I was talking to one of my clients yesterday about what great exercise walking is, when I realized that everyone else might want to know too!
Years ago, when I started my quest for fitness, I would walk my neighborhood. Eventually, I got an elliptical machine and a treadmill – I had always wanted to be a runner, and was finally able to make that happen through the help of the treadmill. I spent hours on each of those until I started running outside & the rest is history.
I was a gym rat for a really long time, spending countless hours on the cardio machines – even on perfectly beautiful days because I thought that I was burning tons of calories that way.
One of the most fun aspects of the bodybugg, is discovering how many calories each of my activities burns. For example: cleaning the house can burn 5 Calories per minute, preparing dinner & cleaning up is around 3, doing laundry about 2.5 – but still that’s more than sitting at my computer, which is about 1.
So that’s everyday activity. What about exercise? When I run, I can burn anywhere between 10 & 11 Calories per minute, treadmill is 1 calorie lower. The elliptical is about 7-8, same for the rowing machine. What’s shocking for me is that walking in my neighborhood burns about 5.5 – 6 calories per minute, which is 1 calorie more than bicycling! So on days when my body doesn’t want to run, it makes no sense to me to spend the day inside on the elliptical when I can be outdoors walking for just a little longer for the same calorie burn.
You don’t need special equipment to get started (a good pair of shoes helps!) & there aren’t any health risks associated with walking (disclaimer: if you’re extremely overweight or have a history of heart problems, check with your physician before starting any exercise program). And, as mentioned in this article, there are tons of health benefits including:
- Reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing high cholesterol
- Reducing body fat
- Enhancing mental wellbeing
- Increasing bone density
- Reducing the risk of cancer of the colon
- Helping to control body weight
- Helping osteoarthritis
- Helping to increase flexibility and co-ordination
I’ve rediscovered walking. I find it completely relaxing & rejuvinating. The weather here in Austin is gorgeous these days & the weather around the country is changing to spring time. It’s time to get out & enjoy such fantastic exercise. The most awesome thing about walking is that everyone can do it.