With all of the Fitbits and Apple Watches out there, it makes you wonder if walking for fitness is actually a valid form of exercise. Let’s face it, the amount of calories burned on a 1 hour walk is a lot less than the calories burned in a 1 hour workout class. When you look at it like that, walking seems ridiculous but my story about walking may change your mind.
About 5 years ago, I got sick of yo-yo dieting and I just decided I was going to stop worrying about diet and exercise. Saying it out loud is kind of horrifying, but it was true. I figured that I would gain some weight but I was generally a thin person and it wasn’t that big of a deal. Flash forward 6 months and I was shocked to find that I weighed more than ever. Even worse was that I gained weight where I never had a problem – my stomach. Now I know that my hormones exacerbated the situation.
In addition to weight gain, I was soooo out of shape. I tried going to the gym but I would go a few times and then give up. I actually thought, wow, this is what happens when you get older. You cross a line and you can’t get back to the other side. Honestly, the only thing I had energy for was walking. So, I committed to walking 1-2 miles every day. Eventually that turned into an hour of walking and then I heard about Fitbits and 10,000 steps. From the Fitbit, I graduated to the Apple Watch and decided walking for fitness would be my thing.
What were the results of all this walking?
- Somewhere along the way, I got in better shape and realized that you could turn your health situation around at any age. Getting back into shape gets harder as you get older but walking is an easy way to get things started.
- I lost all the weight. It wasn’t just due to the walking but walking was the catalyst for all the other changes I made.
- Any things that ailed me like a headache, feeling sick, back pain, and stress could be solved by getting out and going for a walk. It might not be the same for everyone but for me it works!
I started walking that first year, eventually made 10,000 steps a day a regular thing and lost the weight. The 2nd year, I kept up with 10,000 steps a day and according to my Apple Watch, I averaged 5.5 miles a day for a year. That’s over 2,000 miles of walking! Are you thinking of Forrest Gump right now? That’s a little how I felt and I moved on to other forms of exercise that were more challenging and took less time. I still go for walks with friends. It’s a great way to catch up and be healthy at the same time.
Why Would Someone Choose Walking for Fitness?
- You’re out of shape and you need an easy plan that you can actually stick to.
- Being outside and experiencing the world on foot appeals to you.
- You’re stressed out. Fresh air and walking clears the mind – it can be a 10 minute walk to regroup or an hour walk to think through some problems.
- You want a free exercise routine. The main investment for walking are great shoes – my favorite are Nike Free Run.
Walking for fitness made a huge difference in my life. It was a solution to a problem I didn’t know how to fix. After I got into my walking groove, I dropped sugar from my diet. I also bought a book about walking 10,000 steps a day in Los Angeles to find some fun things to see. All of this helped me get back on track. If you are wanting to get in shape, get your shoes on and get out the door!