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Walking is a Great Path to Fitness

Aug 22, 2013

There’s a new revolutionary training method that can help you increase balance, strength, endurance, and burn body fat. Walking. That’s right, walking and its variants are excellent ways to build strength, endurance, and health. It’s the simplest and most cost effective of methods, yet is almost always overlooked in favor of more flashy methods. For those new to an exercise program, walking can be a good way to prepare the aerobic system for increased demands of further training. For those already experienced with an intense exercise program, walks can be added as a recovery training tool or made to increase your strength. Read below for more info.

BURN FAT AND IMPROVE ENDURANCE. If you are coming from a sedentary lifestyle, walking is a perfect catalyst to start a more intense and diverse training program. Walking can be used to improve the function of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems and jumpstart the burning of body fat. When you start to run or lift weights, the base level of fitness from walking can transfer over and support those activities. If you have been very inactive previously, starting with 10-15 minute walks and slowly increasing over time can be a great way to improve your fitness levels. You must walk before you can run!

MAXIMIZE RECOVERY. For those who engage in an intense training program, improvements and progress can only be continued if one can maximize recovery from the previous training session. High intensity training stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight or flight response. Too much stimulation of the fight or flight response without recovery can often lead to plateaus in training, regressions or even injury. With modern high stress lifestyles, adding high intensity training has to be done in an intelligent manner. One such way to do this is to take walks on recovery days. These walks stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is known for its ability to “rest and digest.” This improves relaxation, recovery, and allows one to continually progress in a training plan.

DIVERSITY AND VARIATION. Walking can be more in a training program than simply a catalyst and a recovery tool. It can also be used to improve strength. While not purely walking, exercises like farmers carries, overhead carries, suitcase carries, lunges, and hikes are ways to improve strength of the whole body. These training tools are useful for adding resiliency to a training program because of their ability to improve core stability and grip strength (in the case of the carrying exercises). Add more carries, lunges, and hikes into your program and reap the benefits!

Walking is often underrated in a training program, but can be a useful tool for jump starting a program, improving recovery, or adding strength in a diverse and varied way. If you’d like more info on how this and other methods of training can be used for you specifically to help you reach your goals, contact us at Fitness Together Lake Forest at 847-283-6060 or or visit us at to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Written by Vlad Klipinitser for Fitness Together Lake Forest.


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