Daily Archives: April 14, 2012
I was browsing around Facebook a few days ago when I came across a post alerting me to the fact Prevention Magazine has named my town of Providence as one of the top 25 most walkable cities this year! As you know, I spend almost every weekend hitting the mean streets of Providence with my husband by foot on long walks, and nearly every time we complete our walk, we marvel out loud about how many great places you can see and visit on one five or six-mile stroll. This honor bestowed by Prevention just confirms one of the main reasons why my husband and I live where we do in the area known as the “east side”– within a few (walking) minutes we can visit Brown University, The Rhode Island School of Design, the fun shopping/restaurant areas of Thayer Street, Wickenden Street and Wayland Square, and the up and coming downtown, or “downcity” part of Providence.
If you walk for just fifteen or twenty minutes from our home, we can easily get to the other side of town and hit up the city’s major mall (Providence Place), many theaters and performance spaces, and Providence’s own “Little Italy” known as Federal Hill, bursting with amazing restaurants. It’s a fantastic small city with plenty of historic places to see and cultural attractions to enjoy, all within a short walk of each other. Go Providence!
This mention from Prevention got me thinking about just the idea of walking as exercise in general. When I was at my worst in regards to my injury, I resorted to simple walking as my main form of exercise. I was worried I wouldn’t be working out hard enough or getting enough of a sweat on, and honestly, my heart rate barely elevated during my walks and I never broke a sweat. However, I always felt refreshed, energized and mentally at peace after my walks.
While I don’t like to focus at all on my weight, I couldn’t help but wonder if my lack of intense exercise would result in a few extra lbs on my frame. But ya know what. . . when I just stuck to walking and lots of rest days, I ended up losing a few pounds without any change whatsoever in my diet! I ate just as much as I did when running for the most part, but overall I just felt lighter and less bloated even. The key indicator for me was when my clothes started to fit better, especially around the middle. While I obviously can’t be certain about this, I believe that the lower intensity walking workouts I would do actually allowed my body to heal not from my injuries necessarily, but from the inflammation I experience in my digestive tract. My body was getting exercise without taking a pounding, and I almost felt like it released a lot of water retention that I normally have due to inflammation.
I guess the moral of this post is that for me, walking (instead of running) almost proved itself as a form of exercise that is most agreeable to my body. While I won’t give up running anytime soon now that I actually can run again, I have decided to incorporate much more walking into my gym routines as opposed to running all the time. I think my body really likes and even prefers walking over running!
Of course, everyone is different. . . these are just my own experiences as I interpret them, so please take everything I say with a grain of salt as it may apply to you.
Do you enjoy walking as a form of exercise? How do you compare it to other forms of exercise?