WALKER TRAINING FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND FITNESS In her MyFitnessPal.com blog article, “Is Just Walking Enough to Lose Weight and Get in Shape?”, author Jessica Smith answers the questions posed right up front. Regarding weight loss, she indicates that yes, this activity can be helpful “so long as you are creating a calorie deficit.” As far as staying in shape goes, she says walking “is so beneficial that it’s worth adding to a healthy active lifestyle even if you are already a regular, more advanced exerciser.”
in my reading of the piece, Smith makes 2 great points:
1) Regular exercisers who sit most of the day can keep activity within the healthy range, without increasing gym time, by adding moderate-to vigorous intensity level walk breaks.
2) Walkers with weight loss or fitness goals should train to walk; include flexibility and strength work to gain stamina and remain injury-free. (note: it's the same advice that’s given to RUNNERS!)
I can imagine that some will read this second piece of advice and think they don’t need to pay attention. Walking is so natural, doing it doesn’t require additional training efforts, right? Wrong.
If walking is part of a program designed significantly increase aerobic fitness or decrease weight you’ll be doing it over sufficient distances or periods of time that supporting muscles and soft tissues will be tested. Stiffness can develop with extended or intense walking, just as it does with RUNNING. Poor flexibility can limit joint motion. Weak muscles can contribute to imbalances. Just as with running, pushing the body to move farther and faster will, over time, increase the risk of injury.
The bright side of following the advice given in her piece, Smith says, is that it will benefit overall health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that in addition to 150-300 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity per week, “adults should do muscle strengthening activities that are moderate- or high-intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week”.
The article includes links to a stretch routine and combination strength and cardio workout with dumb-bells.
The two points that were highlighted above from Smith's article might be re-stated:
1) Exercise that is confined to one part of the day may not be sufficient to insure good health; walking can be an easy-to-accomplish cross-training activity.
2) Walkers that train are athletes. Advice that pertains to running or exercising injury-free is the same for walking injury-free; walk like a smart runner.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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