it becomes great when you use it as a supplement to other forms of fitness, specifically strength training. As I stated above, walking has many physical benefits, but those benefits only go so far. I use walking as a way to get some added movement and health benefits beyond my regular training. Walking to meet friends, or hoofing it to the grocery store (as long as you don’t have too much to carry), or getting outside on an active rest day are all great ways to incorporate walking into your everyday life.
Overall, walking can be a great form of exercise if you are consistent and use it effectively. It is lower intensity and lower impact than running, but the health benefits are numerous. Find a trail or route near you, and let’s get walking!