After all, it's one of the first milestones we master as babies. We learn all the mechanics necessary to move forward on both feet (while staying in balance) AND paying attention to our surroundings so we don't trip and/or face plant.
I have a new-found appreciation and respect for the simple act of walking. My surgery (details HERE) was on a Thursday (June 29th), and I returned home a week later (July 6th). The following Monday (July 10th), I headed out for my first official post-op walk.
I wasn't able to go very far (around the block, slowly). The surgery left me with a 6-inch suture, strategically placed over my knee, so I had to be careful. I wasn't allowed (or able) to bend that leg much at all. All is healing well, though!
So what's to love of my current fitness (walking) routine? Let me name a few (how about...five?):
***Low-impact at its best
Although I won't be cleared to run until early September (assuming all continues to go well with my recovery), I am allowed to speed walk for now. Walking is very comparable to running (both in terms of calories burned and use of lower body) but is less stressful on the joints. Since I still don't have full range of motion in my right knee (due to the "tightness" of the suture site), walking is a perfect substitution for the time being.
Yes, it is possible to get an effective cardio session going without running. My early morning walks are between 2.5-3 miles, and that averages to be about 45 minutes of movement. I also do a few shorter walks throughout the day and evening (walking the dog, and just on my own). Each time I head out, I walk for at least 15-20 minutes (often times longer).
Have you heard of Fasted Training? That's the principle of exercising while still in a "fasted state" (usually early in the morning), after several hours since last eating. Basically, with no recent influx of fuel, the body is forced to utilize fat stores for fuel instead. Obviously, if I was embarking on a long run or walk (longer than an hour, for example), I would need some kind of fuel before heading out.
Although running and walking utilize similar mechanics (lower body...hips, legs, feet, etc.), there are some slight differences as well. From my experience, I think I have a longer stride when I'm walking...and I can feel a pretty good burn in my hamstrings. Also, my quads have really been working more than usual (probably from that long stride). Another thing I notice is that I have a definite heel strike when I walk (as opposed to a mid-foot strike when I run). As a result of these differences, I wear "older" running shoes for walking and leave my "newer" ones in the closet. I don't want my walking to interfere with the fit or the wear of my current running shoes.
As mentioned, walking is my substitute for running, but NOT a replacement. It has been great waking up and heading out the door in those early morning hours. There is nothing like the smell of freshly mowed grass, or the sound of the birds chirping, and the beauty of the eastern sky as the sun slowly makes its daily appearance. The afternoon walks feel great under the blue sky. And the evening walks are a great time for reflection and (sometimes) meditation.
Do you routinely use walking for fitness? Have you ever had to substitute walking for running? What's the longest distance you've ever walked?
I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Please join us!!
I only walk when I need to. :-) And yes I do walk during a race. The longest I've walked is when I did the AVON Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. I think I did those 2 or 3 times? After that is when I got into running.ReplyDelete
I prefer running, but walking is my gig at the moment ;-)Delete
A few weeks ago I joined up with our walking group bc I thought it would be an easy recovery but let me tell you, these ladies were booking it! I could hardly keep up and I really felt it the next morningReplyDelete
crazy, huh! I'm hurting in places I've never felt before LOLDelete
4th time trying to comment. Yes, I have determination. Not sure why it isn't working, but I was using the Name/URL method and after I hit Publish, the comment just disappeared. Never got as far as the "captcha." Probably a Blogger thing, since I tried to two different devices.ReplyDelete
Anyway, as I've told you, I find fast walking harder than running in many ways.
Years ago, I was running the LA Marathon with a girlfriend. We were planning on running 3:30, and we met a speed walker who was planning the same time. We lost track of him, but saw him again a few months later at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Sure enough, he had met his goal. That's 8 minute miles!!!
Walking is definitely a lot more strenuous than I'd ever imagined ...hurting so good ;-)Delete
i'm all for walking! I've seen some super speedy power walkers at races and walking around my neighborhood. They are serious! I think people underestimate that walking is an awesome exercise.ReplyDelete
I do take walk breaks during my long runs and during half marathons. I'll definitely be taking walk breaks during the Chicago Marathon.
Walking is a lot tougher than it looksDelete
Walking is great! I use run/walk intervals for long runs anyway but I've started incorporating walks into my day on rest days for some active recovery :) It helps that we have treadmill desks at work that we can reserve for a 30 minute slot so I can do that even on a rainy day.ReplyDelete
I'd love a treadmill desk...I might actually grow to like the 'mill a bit moreDelete
I love walking! I feel like it clears my head more than running because I don't have to concentrate as much..haha. That's interesting about the different heel strike/ mid foot strikes when walking vs running. I have a pair of shoes I love but can't run in them and I often wonder if i'll injure myself by walking in them instead?ReplyDelete
Hard to say about the shoes....I know some different muscles are used for walking. Maybe they would work for walking if they're not ideal for running (?)Delete
I love to walk, and I walk the dogs almost every day (although that's not cardio, LOL!) and sometimes during the spring/summer twice a day.ReplyDelete
I once walked a half marathon with an injured friend . . . walking & running most definitely use different muscles -- even though we definitely weren't fast, I was sore the next day!
