Can walking really help your health and fitness?
I’m a huge fan of walking. It’s the foundation of my fitness and I believe that it’s absolutely the best way to start getting fitter and healthier and is also the foundation for anyone’s health and fitness regime. Plenty of walking, which we call active transport, is getting yourself from point A to point B using your own muscles, your own blood flow and so on.
Walking is a great place to start, but it’s also highly effective. It can have an impact on other things that are important to us, like mood for example and energy levels. A study found recently that a brisk 10 minute walk per day resulted in an overall feel of increased mood and energy for up to two hours afterwards. And when participants did the 10 minutes every day for three weeks or more, they had overall increased mood and elevated energy as well throughout the whole day. So that’s just how important walking is.
If I take you back to ancestral times, as cavemen and cave women we would have been spending all day on our feet with lots of different movement patterns. They would have been out there throwing spears, hunting predators and being haunted by predators. We’d have also been foraging, scurrying, sharpening tools, squatting in the camp, sitting occasionally. We’d have been really, really active and we’d have been fit as a result of it.
Fitness really isn’t about the high intensity stuff you do, and it’s not really about the strength work you do. That obviously is important and has a place, but what’s really important for health and fitness is that basic daily life movement.
It’s active transport: it’s standing, not sitting, it’s walking, it’s being really mobile. So please don’t under appreciate the value of walking for a health or fitness regime. It’s a great place to start and it’s a great way to maintain a really solid base of fitness.
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