Walking as Exercise: Who Told You That You Have to Run?


Walking is the ideal exercise. It is natural, easy, inexpensive, safe, and fun. Almost everyone can walk. So why is everyone imitating the hare and not the tortoise?

Many of us used to run when we kids. We weighed far less than we do now though. Why do we expect that the aged and aging legs (and knees) we now have can take the pounding we inflict carrying up to 3 or 4 times when we try to run on a hard turf?

Like this lady I saw on my way to work…

One morning in the Fall of 2005 I saw a lady running with pain on her face. She was grimacing. I imagine she may have been groaning with each stride, but I couldn’t hear through the din of early morning Atlanta traffic.

In my mind, that lady was doing the right thing in the wrong way. It was obvious that she was trying to lose weight. She carried a fairly large weight for her height.

Why do people run when they don’t have to? And why do they chose to run on the hard turf rather than on an unpaved area such as a grassy play field? Don’t they know what this might be doing to their joints?

How much walking is enough?

Experts recommend that we walk briskly for at least approximately 30 minutes three times weekly in order to get the aerobic benefit.

If you need to lose weight you can increase that to one hour three times per week, or do 30 minutes at least five times per week.

However, if you are diabetic, it really helps to walk for one hour every morning every day. BE CAREFUL of hypos! Walk with a snack. But you can actually walk that off. What do I mean?

I mean, regular walking exercise coupled with proper diet and rest can make hypoglycemic attacks a rare experience. I haven’t had one in a very long time, and I eat only three meals a day and no snacks!

If you have cardiovascular problems, monitor your heart rate. Consult your doctor to find out what your optimum heart rate should be during any physical activity.

Effective walking comes in many flavors

You can do it anyway you want. This is the beauty of this form of exercise. However, do it briskly so you get the aerobic effect.

  • Walk the dog everyday. It will like it too.
  • Walk and listen to music. You may even choose your rhythm to help you keep pace.
  • Go play golf, and walk all over the greens.
  • Walk with your neighbor. It’s even OK to gossip about your other lousy neighbors until they join you.
  • Walk and learn a new language. It could take you to another country.
  • Walk and listen to an audio book – get smarter and fitter at the same time.
  • Walk while strolling the baby. This will definitely help you look like you’ve past 9 months.
  • Walk up and down the stairs for 15 minutes. It’s equivalent to walking for 30 minutes around your neighborhood.
  • Enjoy nature while you walk. You get the mental relaxation and fitness in one package.

There are many people out there sitting sick. They just need to get up and walk. Let their muscles know that they are alive (or want to be alive again.)It takes effort and determination to make regular exercise part of our lives.

You don’t have to run. And chances are, if you do you’ll soon “run out of steam.” Many people have started on an exercise program and soon find that the only thing they ever got was discouragement.

Don’t run, just walk. Remember the hare and the tortoise? Walk until you get there, first.

Copyright © 2006 by Bentley Thompson

Bentley writes about lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. He advocates the anti-diabetes diet which he describes on his website. You may visit his website and blog using the following URLs: [http://www.anti-diabetes-diet-supplements.com/] http://choosehealthtoday.blogspot.com

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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