I’m putting on the tough love hat a bit here.
I would never discourage anyone from walking more. It is a great thing to do. Period.
However, if you would like to really take advantage of the opportunities life presents, then you are going to have to train for those higher level priveleges with more than just walking.
First let’s look at what other things you might do to increase your capabilities. What is suggested by the experts?
The World Health Organisation talk about accumlating at least 150mins of moderate exercise per week (slightly out of breath intensity) and doubling it to 300 mins would increase the benefits you would enjoy even more. They also suggest 2 resistance based exercise sessions per week, focussing on all major muscle groups performing repetitions in the range of 12-15, choosing a load that is quite challenging at the end of that rep range.
There are two new areas beyond cardiovascular and musculoskeletal (resistance/strength) training that are now recommended. They are flexibility and neuromotor – “Neuromotor exercise training incorporates various motor skills, including balance, coordination, gait, agility, and proprioceptive training”.
This is why we aim to present our clients with all types of activities that cover these important bases of health, fitness and let’s face it, performance. You might be saying that “I don’t need to be an athlete, just feel better”. I get that, but think how you must respond if you trip on a kerb when walking in the street. Unless your reflexes kick in and you make a quick and agile adjustment, you are likely to fall and hurt yourself.
We like to prepare all our clients for the real world aka ‘useful fitness’ and the ability to move distances manually without feeling exhausted (we are talking cycling, swimming, jogging and yes even walking -cardiovascular ‘fitness’), pick up relatively heavy things without hurting muscles (strength training) or bend and twisting sometimes awkwardly to grab something from the shelf (flexibility work) or balancing on one leg whilst you put your socks or pants on in the morning (neuromotor training) is what living a full and capable life is all about.
Definitely walk as much as you can everyday but know that what you don’t use, you lose or what you don’t practice you can’t master and living a full and fun life is a dynamic challenge that we need to train for. Unfortunately we can’t hold on to the natural gifts of our youth for ever with out doing something purposeful to maintain them.