7. You can potentially get way more exercise in if walking is your form of exercise.
It is the difference between 1-2 hours of exercise and the potential of 10+ hours of movement. One of the ways we reward ourselves for exercising is by taking it easy for the rest of the day. See #1 for more on this.) We end up getting a lower amount of total movement than if we had walked for entertainment and recreation, to do errands or commute to work. And the best thing is that the more you walk, the more you can walk. It is definitely a skill you can build on too.
6. You’ll build a better bootie.
When you use an optimal gait pattern (one which uses your posterior leg and gluteous muscles) your glutes get toned.
5. You will recharges your batteries.
Studies have shown that walking – especially outside in nature – helps with depression and stimulates creative thinking while relaxing your mind.
4. It is the most efficient exercise you can do.
You use more of your body and more muscle groups when you are walking than you do with any other exercise, and with no cost – see #3.
3. Walking has little (or no) physiological cost, only gain.
There is a physiological cost to your joints, muscles and internal organs when you exercise hard. For example cardiac tissue gets micro tears from high intensity distance running. Your body repairs tears like this in about a week, but if you do high intensity workouts more often, the muscle does not have time to complete its repair and starts to build scar tissue. But you can walk everyday without needing recovery time.
2. It is free.
It can even save you money if you walk rather than drive or use public transit. I am anticipating a comment from someone who says they walk in a gym on a treadmill and pay a membership, therefore it isn’t free. Ok…but you *can* walk outdoors for free. And walking on a treadmill doesn’t use your posterior leg muscles as much, so reason number 6 – not so much.
1. Walking helps you avoid exercise crashes.
You know how when you are exercising hard and afterwards you crash? Maybe you have to take to your couch for the rest of the day (due to pain and fatigue) or are ravenous and end up eating a bunch of food you probably wouldn’t even eat ordinarily – or both. When I taught fitness classes, a lot of the time I crashed after teaching a class. Sometimes I rewarded myself with food, but mainly it was fatigue and low level pain that caused my crashes.
No one is saying you need to give up your class (or biking, running, etc.) However exercise comes with a disclaimer: if you constantly push yourself to the brink, or beyond, of injury and/or exhaustion AND you get less overall movement as a result, your exercise practice is bringing you a step closer to down-time, than a step towards health.
For a more detailed explanation of this you can check out Katie Bowman’s blog post Junk Food Walking.