Just a walk

by Khushboo on June 8, 2015

After a food-filled post last week, I thought now would be a good time to  talk about my current workouts.  Since I stopped the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Program in March due to feeling burned out both mentally & physically, I adopted a relatively low-intensity workout regime that involved a combination of yoga, swimming and walking. After my trips to Guangzhou and Dubai where I did no formal exercise per say, I returned to Mumbai feeling recharged.  In addition to low-intensity workouts, I started spinning and weight training regularly.  Since I reached London a few weeks ago, I’ve tried a BARREtoned class , powered through a joint boxing PT session with a friend, and completed a chest/shoulder/tricep weight training workout with my friend Saqib (who, by the way, has a YouTube channel which you should definitely check out of you’re interested in bodybuilding and the If It Fits Your Macros style of eating).

Gymbo

Gymbox

In the past 6 months and even more so since I reached London, I’ve started to appreciate a form of workout which is extremely underrated: Walking.  Especially now that summer is in full swing in London, I just can’t get enough of Regent’s Park.  As long as the day is nice outside & I’m not wearing heels, I rather use walking as my main form of transport while I’m here- it’s almost a novelty given the sedentary lifestyle in India.  In the past, I used to snub walking as counting as “proper” exercise.  On days where it was my cardio for the day, I’d brush it off as “just a walk“.   You know, exercise only counts if it leaves you a hot sweaty mess and out of breath, right? Errr wrong!  

Regents Park2

While high-intensity interval training & running are certainly effective workouts for fat loss & fitness, there’s plenty of merit in walking to produce similar results. Unlike the former workouts which put a tremendous amount of stress on the body, walking actually helps reduce cortisol levels.  As a result walking makes you more sensitive to insulin, enabling better calorie burn from other exercises and it doesn’t create insatiable hunger and cravings. Even though you burn more calories per minute when running, chances are you can walk for a longer duration of time…at least I know I can.

Veerali Trainers

And let’s be honest, walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise i.e. it can be incorporated into your day without drastically altering your lifestyle. Fat loss aside, there are SO many other reasons that make walking an equally legit, if not more, workout to running.   Moderately-paced walking alone is enough to…

…considerably boost your heart health & reduce the risk of heart disease & stroke.

…improve cerebral blood flow and lower the risk of vascular disease, which may help you stave off dementia.

…enhance  your mental wellbeing & mood by reducing stress levels and producing dopamine and serotonin at reasonably high levels.

…almost instantly lower your blood pressure.

….reduce your risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, the degenerative disease that causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. 

…slash your risk of developing certain cancers.

…lower your blood sugar levels for the following 24 hours and possibly prevent the onset of diabetes in the long run.

Every time you’ve gone for “just a walk”, realize you’ve done a heck more  than that…you’ve walked your way to good health!

What workout do you have scheduled for today? 

What’s your take on walking as exercise?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Shashi at RunninSrilankan June 8, 2015 at 3:03 pm

I gotta admit, I’ve kind of been a walking snub…not really crediting it as a “workout” .. But there’s no denying it’s benefits. The last time my daughter and I were at Disney, even though we ate so much, we walked everywhere..sometimes being on our feet for 8 + hours, and I recall coming back from that vacay with looser pants!
Today, if it rains this evening, I will be doing an Insanity workout, if it doesn’t, my daughter and I are going running and then walking

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:21 am

I love that you and your daughter work out together- great way to spend time with each other, Shashi!

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Erin@BeetsPerMinute June 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Walking is fantastic. I have fallen back in love with it since I moved to the UK and don’t drive at the moment! I absolutely love exploring and walking through the parks. Also, as a trainer, I can support those facts about walking — especially on the reduced bodily stress and cortisol production. Running can actually be very damaging in terms of creating free radicals and toxins into the body that — when paired with inadequate nutrition — can be very dangerous! I’m definitely a walking advocate lately.

I also love Spinning. I’m an instructor still looking for a place to teach over here. It’s such a rush — and again — much less taxing on the ‘ol joints!

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:24 am

Loved reading your input as a PT, Erin! Have you tried Fitness First for teaching spinning classes- worth a shot!

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Parita @ myinnershakti June 8, 2015 at 5:28 pm

LOVE everything about this post! I too think that walking is and most def. should be considered actual exercise. When I first started wanting to lose a little weight, I would power walk 4-5 times a week for 45 minutes, and the weight did come off!

