Many assume that long or hard exercise alone seems worthwhile, avoiding walks. Trainees often lift weights a few times a week. They never really push themselves and go through the motions.
They do complex muscle group splits. They feel the burn with many reps, sets, and exercises. Despite this, they use the same weights year after year. They wonder why they have little to show for their time. They jog for miles on end for their off days, yet ask them to sprint up a flight of stairs. You find they need to put a hand on your shoulder and catch their breath for 20 minutes.
They assume more work equals more results. Remember though, exercise can only stimulate change. It breaks down the body. Only in the right amount can it give you benefits. Otherwise, you will overtrain or undertrain. You feel worse if working too hard, and waste precious time if not applying any effort.
If you train intensely and make every effort to progress, you will feel drained after your workouts. Everyone should strive to grow as strong and fit as possible.
How much food you eat determines how big you are, not the way you train. Heavy training can only optimize your muscle to fat ratio. You cannot make something from nothing. Upset by the thickness of your legs or waist? Do not blame the squats or planks. Instead blame overeating.
You should work so hard on getting your heart rate up and lifting weights that you need days to recover and allow for progression. On the off days, going for a long jog will only slow your recovery. It will beat up your joints and waste your time.
Benefits of Walking
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Consider going for a brief walk. You can gain major health benefits. You will feel a mood and productivity boost. It can wake you up due to the release of chemicals from exercise, acting as a signal for alertness. You gain concentration, allowing you to plow through the monotonous steps needed to achieve greatness. It can improve your skin, brain, and sex life. Many of these effects come from better circulation. We also need exercise to regulate our daily rhythms. This leads to better sleep.
You need not walk longer than 20 minutes. Go at whatever pace feels right. Research has shown that walking or light aerobic activity can stimulate faster recovery. It speeds up the removal of by-products from fatigue. It assists the flow of materials to rebuild tissue throughout the body.
The aerobic system works during any activity of a long duration, including when you rest. Therefore, all recovery depends on this system. If you do something mildly stimulating, it keeps it running efficiently. This leads to better recovery even from intense lifting, and also explains why those focusing on adding muscle and strength should still get in good shape.
The low impact of walking also limits injury. Proper exercise should always feel safe.
I need to make one thing clear. Walking feels too easy to work as good exercise for any purpose. It can burn a small amount of calories, but nothing worthwhile. It fails to create much tension, lactic acid, or out-of-breath sensations. Anyone hoping to look and feel much better through walking is misguided. You need more muscle to become your best. Nonetheless, it allows you to stay active. It ranks better than nothing, but should never form the basis of any program.
A sedentary lifestyle leads to health problems. Your body did not adapt to sit for long days and we remain seated for far too long.
Most people engage in boring, pointless work that they hate. This increases stress. Working hard only to reach the weekend, only to waste away your body by poisoning it, time after time, takes its toll. You may have family, friends, and some cool stuff, but eventually may wake up one day to find that you never really lived your life. You have poor relationships, meager life experiences, and stress bearing down on both your shoulders.
Instead of improving your lot in this life, you lower your standards, then continue with the grind. No wonder we live unhealthy lives. Combine modern troubles with a lack of exercise, too many calories, and plenty of missed dreams. This forms a horrible, passionless recipe. This makes it impossible to feel truly happy.
Walk for Many Reasons
Use walking to bring back a healthy and hopeful mindset. Maybe it can reignite the courage in you to take back your life. At the very least, you will feel and recover better. It allows you to train everyday without surpassing your limits.
For fitness, I recommend either working very hard, or taking it easy. I see little value for the work in the middle unless you need this as an athlete. This means to avoid long distance work such as jogging for endless miles. This harms the joints and works inefficiently.
Spend your time more wisely. You will find that productive exercise is brief. Take both aerobics and weightlifting seriously. This requires no more than a hour or two at the most per week. This means using intervals that efficiently raise the heart rate. Lift heavy weights with some basic exercises. Always try to progress.
Consider walking as an alternative to another workout. Get the health benefits without interfering with your hard work. Consider walking for health and recovery.