Ok, so maybe in my world this seems underrated.
These days, its all about the high intensity, all out, kill yourself workouts. Right? And guess what, I LOVE those. I’m enjoying weightlifting right now, but I always notice after a few weeks of weight lifting (which I usually seem to crave when my body is worn out from doing too much high intensity), I have an itch for a high intensity circuit. It’s how I’m wired. I love short bursts, sprints, box jumps, and sweating. However….
It wasn’t until the last year or so that I discovered just how beneficial walking is. And I’m not really talking about just getting in your steps. I honestly don’t count my steps. I trust as a nurse I’m getting enough 😉 I’m talking about counting a walk as your workout.
A few years back, I designed all my workouts and went high intensity from minute 1-60. Which, is a tad ridiculous! And a little hilarious looking back seeing as though I’m rarely working out for a full hour anymore…When you see HIIT workouts and circuits, they’re usually designed to be anywhere from 10-30 minutes. I was way overdoing it. But that’s what I loved at the time!
Then, I started Kayla Itsines’ BBG guide. In her guide, she incorporates “LISS”, aka Low Intensity Steady State cardio 2-3x/week. Her biggest recommendation? Walking.
Some benefits I found from incorporating walking as a form of LISS:
–Recovery: I wasn’t so tired all. the. time. Your body is just not meant to be going “balls to the walls” every day of the week. We need movement but movement that aides in rest and and recovery as well. With that said, walking really helped me find a balance and helped me to learn to listen to my body. My body craves those days now where walking is going to be my workout of the day. I still usually break enough of a sweat that I get that bit of endorphin rush, but my body feels relaxed too.
–Enhances other workouts: it aides your other workouts, too! If you aren’t killing yourself every day, your other workouts, whether dance, lifting, running, etc, are going to be more effective!
–Relaxation: LISS was relaxing for me. I could go on a 35-40 m walk in the quiet. Or I could listen to a podcast/music. It is such a good excuse to take your workout outside! Or sometimes I enjoyed getting on the treadmill with my ear phones and watching Live with Kelly 😉
–Healthy heart: I’m a nurse, and used to be a nurse on an adult floor with several cardiac patients. Working with these patients reminded me of the real reason why exercise is important. It’s easy to get caught up in the endorphins and the vanity of working out! But working out prevents all kinds of chronic and deathly disease. Walking in particular is great for heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk for diabetes (or lower blood sugar), all of which put you at risk for cardiovascular disease and strokes. Source
–The views: because if you take it outside…
The biggest thing walking did for me is help me understand how to format a healthy workout schedule. I find my body feels best when I alternate days between high intensity and lower intensity. I encourage you, if the weather is nice, to take your workout outside in the early morning. At least, that’s MY favorite way to go. However, on the other side of things, incline walking can most definitely be made into a pretty intense sweat. Here’s a variation of what I do some days on the treadmill when I want a little more cardio than a casual walk (I don’t live near many hills either…), but I’m not in the mood for a high intensity circuit or a run, either.
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a personal trainer. This is just a workout I’ve done and enjoyed, and I encourage you to seek a medical professional (your MD) before beginning this or any exercise regimen.
Also, I do NOT know your fitness levels and I am not a personal trainer, so I designed this for myself and my personal levels in mind. The idea is to spend the first 8 ish minutes warming up, and then to do 4 minutes of a more intense, higher heart rate walk, and 4 minutes of a steady, but I don’t necessarily want to talk at the same time kind of walk. Adjust the speed/incline for your fitness levels! and be safe! You can also just hop on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes and play around with the incline! 🙂
Try this, go on a hike, or walk the dog! Your body will love you for it 🙂
–Do you incorporate walking into your routine?
-Do you do any other sort of LISS?
-Outside? Or in the gym?