Walking for health

in #exercise3 months ago

I think that most people probably don't tend to their health as much as they should. We all have some sort of excuse as to why we don't exercise a great deal. Mine was usually that I was too tired after work, and at one point in my life I got so overweight that my excuse was that exercise hurt my knees - which was true but the reason why it was hurting my knees was because of the fact that I don't exercise.

Unless you are extremely obese people don't generally get hurt from light exercise like walking and there are a ton of benefits that simple exercise can do for you that might be far better than you are expecting.


I recently ran across an rather long article that was released by the Australian government regarding the benefits of simply walking. It's very long and detailed and probably at least in part motivated by the state-sponsored health-care system in Australia that we do not have here in America, but if you really want to dig into the benefits of simply walking, that is a very good read with a lot of good points.

Some of them should be very evident such as the fact that moving in any capacity really, is going to benefit your overall health in a cardiovascular sense but there is so much more than that.

Have you ever had a relative that just seemed to be brittle and would break easily? Well a lot of this comes from ending up with decreased bone density and strength. And a lot of that comes from the fact that as people get more and more wrapped up in their careers they don't exercise at all and start making excuses for not exercising such as having "no time" - which is almost always a lie or an excuse. Everyone has 30 minutes in their day to just go for a walk.

This is really all that it takes and there are a lot of other things that you can combine with the walking that will also benefit your life. You could listen to an audio-book, learn bits and pieces of a new language, or simply get some podcast on your menu that provides you with useless "pub quiz" type information that you could wow your friends with all the stupid things that you know that are actually true.

Some people think to themselves that walking doesn't burn very many calories but this is one of the great myths of cardiovascular exercise. Did you know that the amount of calories burned by walking a kilometer and jogging a kilometer are basically the same? Well it's true and there have been tons of studies to back this up. Obviously jogging or running is going to get your lungs into better shape as well as your muscles, but for people that are struggling to get any exercise at all, trying to get into running or jogging may as well be impossible. However, almost all people without disabilities or severe obesity, are capable of walking and probably a lot further than they think they can as well.

Take me for example.


This guy weighs 250 lbs. He pretends to be happy and many days he actually is because generally speaking he has a lot of friends and gets along with most people. However, the clown that appears on the outside is actually kind of crying a bit because he hates the person that he sees in the mirror with his shirt off. One day, he decided that instead of driving to the pub to meet his friends every day, that he was going to go and do light - and I mean extremely light - exercise for about an hour a day. That consisted mostly of just walking and nothing more. He listened to music and just walked. He would later find that he would run into people that he knew when he was walking and they would walk together and talk, he learned a lot more about his friends and their friendships expanded because of this.

It took a while, but eventually those walks turned into mostly walks mixed in with some jogging. This lead to starting to mind what he ate a bit and it eventually lead to him joining a gym and getting into gaining some level of muscles. That guy started to like the person in the mirror and his entire life improved because of this.

The person in the picture is me.

I was at a dark time in my life when that photo was taken because I had basically just given up on life or the notion of ever being in good shape again one day. I was an athlete to some level for most of my life so this blowing up in size was especially taxing on me. I never exercised and instead just met my friends at the pub every day.

I'll be honest with you, I STILL meet my friends at the pub more often than not but I no longer make that the central focus of my life. My central focus in life isn't exercise either. I have achieved balance and one of the main things that I do to achieve balance is that I go on walks, sometimes I go on very long walks. The other day I headed out to walk and maybe jog and mainly just walked. Next thing I knew I had walked 20 km and it was 3 and half hours later. I felt thirsty, but otherwise wasn't very tired. Since I was walking I had stopped multiple times and bought some water and although I didn't listen to anything because I didn't bring my headphones, I had a lot of time to think and was able to sort some things out that were going on in my life. It was one of the most productive 3.5 hours that I had had in a really long time.

Later I would look at my Strava readout and found that I had burned nearly 1500 calories as well. I realize that this is only like a single extra-value meal at McDonalds but honestly, we should all be eating less of that crap than we do anyway.

I tell so many of my friends about it that are a bit enamored with the shape that I am in: it doesn't have to be difficult. Exercise shouldn't be something you dread doing and who dreads a walk? A walk is really easy especially if you have some sort of nice outdoors area you are in. If you need financial incentive maybe even join one of those dog-walking groups that go around to people's houses and walk their dogs for payment. I know several people that do this some extra literal "walking around money."

There are a lot of reasons to remain lazy, and none of them are really good reasons. You can go for a walk, and you really should. The benefits extend well beyond just calories burned. There can be great social and mental health benefits as well. So get out there and get those legs moving!

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I have no academic qualifications for the things I say in here. Almost all I have learned comes from life experience and by doing things the wrong way the first time. Maybe you can learn from my mistakes so you don't have to make them yourself

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