We all wish to improve our health and get in tip-top shape. While there are a variety of methods that an individual can use to pursue their goals, one thing is for sure: there is no small debate as to the preferred methods. Should I run, do Pilates or Zumba, purchase a gym membership or follow the next infomercial fitness craze? This discussion has been underway FOREVER!
I think it’s imperative that we make room for both style and substance when it comes to workout selection. Surely, it’s always wise to stick to evidence-based methods and whether we’re talking aerobic, anaerobic or cross training, there is a bevy of science extolling the health benefits of exercise across our lives. The data is in and it looks promising: exercise is about as close to a Fountain-of-Youth as we are going to get. Physical training renders resilient virtually every aspect of human anatomy and improves quality and quantity of life, big-time.
But people get testy, overthinking it. There is a sense that we have to constantly build a better mousetrap, pushing ourselves to the edge in order to get a workout in. And for lack of the most intense experience possible – Olympic lifting, MMA or obstacle racing, for instance, we often overlook the most basic, tried and true techniques – things that we can do forever!
I’m talking about WALKING, you dopes!
Walking is a tonic for both mind and body. Rain or shine, you hit the road or path and step it out. Walk out in nature to do some “forest bathing.” Go solo or take a friend along; bring your dog! Taking a stroll gives your cardiovascular system a reasonable workout, and this is all about improving blood flow = circulation of oxygen and nutrients to every cell in your body. We NEED to circulate to percolate! Accumulated wastes, byproducts of our cells working, are also eliminated when blood flow is optimal. Everything works better on a walk-about. Muscles, bones, and joints are challenged and mobilized. These tissues become stronger with training. Walking limbers you up, too, making you a more efficient machine. Your Tin Man is thereby oiled.
And you might have heard about all of the great ideas that famous folks come up with in the shower. Essentially, the reality of this phenomenon is that, when bathing, or say, taking a walk, at last we find ourselves isolated from the minutia…the brain-zapping bullshit that occupies every waking moment. So in, “Walking it out to work it out,” we have an opportunity to solve our problems on the move. Our entire being is freed of concern about mundane tasks and all we need do is put one put in front of the other foot. This allows us to decompress and focus instead on the things that matter.
Maybe listen to this classic song, from Revenge of the Nerds, to get you psyched: