Walking – a leisure activity enjoyed by the elderly or a genuine source of cardiovascular fitness? Going for a run is becoming more and more popular but people are starting to ask whether going for a walk is a genuine alternative. Maybe it is an overlooked form of exercise that we could all benefit by trying to do a little bit more.
Let’s not forget that the option to run isn’t always available to us. I’m sure you can imagine a time when you have been coming back from an injury and the only thing you want to do is become active again. Depending on the severity of the injury that might be as much as being able to get out of bed. Sometimes it is important to keep active, even when we are injured. In this scenario walking is the perfect form of exercise.
As you get older, training becomes harder. An unfortunate fact of life I am afraid. Every exercise you do will eventually become more difficult and put more strain on your body. So you need alternative forms of exercise that your body can keep up with. I am not for one minute suggesting that we should all start running but we should be aware of the strain it puts on our joints. Walking allows similar bodily movements with less exertion and therefore strain.
At the end of the day walking doesn’t have to act as an alternative to running. If you run for cardio then you have most likely made it a specific part of your training regime. Walking doesn’t have to be like this. In our day-to-day lives there is always somewhere that we can incorporate a walk. Whether it is that one mile bus journey or when we hop in the car to run down to the shop. I doubt there is anyone that can honestly say they do as much walking as they possibly can.
You aren’t going to be able to replace all the cardio you do with walking, that is not what I am getting at. But especially for us that train regularly, we are often guilty of neglecting cardio. The benefits it has for us now and in later life is extraordinary. Neglecting it really is a mistake.
Any increase in cardiovascular exercise is likely to help you reach your goals a little bit quicker. If you are looking to cut it is essential to strip away that body fat and if you are looking to lose weight overall then the first thing you need to do is up your cardio levels. It’s great for your fitness today and essential for your health in the future. We all know that regular exercise reduces the risk of getting all sorts of illnesses in later life.
Going for a walk doesn’t have to be a chore and it certainly should not be boring. Go with friends, choose a challenging terrain and take in some wonderful scenery! This all makes going for a walk both a great leisure activity and perfect piece of cardio.