So I started back walking this week. I used to walk regularly. Usually on the days I didn't train with kettlebells, sometimes even on the days I did train with kettlebells. It was(still is) a great compliment to intense kettlebell training. I personally love the way my legs, hamstrings, and glutes feel after a brisk walk.
In my neighborhood there are some pretty good roads for walking. Ups and downs, flats, you name it. So I put on my ipod and off I go. Now here is the thing... I try and walk to the beat of the music I am listnening to. When I do this I get an awsome leg/glute workout. But here is something else I noticed about myself after training with kettlebells, my posture is so much better while walking. No slouching, no dead weight hitting each foot on impact. In other words my torso (core) is engaged. Vertebrae stacked one on top of the other, standing tall through the crown of the head. I started noticing this because as I would try to walk to the beat of the music I had to "engage' in other words muscle contraction took place in the core and glutes to get the legs to fire harder. Does that make sense? When I did this, then my posture fell into place. And guess where Iwas looking? Straight ahead. It felt awesome!
So I began to take note of other subtlties. Like were my feet striking the ground with the same impact? Were my arms swinging alike in opposition to my step. And if not, could I make them so?
Remember your first step? What a fuss everyone made! And then you continued to walk right on through childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood, but somewhere along the way, like most adults, you probably stopped walking so much. In fact, the percentage of adults who spent most of their day sitting increased from 36.8% in 2000 to 39.9% in 2005! Part of the reason may be your hectic, stressful life, with not a moment to spare for recreation or formal exercise. The environment plays a part too; inactivity has been engineered into our lives, from escalators to remote controls to riding lawn mowers to robotic vacuum cleaners to electric toothbrushes to the disappearance of sidewalks and safe places to walk. But research shows that all this automation is bad for our health. Inactivity is the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States, second only to tobacco use.
You'd think a simple activity like walking would be just that, simple. But fewer than 50% of American adults do enough exercise to gain any health or fitness benefits from physical activity. Is walking our salvation? I don't know for sure, but evidence suggests that it's probably a good start.
SO having said that I am off for a brisk walk with my favorite tunes and enjoying the last of the beautiful sunshine before nightfall. Join me and let me know what you discover about your walk....