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Walking: Why You Need To Start

Updated: Sep 17, 2018

The tendency in the fitness world is to always think that more is better.  More training volume, more intensity, more reps, or more time spent in the gym; whatever the particular metric is, greater numbers are generally thought to be superior.  And to be honest, this is not an entirely bad mentality to have.  It can drive people to achieve amazing things both in the gym and beyond, it can propel them towards greatness, it can be the catalyst for progress and the destroyer of procrastination, and it can truly elevate a human's level of performance and personal sense of accomplishment.  But it can also and very easily be taken to a fault, because it most certainly is not always the best approach to take, and in fact quite the opposite can be true--the idea that "less is more" is not just a clever saying, it is an absolute fact in certain situations.  My blog about workout intensity dives into this concept, demonstrating that higher volume is not always the best approach, and that restraint can sometimes be wiser.  This blog will focus on a movement that very much goes along with this, one which perfectly demonstrates that less can absolutely be more, and shows that an activity does not need have a big impact in the moment to be able to render a powerful effect on the body.  It is one of the most basic activities a human can engage in, one that we have been doing as a species for thousands and thousands of years to a great degree of success: walking.

If you have read my blog about the lifestyle factors that affect fat metabolism, then you are aware that our amount of overall daily activity can have a big impact on certain metabolic functions, and from that standpoint alone it should not be neglected; to me, walking definitely belongs in the category of "activity" rather than "exercise".  To be sure, the effects go far beyond just a facilitation of fat loss, and include benefits that apply to almost every area of health and fitness.  Walking can positively affect our psychological state, the health and efficiency of our brain, the integrity of our joints, the proper balance of our hormones.  

And of course it keeps our metabolism functioning in a healthy way, while boosting our ability to mobilize our fat stores.  The low intensity nature of the activity trains our oxidative (fat-burning) pathway moreso than other types of activity, no matter what a heart rate scale may indicate to you while you are training on an elliptical or a recumbent bike.  Even without getting into the particulars, using very basic and almost invariably correct "primal logic", walking is something that we should be doing on a regular basi