Walking is a man’s best medicine – Socrates
There was a time in the not too distant past when I would have inwardly groaned when people extolled the virtues and health benefits of walking. After all how could an activity that barely raised my heart rate above 130bpm be remotely beneficial? I wrongly assumed walking was the prescription for severely unfit people or the very elderly and infirm.
I should preface by saying that I was an avid gym junkie, 5 even 6 days a week of high intensity training, be it weights, cardio or a mixture of both. I felt invigorated and energized during and for a short period after the workout, but invariably I would experience low energy, a ravenous craving to consume sugar-laden food and disrupted sleep patterns. A layer of stubborn fat clung to my lower belly despite have sculpted arms and legs.
What I have now come to realize is that over exercising increases cortisol levels and leads to all the unwanted side effects mentioned above. It took me 5 years of trial and error to conclude that instead of beasting myself a gentler more mild form of daily exercise might suffice.
For the past months I have walked pretty much everyday for forty-five minutes to an hour and have noted far more benefits than endless hours of toiling away at the gym. My weight has dropped whilst still retaining muscle, my sleep has been sound and uninterrupted and I don’t feel that constant feeling of anxiety and adrenaline that intense exercise produces.
This is not to say that walking is my sole form of exercise, I also train with weights three times a week, for strength and muscle building and visit my local Pilates studio, Heartcore, on occasion. I adore restorative yoga to relax, stretch and unwind. I also get a real buzz from my one day a week high intensity work out, my favorite of all time is Shaun T’s Insanity.
So if like me you want a different pace of workout with amazing health and fitness benefits, put your shoes on and simply walk out your door.
Leggings – Lucas Hugh available to buy at Fashercise
Sports Bra – Bodyism available to buy at net-a-porter
Walk in the fresh air as opposed to a treadmill
Walk quickly with intention
Unplug from all electronic devices, treat as a moving meditation
You must walk for at least 45 minutes to get the fat burning benefits