And I don’t have a workout on the agenda for today because we’ve been packing/loading/unloading/unpacking all weekend and I am TIRED! I hope to get back to it tomorrow.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:27 am

Unpacking/moving is no joke- definitely a workout in itself!!

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Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli June 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm

It’s so funny – I’ve recently been feeling totally burnt out from running, despite not doing it more than once or twice a week. I’ve been doing a lot more walking and really, really enjoying it – but I still am struggling to get past the idea that it’s not “true cardio”. Obviously, I need to start questioning those thoughts because they’re obviously not the healthiest – or correct!

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:28 am

I definitely think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results you can achieve from walking instead of running, Jen :)!

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Hayley @ Full of Life June 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Walking has been my jam lately. I try to really only do workouts that I am craving that day, and lately with all that’s been going on in my life, walking is often the only thing that sounds amazing. I feel like I use it as a sort of meditation and I also just love being outside. Being in a gym when the weather is gorgeous….no thank you.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:28 am

Love that you take an intuitive approach to workouts, Hayley!

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Sam @ Better With Sprinkles June 9, 2015 at 2:24 am

this is where having a dog comes in handy – we both love getting outside for walks! I’ve definitely had the ‘it doesn’t count if i’m not a sweaty mess afterwards’ mindset when it comes to exercise in the past, but after giving up high-intensity exercise last year I can now definitely appreciate the role that walking has in my overall fitness.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:28 am

You and me both, Sam- there’s a lot to be said about low-intensity workouts!!

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets June 9, 2015 at 4:02 am

I puffy heart this post.

You and I have such similar beliefs on food and exercise, it’s truly refreshing to read your posts.

Walk on, my friend, walk on.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

The feeling is mutual- we really share such similar approaches <3!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. June 9, 2015 at 6:02 am

You know I’m all for walking as a workout 😀 I fell in love with it when I gave up higher intensity exercise to let my body heal, and it really worked wonders in keeping me active while letting my body get itself in order. Higher intensity exercise is great, but there’s definitely a place for things like walking as well. I think a good balance of both kinds of exercise yields the best results.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:29 am

All about that balance right..everything in moderation, exercise included!

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Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen June 9, 2015 at 6:41 am

I’m all about walking as exercise! Actually walking was my workout on Friday and Sunday. I just find I can’t do the higher intensity workouts like I used to – and I’m okay with that. As long as I’m staying active, I know I’m doing my body good.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:30 am

I definitely think that exercise needs to change in each state of life. If high-intensity doesn’t fit into yours right now, that’s totally okay so long as you are moving your body :)!

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Tara @ Sweat like a Pig June 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

I’ve spent the past 4 days with my training partner, who wears a Fit Bit. Apparently I walk at least 10 miles a day! I knew I walked a lot, but that just seems insane haha

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:30 am

Wow! Although I can’t say I’m surprised- I seem to be on my foot all the time in London :)!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables June 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Walking is definitely underrated!! Ever since I got my FitBit I make sure I get at least 10,000 steps a day and it made me realize how much I WASN’T walking, especially at work! But it’s so easy to squeeze in walk breaks here and there which makes me more active throughout the day!

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:31 am

That’s my main motivation for getting a Jawbone/FitBit- motivation/reminder to move a bit more, especially as walking is so easy to slot in!

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GiGi Eats June 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Walking is SOOOO under rated but it used to be my #1 of staying in shape! 10 – 20 thousand steps was what I would aspire to get every single day, and I would!!! 🙂

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:31 am

That’s so awesome to hear, Gigi- you look great :)!

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Lucie@FitSwissChick June 10, 2015 at 2:53 pm

I LOVE walks! Especially in the park – barefeet on the grass. I once heard that this is an Ayurveda ritual that has a very calming effect, feeling the grass on your feet.
What can not be topped though are walks along the beach.Best ever.

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Khushboo June 11, 2015 at 1:32 am

Oh absolutely- and apparently walking barefoot is also one of the most effective ways to stay injury-free!

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Kacy June 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm

I moved from the U.S. to Brazil for a short period of time and walking has been invaluable exercise to me. I don’t feel like spending my time in a new country stuck inside a gym or fitness studio. Walking is the best way to combine exercise and seeing something new! Even back home it was one of my favorite ways to exercise and decompress 🙂

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Khushboo June 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Especially when you’re in a new country, what better way to explore than walking through it right!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 13, 2015 at 12:00 am

I’m a huge fan of walking. It’s such a great stress reliever. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself to do too much, but the important thing really is to move!

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Khushboo June 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Nailed it :)!

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