Why Walking is Necessary for Good Health – Even If You Are Extremely Fit and Lean

June 14, 2009

I use to think that walking was just for people who weren’t fit enough to do any “real” exercise. I figured that any activity that 99% of the population can easily do, just can’t be tough enough to make a real difference in health. Walking just doesn’t seem to challenge the body like “true” exercise (intervals, circuits, HIIT). I am first to admit that I have been wrong when it comes to this line of thinking. Not only do I admit my thinking has been wrong, I’m immediately going to do my best to walk daily. Some recent studies have proven how valuable walking is to long-term health.

young couple walking

[A picture of a young couple walking down a path near the River Thames in London. Walking can be a blast if you are in a scenic place with lots to see. I need to get to London and walk around to look for great pubs. Kind of a walking and beer sampling tour.]

Intense Fat Burning Workouts Aren’t Enough!

You would think that getting lean by eating a clean diet and working out intensely 3-4 times per week would be enough. I mean, if someone is aerobically fit and is lean and gets all of their daily vitamins through healthy whole foods…you would think it would be enough. If you think that is enough for ideal health, like I used to, you would be wrong.

Too Much Time Spent Sitting Increases Your Mortality Rate

Even if you workout hard 4-5 times per week (or more)…if you spend too much of your “non-exercise” time sitting, you are more likely to die from chronic disease. Here is an abstract from a study published last month: Sitting Time and Mortality from All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and CancerThe American College of Sports Medicine – May 2009

“Conclusions: These data demonstrate a dose-response association between sitting time and mortality from all causes and CVD, independent of leisure time physical activity. In addition to the promotion of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and a healthy weight, physicians should discourage sitting for extended periods.”

Note: I found more info on this study that was interesting. Apparently, the people they followed who spent 3/4 of their day seated were 36-47% more likely to die than those who only spent 1/4 of their day sitting (higher death rate during the 12 year study…someone pointed out that we are all going to die…just wanted to clarify).

Walking Reduces Inflammation – Intense Exercise Does Not

Here is a study that shows the health benefits of walking. Walking, Vigorous Physical Activity, and Markers of Hemostasis and Inflammation in Healthy Men and WomenScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports – December 2008

They found that walking 30 minutes per day significantly reduces both inflammation (leading to hardening of the arteries) and hemostasis (sluggish blood flow). This leads to better cardio vascular health. Vigorous exercise was only shown to reduce hemostasis, but not lower inflammation.

There Are Still Many Benefits to Intense Activity

We know that intense exercise (intervals, HIIT, circuits, etc.) lowers body fat, improves endurance, increases the metabolism, increases HGH, and controls blood sugar…so obviously I’m not suggesting that people stop doing intense exercise. What I am suggesting is to add walking to your daily routine. If you sit at a desk all day, you really need to do go out of your way to get some walking time in.

Some Terrible Advice I’ve Read in Fitness Magazines

Here are some words of wisdom I’ve read in the past in a few bodybuilding magazines when it comes to gaining muscle – “Why run when you can walk. Why walk when you can sit. Why sit when you can lay…” If you are interested in your long-term health then you will certainly want to avoid this advice! Want even better advice? Avoid “getting big” in the first place! Focus on staying somewhat lean while getting strong and improving your endurance to gain a natural amount of muscle. One more thing…do what it takes to walk at least 30 minutes per day!

Note: I’d love to hear comments from people who walk 30 minute per day. I’d also like to hear how you plan on adding walking into your daily routine if you are a serial-driver like me. Just need some ideas!

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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

gus June 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

i have never really thought it over, butt i walk like 30 min- 1 hour almost everyday, it takes me around 20 min to walk from school and back, and the days when i go the the gym( i always walk) it takes me abouth 40 min forth and back.
even if i am board some days i make just take a walk to eas my mind or something.

on topp of this i do hiiit 3 times per week + soccer practises
and strenght training

nice post rusty, keep it upp
nize post rusty

Kirill June 14, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I walk to and from work every day (20 minutes each way). I usually go to the gym in the morning, do some HIIT (around 15 minutes), have a shower and walk to work. It works great and I enjoy breathing some fresh air in the morning. After work, I walk to the gym which also helps me warm up before my workout. I agree that walking is important.

