Walking is NOT for Wimps

January 31, 2011

This past week in my Weight Watchers meeting we talked about movement. Yes, that kind of movement, as in move your butt, or Move More Eat Less. If you’ve been around the weight loss block you know it is an essential part of losing weight, and even beyond that, an essential part of just being healthy!

I’m going to tell you a secret. When I first started my weight loss journey, I didn’t think movement was an essential component of the journey. Serious. So serious in fact that I didn’t do any extra movement as I lost my first 50 pounds. While this thinking might have been flawed, I actually believe that being able to focus on one thing – my food – for those 50 pounds, helped ensure my future success. Doing too much too soon can be overwhelming. I focused on what I felt I could control most at that moment… and exercise was not it at the time.

Then nearly 2 years ago, after losing those 50 pounds… I found myself confronted everywhere by the message that in order to keep getting healthy and remain so I would need to MOVE my body. I needed to do something… anything. I started to walk in the late afternoons, but quickly I got bored and gave up. I figured out quickly that my barrier to moving more was time. With a little one, and a full-time job outside of the home, I didn’t have the time to exercise, and if I did I had major mom-guilt about leaving my son to… gasp… do something good for myself. Moms… you know this is true… how many of you just shouted out an “Amen sista”?

It was then that I discovered Curves – 30 minutes of circuit training 3-5 days a week, was the commitment. I could do that, and I did. I went religiously, and watched my weight and inches continue downward. It was the perfect fit.

Last spring, I felt compelled to do more. I loved the Curves circuit, but I wanted more cardio. So I decided to run a 5k, and did my first on June 12th with some of my Weight Watchers buddies. Since then I’ve been running 3-4 days a week, and loving it...

So… back to last week’s Weight Watchers meeting. The challenge we were left with was do something new to move your body. I thought about it for a day or so… I already run, I already do weights, I already do the elliptical, I’m not so keen on the bike… and don’t even mention Group Fitness Class to my ears. So… what’s a girl to do? I mean, I have this exercise thing figured out, this challenge is obviously really not for me. Then it dawned on me… so simple and in front of me the whole time… WALK! Now, I had already been doing some interval work at the gym the past week, so I had been walking a little, but I mean a long, fast, walk.

So on Saturday I headed out to the treadmill nearest me, and walked at 3.9 mph for 50 minutes. What did I learn? WALK is a four letter word… that’s what. Holy moly, I was sore. I’m talking I had have shin splints sore, I didn’t want to sit on my behind sore. Per my heart rate monitor, I still got a great cardio workout – although more in the fat burning zone vs. the fitness zone, and I apparently used some muscles that running doesn’t tap into. WOW!

What’s my point in this long-winded, hope you’re still reading this, story?
First of all walking is an amazing exercise, go do it:
-- It’s free.
-- It's easy access.
-- You don’t need any fancy equipment… just a good pair of athletic shoes.
-- Anyone can do it; even if you have to start with only 1 minute… you can do still it!
-- It’s a powerful workout – you’ll be making your heart and muscles stronger, with every step.

But my most important point - You have to mix it up sometimes. This goes with exercise, but also anything in life. I tricked myself into thinking that running was the only workout for me. I was wrong! There are lots of workouts that I can use to keep me interested, motivated, and keep my muscles well balanced.

Take it from the girl that is walking funny from the shin splints… walking is NOT for wimps!

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  1. Great post and message! I need to remember to move more. I forget that part all to often!

  2. Great post! Sometime we forget how important walking can be!

  3. I've walked the Breast Cancer 3-Day twice. Walking is definitely not for wimps. :) If you can get your arms moving as you are walking, you can get a total body workout. Loved this post!

  4. Such a good post, Sarah. People forget that walking is a wonderful way to lose weight - that's how I did it. And you're right, it isn't for wimps! I still do retro walking (backwards on the treadmill) and that really burns the legs!

  5. walking is great and you can take in so much more of your surroundings walking than you do running! Great post!


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