Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two Feet & A Heart Beat!

When anyone starts their on their journey towards optimal health and fitness with Jungle Fit, there are a few questions and forms for everyone to answer and fill out. One of those questions (which is rather obvious) is,"What is your current activity level, and what are you doing for exercise.". The most common answer is "I walk about 3-4 times per week". I'm going to make this pretty clear ... I have a problem with this answer!

Please don't get me wrong, I have nothing against walking. I love it, I love going out for walks down town or just getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. Walking can be great for maintaining foot health (when wearing minimal foot wear ex. flip flops), it's a great stress reliever and a chance to leave your house and move around or spend time with your dog! What I have a problem with is the popular belief that walking is a legitimate form of exercise!

Walking is NOT exercise ... it's just what we do! It's what we were born to do, it's what we're designed to do, and it's something all of us (for the most part) here in North America aren't doing enough! The obvious reasons for this would be that most people have cars and drive everywhere, even down the road 1block to go to work. We can order anything we would like on the Internet/phone (including food) and have it brought to our homes without ever having to walk anywhere. The list goes on and on, but the fact is all of our technology has made us ... for lack of a better word, lazy. So now that we never really walk anywhere anymore, it makes walking down the road seem like a hard thing to do, most people view exercise as something hard ... so now the general public views walking as a form of exercise.

If you're one of the many who look at walking as exercise than you need to shift that view because you're mistaken. Walking is just our form of natural transportation, it's how we're designed to get from place to place. Walking will burn calories, but heck even your brain burns calories just to function each day, and the majority of people don't walk anywhere near enough to burn any significant amount of calories to lose body fat. Real exercise involves moving/lifting heavy things sometimes, moving really fast other times, and their are ways to accomplish real exercise with little to no impact on your joints. Kettlebell swings will not hurt your knees or feet (like jogging) and will boost your metabolism, drop your body fat, and improve your range of motion. That one exercise alone has the low impact benefit of walking, but is actually exercise! Walking should just be something that you do, exercise should be something completely separate! Make time to walk or make a decision to only take your car if it's absolutely necessary, hell you could even walk to the gym or to your personal trainer!

What it all comes down to people is that cavemen didn't own cars (unless you take your history from the Flinstones) they just walked everywhere. So it's time to put the keys away and begin walking as your form of transportation whenever you can, but please for your own health know that walking is not exercise, it's just what we we're born to do.

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