Oh gosh....walking with Max is not cardio, either...we have to stop & sniff every 20 steps LOLDelete
Walking is the best! I prefer a hike, but obviously that is not always feasible depending on time and of course if I'm walking due to injury, a walk in the neighborhood is probably a better idea than a hike. Yesterday I just was in a FUNK and did not feel like running, or honestly, doing anything. So I went for a walk. It was great!ReplyDelete
Yay!!! Walking is so underrated, especially by runners. Glad it did the trick ;-)Delete
I love walking! I try to get out for 30 minutes at lunch when it's not 105 degrees out haha. I'm so glad you've been enjoying it and are able to stay active.ReplyDelete
The walking has been a great substitute...I'm glad I'm able to do it.Delete
I use run/walk intervals, and did have to walk a half marathon due to my ITBS. It wasn't the best decision I've ever made, but I had registered before I knew how bad my injury was, and I was determined to complete that race. If it meant walking, so be it.ReplyDelete
I can't imagine walking 13.1 miles! That's awesome determination!Delete
You're right about all those new/different muscles used during walking! Way to keep up your activity level during this time - awesome job!ReplyDelete
Thanks! This has been an eye-opening experience...in more ways than oneDelete
Once I tore my meniscus and couldn't run, I took to walking. Not sure the ortho expected me to walk my old running routes. haha! I would get up to 5-6 miles each morning. :) The longest I walked was 7 miles one morning. It was definitely a life-saver! And, once I had my surgery and got off crutches and got out of the brace, I was back out walking as much (okay, honestly, that wasn't much at the start) as I could! :) Glad you have walking!ReplyDelete
That's an awesome story! Thanks for sharing ;-) I'm thankful I have walking for now...it would be a tough recovery if that was forbidden, too.Delete
I used to do a lot of walking on the beach when we lived in Galveston.ReplyDelete
Beach walking is not a simple walk in the park...lots of muscles being utilized for that!Delete
One of the many ways adversity gives us new perspective. I walk with the Caveman in the evening in summer. I don't think of it as fitness but we move at a good clip and cover a few miles. Ironically as I was running on the morning I got injured, about 15 minutes before my tendon went kaput, I came upon a cheery group of women walking. It's all good.ReplyDelete
Walking has certainly given me a new perspective. Ironically, even though I'm going "slower" than if I were running, I haven't felt the need to bring my music along with me....I don't seem to need that extra entertainment ;-)Delete
I've done a lot of walking over the years --once I listen to my running playlist, it becomes a worthy substitute for when I can't run.ReplyDelete
I haven't brought my music with me...yet. SO far I"m managing great without it...funny, huh?Delete
You know, I definitely take walking for granted. I'm not a faster walker, though, so when I "walk" I prefer to hike even if it's really easy trails with very little change in terrain. That way I feel like I'm getting a workout but I don't have to power walk, per se.ReplyDelete
Well, I'm not doing what I'd call a true "power walk" just yet (you know, with the massively swinging arms and whatnot). With my long legs, though, I can go along at a decently fast "power" speed LOLDelete
When I can't run, I walk. I can tell you it keeps me moving and grooving when I can't run! It got me through IVF and the early stages of my pregnancy with some semblance of sanity.ReplyDelete
It's doing the same for me ;-)Delete
I love walking as a mode of transportation whenever possible and when I was pregnant, I walked A TON and totally learned to appreciate it as a form of exercise.ReplyDelete
It really is a legit mode of exercise. And, you can make it as challenging as you desire by adjusting your speed or terrain (hills, anyone?) ;-)Delete
Your positive attitude through this whole thing has been just amazing! Great job pounding the pavement in a different way!!ReplyDelete
It's been a necessary adjustment....the running has to wait, but walking has been a great substitute ;-)Delete
I miss the long walks I would take with my dog. It was a nice way to get outside and check out what's going on in the neighborhood.ReplyDelete
Absolutely! I have had a great opportunity to really look at the sights along my various routes...the design of the houses, the landscaping (or lack thereof), the gardens. It really has given me a new appreciation for my town.Delete
I love to walk, I feel like I could walk forever! Enjoy the break :-)ReplyDelete
I used to feel like I could walk forever...until I started walking so fast, everyday LOLDelete
I love walking and I think as a runner it is easy to take it for granted or dismiss it- but as I get older, I really appreciate being NOT injured and walking can be great!ReplyDelete
Exactly ;-) My eyes have been opened to a lot of things through this experienceDelete
I don't know why, but I get so bored while walking. Unless you count hiking in the mountains or desert. I'm so impressed with all your walking, though!ReplyDelete
I used to get bored with walking before all of this....I'm just so thankful I CAN walk (though I'd rather be running LOL). I haven't even brought my music with me for any of these excursions...so far!Delete
I'm glad you're able to walk again! I love that I'm finally living in a place where I can do that again. :]! Totally with you on all its benefits!ReplyDelete
It's unfortunate so many take walking for granted...it's really a great form of exercise if you allow it to be.Delete
I'm liking that 'fasted training' concept! I really enjoy walking ...especially in the evenings. Often times, the hubs and I will take an evening stroll just to catch up on our day and re-connect after being apart all day.ReplyDelete
It's no secret that I've been slacking on my running due to the heat and humidity...but you've inspired me to get out this week and at least get a nice brisk walk in every morning! Thanks for the push Kim!!
Since I was just diagnosed with severe arthritis in my foot, I intend to make walking a bigger part of my life! I will need to do a lot of non-impact cardio... so I'm happy to see that walking really is beneficial! (and should cause a lot less stress on my body!)ReplyDelete
I think it's great you are getting out in the early morning. I walk the dog a few miles but not on a regular schedule. I often stop my run a good distance from home and enjoy the walk back to cool down. I'd guess the most walking I've done is any time we visit Disney and clock about 10 miles each day.ReplyDelete