Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Walking - Better Than Bad

Mark's Guide To Walking
Who recommends walking?  I don't actually know of anyone who does not.  Nonetheless, I like Mark Sisson's perspective on the matter and recommend his column. 

In my experience, it’s the easy, seemingly inconsequential stuff that’s the hardest sell. The crazier, more unconventional stuff gets all the attention. Tons of people get out there and do heavy squats, order grass-fed cows, buy the latest Vibram model, learn to love liver, and proudly stride barefoot into the grocery store – but they drove to get there. It’s the easy things, like walking regularly and often, that are somehow the hardest to do. They’re the easiest to ignore. Walking? Yeah, it’s nice, it’s relaxing, but it won’t put on the mass and elicit the hormonal response of a set of heavy deadlifts. It isn’t sexy.
Walking matters, folks. Big time. If we stop moving, even if we’re standing at our desks and hitting the gym every other day, we’re dying. We’re telling our bodies that we’ve given up, that it’s okay to shut down, that all those millions of years of daily, constant walking were an aberration, a mistake, a fluke. That’s folly. I think you know it, but I don’t know if you know it.

Powerlifters say walking makes them stronger.

Art De Vany says walking is an essential element in the program that has him, a 70+ year old man, running sub 5.0 second 40s and deadlifting over 400 pounds.

The Chinese, at a minimum, have a version of meditation based on walking.

One of the things I like most about hunting is that, in the context of the hunt, I walk "all over the place."  Until my knee injury, the way I would get to know virtually any place I lived was via jogging.  Now, walking has to suffice, but I've run through the streets of a dozen states and half as many countries.  I don't know if I am laid back enough to enjoy walking as much as I enjoyed running, but I'm learning.
Is there anything not to like about walking?  Not that I know of.  My point in this post is pretty simple, which is that in a world of fighting about what the science does and doesn't say about science, health and longevity, walking speaks for itself as a requisite human activity.  Vigorous, long walks, or just short strolls to loosen up and move around, walking is a chance to be mindful, to enjoy the feel of movement, and to relish.  I think it is also good for you, but it would be it's own reward even if it is not "good for you." 

So yes, I like Olypic weightlifting and butterfly kipping pullups and multi modal metabolic conditioning and knowing four different ways to deadlift, and such - but it's just as important to get up and go walk.

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