Image source: Hamed
Walking is a much underrated form of exercise. The general perception is that the energy expenditure to time taken ration is biased in favour of time taken, therefore people assume that a 30 minute walk is close to useless when trying to improve one’s fitness.
I for one disagree. When I refer to walking I am describing outdoor walking as a means of getting from one place to another and not simply walking aimlessly around a park. Although this too can can be beneficial.
Why walking then?
Think back to the last time you walked for any considerable duration of time. The likelihood is that you climbed hills, descended hills, dodged in and out of people, dogs, children, and cars, stepped up and down curb stones, and stopped and started often. These simple manoeuvres may appear relatively insignificant at the time but when treated as a collective they add up to a fairly strenuous episode of exercise that will improve balance, flexibility, coordination, and strength.
These reasons relate specifically to walking and are additional to the general health benefits of exercise such as:
The Gearfire blog aims to increase student productivity, here is why walking will do just that:
These are my top 5 exercise related factors that will improve student productivity, for more information please read my introductory post Fitness Advice Arrives at Gearfire
Walking as a form of exercise
If I take you back to the start of this post you will remember that many people consider walking to be an ineffective form of exercise that does not provide sufficent fitness gains compared to the duration of exercise. Well, if I were to tell you that walking can burn up to 370 kcals per hour would that change your mind? That is more than a certain brand of cheeseburger, although this does not mean that you can now go to a drive through an order one of these health hazards. Consider the calories burned as recompense for a time when you were vulnerable and ate one under mental duress.
Based on 40 year old male and females the following rate of calories per hour can be burned at specific walking speeds:
source: walking for fitness
Where and when can students find time to walk?
There really are no excuses. Students are busy people but let’s face we can all spare 30 minutes per day for a bit exercise. If you live close to college or campus, I don’t mean on campus, get yourself up an hour earlier, have some breakfast then walk in. Those who bus in can walk a few extra stops before catching it or get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the journey. During your lunch break you can walk to the sandwhich shop rather than use the canteen, take a friend for a walk and discuss things that may be causing you trouble, walk to a quiet place and read a book, or anything else – just walk. Don’t use lifts/elevators take the stairs instead, every little step counts. When you run out of milk or bread forget the car, take a 10 minute walk instead. There are numerous ways to incorporate walking into your daily activities you don’t need me to go on and on so I’ll stop here.
If you decide that walking is for you then let me know in the comments section. I’ll be glad to hear your views either way.
“To walk, or not to walk: that is the question.” – William Walkshere, there, and everywhere.