Joe June 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm

you know rusty i walk two miles per day to school and back, which isnt too much, but im always saddened by the friends of mine that choose to not go someplace or do something just because it requires a bit of walking. i’ve been given many nicknames by my friends because of the unusual stride and pace at which i walk, i can move pretty fast while showing a normal pace and i manage to make walking seem very graceful, somethin i usually tease bigger guys about because of their lack of balance and maneuverability.

gus June 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm

one question rusty, to have really nice abs, could i gett away with just cardio and clean low calories, or would i HAVE to do planks or crunches?

what kind of body fat % should i be around to have awsome abs?
thx

Paul June 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Don’t usually comment, but this is good news!

I’ve just started walking to (and often from) work — about 10kms.

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I spend that 2 hrs in the morning thinking, daydreaming, listening to podcasts, etc.

It’s only been a month or so and already I don’t think I could live without it!

drew June 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I just found your site a month ago and it has really opened my eyes. I am a timber cruiser in Grays Harbor county, WA and I walk all day every day, and the ideas I gather from your blog have increased my productivity substantially. Mainly the HIIT for endurance, and the ESE for weight loss. Now I dont get tired at work and I dont feel like I have to constantly be eating all day to lose weight.
I have struggled with weight in the past and now I feel like I figured it out. Im 5’10”, 30 yrs old, I was 220 lbs in ’07, got to 178 with random diets, but could not lose anymore, no matter what I did. Thanx to you Im losing the stubborn fat. After a month Im at 168 and still dropping, and have not felt this good since high school. Thanx a billion dude.

Yash June 14, 2009 at 8:58 pm

My advice for walking a lot? Go to college!

Another great side-effect of walking with others is spending quality time with people. I may sound like a momma’s boy, but taking a walk is one of the best ways I get to really talk to my mother.

Drew June 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Rusty,

Great post as always. I’ve always found that walking reduces my stress levels, its good to see science backing up what my body tells me.
As far as getting more walking goes what works for me is forcing the issue. I live in Minneapolis MN where a great deal of the city is connected via the skyways. I’m not sure what the situation is in Seattle but what i do is intentionally park a ways away from where i need to be then walking from there (the skyways allow me to do this even in our -35 degree winters). I also use this as a means of separating my work and my life in the real world as a 10-15 min walk helps to both get the mind ready for a job and decompress after a long day. Keep up the great posts.

Sam June 14, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Rusty,

I cannot agree enough with this post. Since I added atleast 30 minutes of walking to my intermittent fasting diet and exercise program I have seen really positive results. Not only do you burn an additional few hundred calories (depending on your walking speed), but I have felt it has allowed me to be a little less strict on the Warrior diet when I have my evening meal since I am creating a larger calorie deficit than I would be sitting or watching tv. Thank you for such a great post.

Sam

Rafi Bar-Lev June 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Rusty,

As usual, a thought-provocative post. I always knew that walking was good for you, especially when I see how much healthier people who walk are than people who don’t. Never though did I suspect that it was this extreme a difference! It’s definitely something I’m going to have to look into further!

Rafi

Jane June 14, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Hey Rusty,
Another great post of yours.

I like to walk. I have no car, no bike, therefore I walk everywhere. The older I get the more I like walking. I also include walking into my daily exercise routine. I don’t go out for a run, but I go out for a running/walking session. What I mean by that is: I run for some time, then I walk a little, run again, walk again…. I find this much more rewarding than running the whole time. Sometimes I skip the running altogether and walk only. I also like to hike. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity right now, but this is gonna change very soon and I can enjoy some great hikes. Looking forward to those.

Keep up the good work with your site and good luck to you.
Jane

Jake June 14, 2009 at 11:24 pm

“Focus on staying somewhat lean while getting strong and improving your endurance to gain a natural amount of muscle.”

If I focus on keeping myself lean, and try to get stronger, will I gain some muscle?

