Walking For Health & Walking As Exercise

Happy Labor Day! In honor of this great relaxing day off, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things: walking. This weekend I got to walk a lot with Coco (and Star, her hubby). There are 2 reasons I walk (in addition to the fact that I just like it)…

Walking As Exercise

When I’m walking as exercise, I like to do a few different things:

  • Listen to music or podcasts
  • Read a book
  • Walk with my husband, or a good friend
  • Chat on the phone with my parents

And sometimes I just walk in silence. Walking in silence is sometimes just as good as (or even better than) yoga for clearing the mind. Walking is almost like meditation.

I use an iPod Nano for my podcasts. I am actually looking for new podcast recommendations so please let me know if you have any in the comments below! I like nutrition, yoga, linguistics, languages, and psychology, but I’m always open to other topics as well.

As for books, I tend to read books that don’t take too much concentration when I’m walking as exercise. I have tried to read more advanced books while I’m walking, but it’s too easy to lose focus because I do have to look up every so often so I don’t run into things/people/cabs. The Emily Giffin books were perfect for long walks.

I read that book 2 years ago – I searched my blog for her name and found this old post. Cool for me to see how I (and my blog) have evolved over the years.

Walking For Health

Okay, so walking as exercise is great, but walking is good for overall health as well. I have read so many articles lately about how being happy and leading a stress free life are actually more important than the foods you eat. That sounds a little bit crazy and unconventional, but I’m temped to believe it.

For one thing, walking is great for weight loss/maintenance. I don’t really do much other than walk these days, and I’m maintaining my weight easily. This weekend I did walk a lot (5-6 miles each day) but normally I only walk 2-4 miles a day. Walking for health = easy to stick to. I don’t really have any trouble fitting in my miles each day and I don’t dread them (unlike some other workouts).

Walking is also a way to take a break from whatever happened to you during the day/week. I like to walk home from work (it’s about 1.5 miles) when it’s not too hot and not too cold. Sometimes I window shop, sometimes I really shop (I got Bobby the jacket below the other day), and I always make sure that I stop thinking about anything stressful – humans need a way to get rid of stress. Stress is horrible for us – worse than cheeseburgers and fast food, for sure.

I think I am getting off topic! Back to walking for health 😉 Walking = relaxing stress-reliever. Walking = good cardio. Walking = kind to your joints. Walking = low-impact. Walking = doesn’t feel like exercise. Walking = awesome.

So instead of sitting here posting, I am going to go out for a walk with my hubby because we haven’t left the house yet today. We had delicious steel cut oats for breakfast/brunch (mine with butter and a touch of honey; his with a bit more honey and 2 pieces of fake bacon; this picture is not from today – it’s from another delicious blogger meetup day almost a year ago in San Francisco).

Why do you walk? Or do you like other forms of exercise better?

P.S. Got a bunch of good questions yesterday! Will answer them tomorrow I think. If not tomorrow, Thursday.

26 Replies to “Walking For Health & Walking As Exercise”

  1. Fresh Air with Terry Gross from NPR is a podcast I like to listen to while running. She is a great interviewer and has interesting topics/guests.

  2. I don’t do any cardio. I do walk…but it is just a short, lazy, hazy stroll….and it is mainly just for sanity…I wish I could have the ability, etc for cardio, so I ought to be glad to be able to walk (I fear it could get worse if I keep complaining!).
    But I get bored easily. I don’t think I’d be able to read and walk…that sounds like a …talent 🙂
    I think I would stumble, get dizzy, etc. Even though I walk slow, I still think I get disoriented easily.
    I liked that book…I read it a long time ago, cute read.

    1. @theemptynutjar: hehe – you have to go a bit slower when you’re reading and walking! Otherwise it gets dangerous. It’s best to read-walk somewhere without much traffic 🙂

  3. I love walking after dinner with my boyfriend and my pup as I find it a good time to catch up and talk about random things. We are renovating our house so we often walk around looking at garden and house designs to get ideas from.

    Other than walking, I do bodypump once a week to stay toned.

    Podcasts are great and they’re free!

  4. I love Emily Giffen! I have read her two other books and thought they were great! Like you said, great easy fun reads.

    I think walking is fantastic and completely underrated. I went through a phase where I only did intense cardio and I thought walking was for lazy people. Not so. there are so many benefits to walking beyond just exercise even. now, my daily walk with my dogs is something I really look forward to.

  5. hey maggie,

    i like to walk and i just love walking to music and with my dog. sometimes walking is harder for me than more vigorous cardivascular exercise because it doesnt get my “revved up” enough and i have a lot of lingering tiredness and fatigue. high energy cardio is hard to get started doing but once the endorphins get going i feel energized. sometimes i dont get that with walking. its a tough thing because my body doesnt need the hard cardio but it is a temporary “feel good.”

    anyways, im big on walking as a stress reliever too! something about fresh air and sun…or stark cold in winter too. i love the silence of a winter walk in the woods.

    1. @Clare: That’s really interesting. Now that you say that though, I have noticed that sometimes walking doesn’t put me over into that energized zone, and it can be *very* tiring – more tiring than a run (if I’m in the right running zone) – depending on my mood.

      I miss winter walks in the woods 😉 No woods here. Central Park, kind of.

  6. Walking is my main “exercise.” I put it in quotes because I don’t think of it that way. I go for a walk almost every morning before work. Just 20 minutes, but it does wonders for clearing my head and getting me ready for the day. Plus, I get so many writing ideas while walking. I always have my music with me. On the weekends, I have my husband with me. We call it our “walk and talk therapy sessions.” Haha. If I’m walking by myself any other time, I’m usually on the phone with my parents 🙂
    How do you read and walk?!
    Thanks for all the info about walking 🙂 It helps me feel even better about doing it! I couldn’t be a runner — too hard on my joints — but I love walking!

    1. @Kim: Yeah! THat’s how I feel. People ask me about my “exercise” routine and I’m like, “I just walk a lot,” – and it sounds kind of silly. But walking really is my exercise and I love it. I haven’t been in a yoga mood lately, though I am going to try to do it a little more just because when I *do* do it, I feel happier. Yoga used to be a regular for me (it comes and goes in phases, just like everything else).

  7. walking and listening to podcasts is my fave thing in the world to do in l.a.

    when i lived in nyc, i like to listen to music, walk, and people watch. but since no one else walks in l.a. i need to distract myself with stories.

  8. love the new blog look! i had to comment bc i just read that book on my honeymoon. an odd choice given the timing, but i liked that it had newlywed and NYC references. total beach read. youre right, i bet her others are perfect for walking.

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