Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fitness Walking

I used to think that fitness walking was a silly idea. Sure, a walk is great for clearing the head, and it is always important to stay fit, but I'd never thought of walking for fitness is a realistic possibility. I was a jogger, you see. If someone had used a term like aerobic walking when talking to me, I would assume that they were just using some kind of strange newfangled euphemism for jogging. After all, aren't they essentially the same activity? The only difference is that jogging is done faster and more vigorously, and hence makes a better aerobic exercise.
But of course, I suffered from the same denial that so many joggers suffer from. Jogging is great for your cardiovascular health, it is great for your metabolism, but it is not so great for your joints. It was only a matter of time before my jogging caused serious injuries. I was one of the lucky ones – I was able to make a full recovery, which many injured joggers are not able to do. But my doctor told me that my days of jogging were over. I would have to try something new.
That is when one of my friends introduced me to the joys of fitness walking. Fitness walking may be a less vigorous activity, but it is still possible to get a full aerobic workout, and as a bonus it does not damage your joints. Another advantage that fitness walking has over jogging is that you get a little bit more of a chance to enjoy the scenery. When I was a fitness jogger, I would put on my jogging tunes, and start going as quickly as I could. I would use music to psych me up, and never you pay any attention at all to my surroundings. Although you can take this approach to fitness walking as well, plugging in your Walkman or your iPod and chugging away as quickly as possible, I find that it is much easier to enjoy your surroundings at the slightly slower rate that you take. This means that, not only does fitness walking allow you to exercise without straining your joints, but it also allows you to exercise without missing out on your surroundings. Walking for fitness combines all the best things of a jog with all the best things of a nice walk in the park. I cannot recommend it enough!