Because I am a thin guy. I’m 5’7, and 117 pounds. I’m 18-years-old. I am very small. I do not want to be huge, by any means. I just want SOME muscle. Because my body could use some.

media.photobucket.com/image/abercrombie%20model/bbycakezjen/models/hot.jpg

media.photobucket.com/image/abercrombie%20model/bbycakezjen/models/hot.jpg (Note the guy on the left, but I’d like more ab definition)

1.bp.blogspot.com/_vVaYeg0wHvM/SStClGq3vBI/AAAAAAAAEqU/g2W7sLVnV3A/s400/Ben_E_shirtless.JPG

1.bp.blogspot.com/_vVaYeg0wHvM/SStClGq3vBI/AAAAAAAAEqU/g2W7sLVnV3A/s400/Ben_E_shirtless.JPG

This is the type of physique I’d like. They have muscle, but not a great amount at all, nicely shaped chest, strong arms, and a lot of ab definition. That’s what I want.

Could you please tell me how to get there? Diet-wise, AND workout wise? I would appreciate it so much. I have – a pull-up bar, push-up bars, 10’s, 15’s, 20’s, and one 25 for dumbells, and I have a space to do dips.

Help would be appreciated greatly. All the information I get online either requires payment, or is not right for me. I am a thin guy, so I want to know how to put on a BIT of muscle (a reasonable, natural amount [the right amount for my body]), and get more definition/toneage.

Jake June 14, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Also, my abs don’t pop out at all. You cannot really see them, but I really don’t have any bodyfat on my stomach. I mean, maybe a little bit, but not a lot by any means.

Jake June 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Dang, I entered a comment that didn’t send because I put links in the comment.

I am 5’7, 18-years-old, and 117 pounds. I am very thin. I am going for a physique that is slightly muscular, with awesome definition. The thing is, I’m so thin, I could stand to build some muscle, because I don’t have much at all. I want kind of an abercrombie model type physique. Those guys have the right amount of muscle for their bodies – they’re far from scrawny, but far from being big too. And they’re very defined and sharp looking. That’s what I am going for.

“Focus on staying somewhat lean while getting strong and improving your endurance to gain a natural amount of muscle”

If I focus on getting strong and keeping lean and fit, will I gain a bit of muscle? The amount that I want (which really is not that much)?

Would you please give me workout routine advice, and diet advice? I need something kind of specific. Because everything I find online requires payment (and I don’t even have a job at the moment), or it’s all about being big and gaining more mass than I want. Plus, a lot of people aren’t in my situation – they have a hard time keeping a healthy, light weight. Me, I need to gain a little bit of muscle. But a good looking, natural amount. Please help! I would highly appreciate it.

Mike June 14, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Wow, that fact about a person’s mortality rate increasing by sitting behind a desk is scary!! Especially since I sit behind a desk (although I still exercise 5-6 days a week).

I haven’t been doing it long, but I have started walking my son and dog for at least 30 minutes a night. I do this for a couple of reasons
1. It gets my new-born son to sleep.
2. My dog really enjoys it and I know she feels left out with the new baby.
3. The walking really helps me de-stress after a long day. Since stress hinders my goal of getting really lean, this really helps that problem.
4. (I just added this about 20 seconds ago) See your blog post above!!

Thanks for the info!

Puffer June 14, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Rusty,

First off, love the site. I only started following 4 months ago but read almost every article (there are quite a number). Awesome site and no BS like a lot of others out there. In fact, I recommend your site to everyone I know who wants to get back into shape or already is and needs some help.

Walking: I do it a lot. 80% of my day is running around the office helping people out. I work on an IT help desk. Crawling around under desks, moving heavy servers, relocating printers, etc. I don’t do any cardio (i.e. running for fun). but I do train with resistance bands at home 3 times a week which has really helped me a lot. I purposely walk to people’ desk so I don’t end up like a typecast IT person who’s 300lbs, shit that’s way too small and cheetos on his chest. 🙂 The fact that I work for a major advertising company in Boston and am surrounded by extremely attractive females also helps me keep fit. Actually, helps stay motivated to get back into shape. It’s a work in progress…

Do you have any articles or routines for people like me who live in an apartment, don’t want to pay the stupid gym fees and want to work out at home with bands? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the great work!

