Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Walking... Better Than You Think


I think in a past life I was a short story writer, because I always find myself knee deep in a totally unnecessary intro story about a 2- maaaybe 3 minute occurrence that happened to spark an idea for a blogpost. So before I get too deep into this introduction.... I'm going to stop myself and (try to) get to the point....

So Saturday morning I had planned to attend an 8am spinning class at my local gym. I had all intentions of getting there early to start a new weight program my friend at work designed in order to prevent any summer wedding arm flabbiness... everything was going great... woke up early on my own, had some coffee, caught up on what I missed overnight on twitter and pulled into the parking lot with just the right amount of time to throw some weights around before class... only I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a large group of people milling around outside of the gym doors... after noticing some disgruntled faces, and further hearing bits and pieces of members' conversations... my worst fear of the morning was true - the gym was closed.

Something about a fire alarm and the fire department not being able to turn it off and because of this no one could go inside which met no spinning class for me.

No spinning class. No gym. No running.
With all my usual exercise outlets out of the picture I wasn't sure what to do. Initially, I was going to call the day a wash... but what kind of healthy blogger would I be if I did that! So instead of sulking around for the rest of the day, I dug deep and pulled out my inner Cathy Gilliam (that's my mom) and went out for a walk. I did 3 miles at a decent speed. Not only did I feel awesome about getting outside and getting my blood flowing, but surprisingly, I woke up the following morning... sore!

As a die-hard runner, opting to walk over run always seems like a failure... but is it?

The answer is no.
You can reap just as many benefits from *walking as you can from running.

Referring to calories burned... a person walking 5 mph and a person running 5 mph will burn the same amount of calories (given they weigh the same)  Check out this chart:

The thing to remember when exercising is that you will burn more calories at a higher intensity and you will burn more calories during a longer workout. A 45 minute casual walk will not burn as many calories as an intense 45 minute track workout, just as a ten minute walk won't burn as many calories as a 2 hour run. 

8 Benefits of Walking from Rodale.com
  • deflects diabetes
  • increased sex drive
  • saves on gym costs
  • decreased use of medication
  • can help fade fibromyalgia
  • can help beat breast cancer
  • reduces your risk of stroke
  • better mental health

So, the moral of my long-winded story?
  • Walking can be just as effective as running
  • Walking is 200 times better than sitting on the couch
  • Walking is a great form of exercise

So next time when you are kicked out of the gym, or your spinning class is filled up or you simply hate running... go for a walk.... you're doing more good for your body than you really think. 

Have a great Tuesday guys!

Stay Healthy,

*walking - this is not referring to a brisk pace... not a casual stroll in the park.

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