Habitude Three ~ Walking
and Incidental Exercise
and Incidental Exercise
I'm pretty sure this is a snap shot of me (in my dreams)
Alright, maybe in one of my lifetimes I would like it to look like me.
I think if I squint really hard, turn my head to the side, it could pass for the me I want to be :-)
‘What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.’ ~C. S. Lewis
The underrated relative of running. The quiet achiever. Think Jonathan LaPaglia, younger brother of the more successful Anthony. Or one of the 'other' Baldwin brothers. Equally as productive and successful, without all the bells and whistles. Running might get all the glorified media attention; the four hour Saturday Iron Man broadcast, the full page newspaper ads about an upcoming Mother's Day Running Classic, the star studded attention at the olympics even. Pointing the finger at the glitz and glamour sprinters Usain Bolt and Florence Griffith-Joyner types. All the while poor underestimated walking gets mocked as a fake and funny looking sport. Yeap, that is walking. (but it is rather funny looking when done at a professional gait.)
Whilst running might need
flashy expensive name brand super supportive sneakers, you can walk anywhere - in flip flops if you choose. Or in Crocs. But I can't promise you won't get mocked. No need to take out a second mortgage to buy fancy pant singlets, or fancy pants even. Love Lorna Jane as much as the next Real Housewife of the Upper North Shore, but you can walk in your regular work outfit if you want. And definitely no Bjorn Borg style sweat bands required. But he was a hunk o spunk, wasn't he?
Lol. Remember him?
Walking doesn't require a gym membership.
It doesn't require NASA quality outlandishly expensive exercise equipment. Nope. Walking can be started right now. Yeap, now. Get up, walk to your letterbox, ta da, exercise started. Unless your letterbox is in another area code to your house, you may need to walk a little more than that though. But you get my gist. Just walk a little bit more each day, whilst performing all of your other activities. I believe the scientific description is 'incidental exercise' but I personally like to refer to it as common sense.
my 15 year old Ford station wagon is a brand new Lexus Rx450h and therefore I am happy to park it in the furtherest spot at the mall so it doesn't get scratched (because let's face it, most of us have been guilty of being too lazy - or say we're too busy - to park that far away). When you are given a choice between taking a set of stairs or a set of moving stairs (aka escalator) take the former option and work those glutes, or abs, or whatever the hell muscles make up the lower half of the body :-) Did you know that when you move the largest muscle group in your body - your legs - it is a power house engine that burns more fuel in your entire body!!
No need to perform complex
time consuming pre-work out stretches. Just walk. I haven't had to catch public transport in about 20 years (but that says more about Canberra than anything else - although there was that time in DC and NYC a few years ago) but they suggest you get off one stop early as a way of encouraging yourself to walk just that little bit further. Usually having claustrophobia is seen as a negative. But boy, I've walked up a lot of stairs in place of taking the lift. As a fun exercise in maths I counted the extra steps from my local little shop's teeny car park, and even that is an extra 180 steps every visit, which is usually 5 times per week. So i'm hoping all these extra steps in my day will make a subtle difference to my general health and well-being. Let me know some of the sneaky ways you get extra walking into your day.
But walking's reputation ain't all bad.
Strolls in the moonlight, on tropical beaches spring to mind. Walking the one you love (usually with four legs) around the park can be some of the more simple, yet joyful moments to your day. You don't hear about people running down the aisle to get married, do you? Nooo, you walk slowly so as to take in all the love and majesty of the occasion. Walking the Champs-Élysées is not chopped liver. You run down that baby and you'd miss all the good stuff; the intricate details of the century old buildings, the delicate croissants in the bakery window. Walking allows you to take up exercise whilst also enjoying some of your favourite pastimes - talking springs to mind! As does window shopping. Difficult to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a runner, lol. And do you know how many calories can be burned shopping for shoes?
I have been guilty
of being a tad lazy the past few years. Since I had surgery in my face, I've had issues with breathing. I had to give up running in 2006 and I was getting quite good at it. That was the last time I remember feeling really fit and healthy. But, I have been doing lots of research, and believe that walking is a safe and effective way to get back in to my exercise. I will be adding weights, strengthening and flexibility training in the coming months. They are habitudes for another day. Today is just walking. I spend a great deal of time reading down at the lake, watching everyone walk their dog. When I started my habitudes five weeks ago, I started to walk BEFORE I rewarded myself with reading whenever I went to the lake. I also LURVE the philosophy that you can walk for 5 minutes 6 times a day (when it's more manageable to fit between other tasks) and it does actually count for 30 minutes of exercise being completed each day. Happy walking peeps. Wish me luck on my new PERMANENT adventure of adding walking and incidental exercise into my lifestyle.