One of the most general questions that is often asked, is why do we need to walk as opposed to run. Being a runner and an athlete at an international and national level you would think that I would advocate running as a preferential way of losing weight. We all know that running consumes far more calories than walking so why on earth would I suggest to walk and not go hell for leather and run. SO let’s have a look at why I now recommend walking over running any day.
If you have ever been to visit your GP and he has mentioned that he is concerned about your expanding waistline, he may recommend changing your diet or implementing an exercise program to help you lose those unwanted kilos. Through media and other social platforms we are also aware that obesity in Australia alone has hit an all-time high placing a huge burden on our medical system. We all know that Regular physical activity is important to overall health, and walking is an excellent way to be active with proven benefits. Studies suggest that adults who engage in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, are at lower risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, and depressed mood, compared with inactive adults (Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2008(1). With awareness though, comes confusion as to what type of exercise should we be doing. Is brisk walking as beneficial for us or is a slower pace over a longer time frame better?
At the age of 32 I hit my physical peak in running, with my PB for a 10km in 36 minutes. But unless you want to be a national runner why on earth would you want to put your body through that additional stress. So many people in their 40s and 50s are now having to treat old injuries that rear their ugly heads from over use and abuse. Excessive exercise can cause joint problems in hips, knees, torn ligaments, groin strains, you name it if there is a major muscle group involved and bones over time there is bound to be overuse injuries. Exercises elevates endorphins released from our pituitary gland. Endorphins are among brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which function to transmit electrical signals within the nervous system. These endorphins are great for a while as they down regulate pain. Endorphins are most heavily released in the human body during stressful events or in moments of great pain but over time and with prolonged use they lose this benefit. The rush of endorphins into the system at such times is often felt as a queasy or nervous feeling in the stomach.
If anything, we do not want to place unneeded stress on the body so therefore we minimize this effect by not over exerting and doing just enough so that the body can deplete the extra energy that we have by turning on the energy pathway to use fat as our fuel source as opposed to using carbohydrates as a fuel source. Carbohydrates will be used first, but then if we can switch to using fat then we will be able to get the desired effect of exercise. We want to minimize stress, not create it. So my advice to anyone that wants to lose fat and develop a lean mean body is to put down that fork and walk. Walking for over an hour every day will assist you to lose fat and get your body into the desired shape that you want. Running on the other hand particularly if you are over 40 creates more stress and contributes to aging, which actually defeats the purpose of exercising in the first place.
For more information , please contact Caroline for your personalized exercise and dietery regime for anti-aging, rebalancing hormones and getting you into the best shape of your life !
Caroline is a clinical Nutritionist practicing on a consultation basis. Caroline's experience encompasses research and writing on disease prevention with natural herbs, spices, foods and supplementation. Caroline practices holistic nutritional medicine that combines the three elements of being human. Those being, the physical , emotional and the mental components that make us who we are. All of these criterior is fueled by the fundamental of all health, food .