Will Walking Keep You Functionally Fit?
One of the questions we always ask people in our Ignitable Fitness program is, “what are you currently doing for exercise?”
At least 80% of the time, they say “walking”.
Some might disagree with me, but walking is NOT exercise.
In the NYT best selling book Younger Next Year, they define exercise as something that gets the heart rate up high enough so a normal conversation is unable to continue.
Walking is AWESOME and we should all do more of it. Any movement is better than sitting on our butts. So I am not knocking it.
But, if we want to age and function at a high level, we MUST do more.
We MUST focus on strengthening the muscles, which will lessen our risk of falling and allow us to continue things like hiking, biking and playing ball with our grandkids. It will also strengthen the bones lessening the chances of osteoporosis.
We MUST get our heart rate to higher levels to increase circulation of our blood, strengthen the walls of the heart and give us those “feel good” hormones.
We MUST focus on core stabilization exercises that will keep our spine safe and upright and generate power for things like tennis and golf.
We MUST focus on proprioceptive (Big word! Definition below in the PPS.) exercises that teach our body to balance and recover from near falls.
You see walking won’t do much of any of this. Now, if you are extremely overweight and walking gets you breathing hard, then it IS exercise, and please do it. Fast walking up a hill would be another example that could be considered exercise for most. I know when I power walk up a steep hill, I am out of breath.
The challenge when we age is to find things that get the heart rate up without putting knees and other joints in a high impact state. This is why we love to do things like inchworms, step ups and wood chops as great low impact tools in our Ignitable Fitness training sessions.
Whatever your age, I want to encourage you to make sure you have all the above components in your workout routine.
Committed to your success,
PS. One of my favorite quotes that I came up with for my clients is: “Train hard now so that when you are out and about in the world things will become so much easier.”
PPS. Proprioception: The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding
position, motion, and equilibrium. Even if a person is blindfolded, he or she knows
through proprioception if an arm is above the head or hanging by the side of the
body. (from MedicineNet.com)