Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo and today we’re going to be talking about if walking is enough. If you would like to know more about what exercises would be most beneficial to you, then please give us a call at 806-322-3188.

I have a lot of people asking me if walking is enough. They’re looking for a consistent fitness regimen, and they’ve been doing either walking outside or walking videos. It’s been nice enough this year that we have people walking around during november!

So a lot of people go walking, but is it enough? Well, it depends on what you goals are. If your goals are maintenance, a healthy lifestyle, and consistent exercise, then yes, it’s enough for those things. However, if your goal is more along the lines of losing weight, or improving your health, or building muscle, then walking is probably not the only thing that you need to be doing.

Now, walking is beneficial so I encourage you to do it. We have a lot of clients that are on programs with us where we do encourage them to track their steps each day just to help them get in that extra little bit of activity. It’s really an essential exercise, it’s things that happens during your day that you might as well get to count towards your workouts. It’s also making sure that you’re getting in a little extra activity instead of sitting at your desk all day, so that way you’re burning some extra calories.

So walking isn’t quite enough for a few different reasons, one of them being that you walk all day long, so if you’re going home to walk, then your body is already used to that exercise. You need something that really shocks the body (in a good way, of course), something that really brings it into a sense of “What’s going on?”, so it can then adapt. Humans are very adaptable, and our bodies tend to adapt to each situation over time. So if we’re constantly doing the same repetitious action over and over, then the body will no longer adapt to it but continue to sustain that action until it either breaks or stops. It won’t continue to adapt to that exercise unless you put an extra stressor on the body. So whether that is a new exercise, weight, intensity, or duration, just be changing up something that you’re doing. That’s where a lot of time walking turns into jogging, which turns into running, but then you’re still moving in the same movement pattern.

So, what can we do whenever you are walking all the time? Well, you can add some strength exercises to your walking. Something more than just carrying weights with you when you walk, because that actually adds damage to the joints. But when you’re walking maybe do some shoulder presses, or arm curls, or you can walk for a few minutes and then stop and do a tri-set of exercises there. Choose three exercises and do them back to back for 30 seconds each. Maybe you’re at the park, you can do some step up on the bench, or some pushups on the picnic table.

Now during winter, a lot of people stop walking all the sudden. They’ve been walking all this time thinking that it’s the only exercise they need and then it gets cold outside and they stop. Well, there’s a lot of indoor places that people don’t always think about to go walk in. If you’re looking for that little bit of extra activity, maybe go to Wal-Mart and walk around there. Just be sure to not bring your wallet or you’ll end up buying something that you don’t need!

So places like Wal-Mart, Sam’s, or the mall. You can also go to an office building with some stairs if you want that extra push to build more muscle and burn those extra calories, because it’s  something different than your typical walking. Now same thing goes with any cardio exercise, if you do the same thing over and over again then your body is going to stop adapting to it, so that’s where change becomes so necessary during this time. Every four to six weeks you need to be changing what you’re doing, and we have to be changing more than just one variable. You can’t just go longer, or faster, you have to actually be changing what you’re doing. One of the biggest injuries that walkers and runners typically have deals with the hips and the knees and that’s due to the fact that they’re only moving forward, and haven’t been strengthening the sides and the back of their bodies. People like to work on what they can see when they look in the mirror and that’s typically the front, so we want to make sure and crosstrain where you’re moving forward, to the sides, and to the back. When you do that, it builds a more balanced growth through the body, and more balance adaptability in the body, so that then you become healthier, stronger and you lose more weight.

So, if want to add walking into your fitness routine, that’s great! If you’re doing walking for your fitness routine, you probably want to step it up a little bit and add some things to it. Be sure that you add a new exercise, weight, intensity, or duration to your walking.

Now, if you would like our help on creating a program that would work for you, something that can involve your walking but could build your ability to be healthier, to lose more weight, to build more energy, build more muscle, to tone up, and just to feel good, we would love to help you out with that. To get your consultation set up, give us a call at 806-322-3188 or email us at info@customfitness.biz At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo, Texas. Have a great day.