Jim June 15, 2009 at 2:05 am

Rusty, another great post!

I am usually skeptical about “exercise” that doesn’t feel like exercise , but hey if it reduced inflammation then I’m all for it!

One question. Have you come across any studies that compare walking with nordic walking? I can see how it can be more beneficial. I guess I’m just looking on a second opinion on the subject.

Jim June 15, 2009 at 2:14 am

Jake,

My comment to your posts is that everyone’s body type is different. You’re genetics will play a role in what your body will look like even if you end up doing exactly what those model’s are doing. Some people are naturally low in body fat % and have defined muscles.
Others work their butts off and are extremely fit but don’t look like models.

If you read the personal training post by Rusty, you might see that it would probably be a good idea to try a few things out and chart your progress. You’ll find things that work and things that don’t.

If you run out of things to try, come back and ask your peers. 🙂 Everyone here will probably have something for you to try.

Good things comes to those who wait. Be patient and the results will come. The most important thing is to be healthy.

Kane June 15, 2009 at 3:01 am

Hey Rusty, Im glad you’ve come around to the walking side! Sorry, I had darth vaders voice in my head there…

This reminds me of your post about long cardio you did a few months back, and lot of people made the argument that going for a low intensity jog cleared there head. I think walking does that for me, it is also good exercise, as I found out when my car broke a while ago and had to walk EVERYWHERE. I was doing about 5-6 miles a day, which might seem fine but when your favourite shoes are cowboy boots, it really hurts your feet! I started noticing greater ab definition too, something im a fan of!

Rusty, when you do come to london, and you want a guide, I’d be more than happy to show you around. I work in a pub (and know some great ones) so im sure I could find something to your taste. Just let me know nearer the time!

-Kane

Lihan June 15, 2009 at 4:50 am

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/story.html?id=1679072&s=Life ..
Hey rusty could you plz clarify that?

wolverine June 15, 2009 at 6:34 am

Rusty, will jogging at a slow pace for 40min daily not have similar benefits to walking?

Elle June 15, 2009 at 8:52 am

Get a dog for both the health & psychological benefits. You’ll be walking 3 times a day, rain, sleet, snow or shine (no excuses) with the ancillary benefit of all the unconditional love you can handle. 🙂

Doné June 15, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hello Dude!

Yes i agree – and also walking is really good for just escaping into your own little world… I also listen to my ipod… so much better then driving.

I dont know if its just me – but people who walk alot – seem to have nice ankles compared to people who drive everywhere..
And i love ankle charms hehe 🙂

I walk in my lunch time – spend about 50mins to hour… then i have a Bernese Mountain Dog and Labrador to walk aswell… and they expect nothing less than 30mins… per session (Twice a day)

Great post once again!!

Have a good day
🙂

Doné

Clark June 15, 2009 at 10:32 am

Be CAREFUL with studies like these… otherwise you make the same mistake as the mass media often does when it reads too far outside the data and mistakes correlation for causation.

My primary concern would be… why are these particular people sitting for so much longer? I’m guessing that a lot of the “sitters” are just office drones – low pay, low reward, and high stress. The “walkers” might have sales jobs, or outdoor jobs – i.e. lower stress.

If the authors of this study corrected for overall stress levels, I suspect their statistical significance would disappear. You’re more likely to die if you’re under a lot of stress, regardless of how often you walk.

Having somewhere you want to walk to, and having reason to move about is probably the *effect* of having a healthy, low-stress life – not a cause.

John June 15, 2009 at 11:55 am

I have to admit that I’m one of those who used to laugh at my wife and her friends for “going walking” when I thought they should spend the time “exercising.”

What got me hooked, finally, was simply trying it.

At first, I felt like I was wasting time and I hated all the dopey weekend walks she took me on. But after a while I got to where I enjoyed the rhythm of it and it’s about the only activity I know of where you can actually spend quality time with someone and work up a sweat with your clothes on.

One day while on a walk, I remembered something I had conveniently forgotten while in my anti-walking days. I had one of those “a-ha’ moments: I went to ROTC Camp in the summer of my junior year at college and all we did was walk. I came home looking like a skeleton. I had totally forgotten that experience but remembering it reinforced my positive feelings about walking.

