The philosopher Nietzsche wrote: ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.’ So what are you waiting for?
Sitting is the new smoking, right? While it might be an alarmist and slightly terrifying saying, there’s truth in the fact that we all sit on our bums for way too long and that it can have a long-term effect on our bodies. So what’s one super easy way to get off that backside? Start walking! Walking is a great way to get moving, especially if you’ve had a hard week in the gym, been out of training for a long time, you’re recovering from an injury or you’re at an age where low-impact exercise is best for your joints. The best treatment for aching muscles is more exercise … very easy exercise though, because low-intensity movements help to alleviate the lactic acid build-up. If you are new to walking, invest in a decent pair of walking shoes and socks. The wrong shoes could lead to ankle and knee issues. If you’re really committed, a fitness watch is also a great investment. And then pick a destination. Find a spot where you can see far into the distance. Keep in mind, wherever you go, you have to walk back! As for those who think it’s boring, read on for ways to inject some fun and strategy into your next walk.
THE LAMPPOST LADDER
The lamppost ladder is a fun one, as it keeps you moving and thinking. Find a long road or anywhere where there are lots of lampposts. Start at one lamppost (make sure there is something significantly close to this post so that you know exactly which one it is). Walk to the next lamppost, turn around then walk back to the first one. Turn around, walk to the third lamppost, then walk back to the first one. Continue this by adding one lamp post further every time you get back to the starting lamppost. Once you get to the last lamppost, do this drill in reverse.
So easy, yet so effective! Start with a slow walk. Every 60 seconds, increase your speed slightly for 60 seconds, then slow down again. This variation works best if you set a time of 20–30 minutes and continue the 60-second intervals throughout. As you go on, the intervals can be altered (increase your speed or time).
THE LUNCHTIME QUICKIE
Here’s why walking is the best way to ward off any blubber: You can slot in a walking workout during your busy day at work, without racing to the gym or fighting with Lycra in the toilet cubicles. Pick a lunch spot that’s about a 2 km walk away, call in your order and head out! Go at a good pace and try not to stop. Grab your lunch and go. Do this most days and you’ll be shocked by how many kays you can build up.
Sneaky! Chuck in some lunges and whoa, you’ll fire up those legs! Start with a 5-minute walk, then ramp up the speed and intensity for 5 more minutes. When you’re ready, go into 2 minutes of walking forward lunges. Go back to moderate walking for 2 minutes, before your next lunge set. Do 6 sets of the 2-minute walking lunge intervals. End off with a 5-minute walk to shake out those legs, which should be feeling the burn.