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Jul 13

KISS: Keep it Simple, Silly!

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T. 

Walking

 

Tonight’s blog is simple, intentionally.  Things don’t always have to be complicated or “just perfect”.  Wow!!!  I really must be recovering from being a perfectionist if I actually just wrote that last sentence!!  Sometimes a plan is what we need.  Sometimes all we need to do is keep it simple, silly!!

Did you know that one of the easiest ways to boost your overall health is by walking?  Yup, walking!!  Simple, right?  I can hear the fanatics now…”that is such a waste of time.”

Calm down!

I’m not saying you’ll get shredded, or competition lean by merely walking.  I’m just saying you can get healthier.  You could lower your blood pressure, improve your diabetes, sleep better, feel less stressed, enjoy better digestion, and, yes, you can even lose fat if that’s your goal.

 

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but there is a huge movement afoot in the fitness industry preaching hard-core training. “If exercise is good, super hard exercise must be better!”  If “some exercise is good, more exercise must be fantastic!”  I hear people refer to working out as “doing battle”. I see posts on my newsfeed of trainers saying such things as, “I made two people puke in class today!!” and those students responding, “it was awesome!”…like this is a badge of honor.

In reality, it’s very sad.

Vomiting is a sign that your body is in distress. That’s not what you should (ever) be trying to achieve with your workout. Trust me, I have worked out VERY hard.  I have left bootcamp and boxing sessions dripping in sweat.  I have done enough repetitions weight training that it was hard for me to use the toilet, get in my car, or raise my arms.  I push myself.  When I’m working out, I’m working out.  I completely get that part.

I can tell you, though, I have never puked.  Guess what else, I never plan to.

It’s not necessary.

No matter whether your goal is to lose fat, or get better at a particular sport.

Vomiting provides zero benefit.  It’s absolutely not necessary.

 

And exercise doesn’t have to be hard-core to provide benefits.  Walking works!  The American Heart Association, Diabetes Association, and dozens of other health care associations preach its benefits.  30 minutes a day can help you reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Walking has numerous cognitive benefits and helps to alleviate stress.  It aids in digestion when you walk after eating.

It’s simple but it’s very good for you, silly!

 

While walking itself can be easy to do, getting started with a plan to do it (or any kind of exercise at all, for that matter) on a regular basis can be a bit more challenging.

Here are three challenges that I frequently hear, and suggestions for how you might address each one.

 

1.  I don’t have enough time.

Who does? You have to make exercise a priority. The thing is, few of us have an extended time to workout every day.  Maybe you can’t fit in 30 minutes.

Do what you can!

If you can only walk for 5 minutes, do it for 5 minutes. If you only have an extra 10 minutes, do it for 10 minutes.

Is this going to provide an optimal level of cardiovascular exercise for health or fitness? No. Is this 5 or 10 more minutes than you would have done otherwise? YES!!

 

2.  It’s cold (or hot), raining, snowing, or too humid (or too dry).

I’ve lived in Maine and Nevada so I know about extreme weather!  We can’t control it.  Sometimes it doesn’t even seem like we can accurately predict it.

Is there a way you can work with the weather?  Could you walk earlier or later (when it might not be as hot)? Can you carry an umbrella and learn to enjoy a walk in the rain?

Can you walk somewhere inside?  Could you walk at the gym, in the mall, or even in your office building? The Baltimore Airport actually has a marked out fitness loop right inside the airport! I’ve walked more than a few flights of stairs at my hotel.

 

3.  I don’t know how to get started and I can’t walk very far at this point.

Just do it. Don’t worry about how long or how fast you’re walking in the beginning. Do what you can, when you can, where you are right now.

Walk at a pace that is comfortable for you. Walk as far as you can, or for as long as you have. As time goes on, push yourself a little – either walk a little faster, a littler further, or both.

 

References:

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-to-walk-more-this-year/#axzz3fpEhfYWb

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/03/dc13-0084.abstract

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0081098

 

2 comments

  1. emilia m.

    yup. totally agree 🙂 Just adding one thing: I`ve never thought I can run. Till I discovered the Couch to 5k program 😀 turns out – I can. And I do run. 😀
    on the puke subject – yeah. I also consider it not necessary… some people will do it though, even those who are fit overall. It is easy just to push oneself that touch too far… 😉

  2. Francene Stanley

    That oughta’ get people motivated. It’s a great idea to start small, do as much as you can, and then make walking a habit. It’s free too.

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