So, now I’m a fan and a believer. I think consistent walking is terrific. We do at least 30 min a day and when the local walking clubs have events, we show up. It works and “walkers” are actually a nice group of folks . . . much more friendlier and relaxed laid back than your average gym rat.

Matt June 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Rusty – do you think replacing the post-HIIT steady state cardio with 30 minutes of walking (either outside or on the treadmill at an incline) will be as effective a strategy for fat loss?

I can only run for 30 seconds at a time anyway (I’m 290 lbs, down from 350 a year ago) so unless I switch to the eliptical after my 10 minutes of intervals, I’m pretty much stuck walking on the treadmill anyway…

Rachel June 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm

i often follow my hard workouts with a brief walk 15-20min. it always made me feel clean and relaxed. now i can see the benefits are actually different from my harder routine. my puppy and i both thank you for this article. (she gets really angry when i skip her walk, no more!)

Helder June 15, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Excelent advice, like i had told in another post, i always walk 30/45 minutes after my HIIT workout, and now i’m walking everyday, i use different paces, in my non workout days i walk slow, just to enjoy the walk, the park, the river, but the results are there anyway.

Walking is essential for good Health, one benefit that i’ll add and it’s a very important one is that, walking raises your HDL levels while reducing your LDL, for those who don’t know HDL is the good cholesterol that protects your Heart, and LDL is the bad cholesterol that blocks your blood vassels.

From an evolutionary point of view, thousands of years ago, humans would walk long distances everyday, and sprint only in specific moments to hunt.

Therefore jogging isn’t exactly natural, and it can have some risks, walking gives you all the benefits of jogging, and more, and with out the risks.

Tony Kim June 15, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Helder, when I started getting serious about fitness, my impression from doing a ton of “layperson’s research” is that HIIT is effective for body recomposition (among other things) and LISS work such as walking or a light jog/cycling, etc. for 30-45 minutes is effective for improving one’s blood lipid profile (also, among other things).

Posts like this one by Rusty is a reminder as to why I always check this site first when I go online. Nice work!

mickieb June 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm

Another great post as usual. I really love how you have been researching and keep updating on your beliefs as well as the info! I see you maturing on this site! I have always loved walking. Its something I did to lose my first 10lbs 2 years ago. I walked about 8 miles everyday. I cant do that now, bc I have a child to watch, but will get back to the mega miles again one day. For now, I am on my treadmill and other equipment doing what I can. Now Im on a modified Warrior Diet to try to get these last 10lbs off. Im also doing some HIIT along with my other exercises.

I found a couple typos, maybe youd want to fix? Under “There Are Still Many Benefits to Intense Activity” last sentence, I think you meant YOUR and not YOU. Also somewhere at the beginning of this you probably meant HEALTH, but left out the L. 🙂

Thuy June 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm

I wear a pedometer and aim to put in 10,000 steps minimum a day (15,000 if I do not have a workout planned for the day). They come cheap these days, about $10-$20 for your basic design.

Ways I reach a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
– I take the LONG way around to the bathroom, water cooler, break room, exit/entrance, etc. when in the office. Sometimes, I even walk around twice. Yes, I look like a complete idiot but lets see who’s laughing in the end when I’m still around, healthy and lean! 🙂

– During lunch hour, I take a leisure stroll around the water front of my office building (sometime with another coworker for company). It’s a good hour to relax, meditate, and get away from the hectic office environment.

– I live on the 11th floor of my condo building. I usually take the stairs down instead of waiting for the elevator.

– And of course, the obvious: park further back in the parking lots, walk to the grocery store if close enough (yes, get yourself one of those carts, I’ve officially become a “cart/bag” lady.)

– Also, when shopping for whole foods, I would take public transportation into Manhattan and walk to the Farmer’s Market. I do this every Saturday and my total walking steps usually comes out to an average of 18,000 steps for that day alone.

Hope this helps!

Jason G June 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Best way to walk is to do it out doors in the wilderness. Hiking is a hobby of mine. I Did some great hikes in New Zealand. I plan to do an extensive hike somewhere in the world every two or so years. For You Rusty there’s great hiking in Washington or take a trip some where.

Michael June 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

great post Rusty.

recently i’ve been doing a 45 minute cardio kick in between weight days. I’ll jog for 15-20min then do 10 intervals of 30 sec ON 90 sec OFF HIIT training but I think I’m going to try a couple weeks of only walking before my intervals and see if I feel any different.

I mean if the alternative is death, who am I not to at least try it 😉

Irish June 15, 2009 at 5:16 pm

For all the people stuck in an office sitting at a desk:

Try to walk as much as possible by taking breaks to walk around get out of the office for a few minutes. Walk to lunch and if you’re in a rush or only get half an hour for lunch by something on most days that you can walk and eat. Rusty recommends eating lots of fruit throughout the day if you do eat stop eat or Warrior Diets then eat and apple and bananna for lunch leave the office for a walk while you do it. If I don’t have time for a nice walk once or twice throughout my work day (I work in an office sitting at a desk from 7 to 5 mon through fri) I will walk the stairs in our office (14 stories) just to loosen up and take a quick break and ge tthe blood flowing. I think walking really does help loosen up and repair some of the break down intense exercise does to your body. Golfing is my favorite thing that involves walking the courses are all beautiful and when I walk the course and carry by bag I always score much better than when using a cart because you can focus much better on each shot in the time it takes to get to your ball.

Norbi June 15, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Hi Rusty,

great post AGAIN. 🙂 I love that you mentioned the amount of overweight people in North America vs. other countries, and that one of the reasons is the amount of walking. I always thought this was the case, I’m from Eastern Europe, and I see a big difference between the people here and there, but I also see the huge difference in lifestyle. There, I just naturally walk more. The distances are smaller, more people walk, parking is a hassle, better mass transportation, etc. These things just add up.

Another note, it’s funny that you call the look you’re ‘promoting’ the “Hollywood look” – I just moved to Hollywood about 2 weeks ago, and now I definitely understand why you’re using this term. 🙂 One of the qualities of Hollywood that’s rare in So Cal, especially in LA is that it’s very very walkable. The other day I took an eventually almost 6 hour walk (fast walk actually, I was tired like hell afterward), it was a Saturday night, the place is going crazy around those times, so I walked all the way to the center, and then up on the hill on Sunset, just to people watch and get some fresh air. Other than that, I work from home so it takes some ‘planning’ to get my daily walk, but if I eat out I try to walk there (I looked up a few good looking places in my vicinity), I’d walk to one of the mailboxes that’s further from me, and occasionally I have to park my car a few streets down from me (which I don’t like for safety reasons, but it still gives me the opportunity to walk 🙂 ).

Jake,

it sounds like you’re a small frame, just like me, although I gained weight earlier so I’m in the process of losing it. One of the best posts I found on gaining real strength and size at the same time is this:

http://fitnessblackbook…a-sensible-way-to-build-muscle-mass/

Also, you can check out all the posts on muscle building:

http://fitnessblackbook.com/category/muscle-building/

I’d also do HIIT cardio, even if you don’t have anything to lose it improves your endurance and it might burn whatever you have on your lower pecs, and also add planks for your ABS. This is just a personal tip, I know that this is what I’m going to do once I hit my target weight (which is going to be really slim, so I will need to gain size too).

vito June 15, 2009 at 6:24 pm

hey i have a question about a 1 1/2 months ago i started my new job. In my line we tear down transmissions. im at the end of the line the most physical part of the job and the dirtiest probably cause im 20 years younger than everyone else go figure. lol im 20 i stand and lift 60-80 pound transmission cases(the core of the transmission) and put them on a roller belt and have to man handle them and hold a 15 pound grinder to them and clean them in a factory where its 100+ in the summer. I don’t do a ton of walking but im standing 10 hours and before bed i do a upper body work out with push ups and sit ups and run about a mile. How healthy is this for someone.

oh and if you need a upper body workout try my job

Brian June 15, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I think I have the very magazine that’s in! Was it in “Flex”?

I used to think that was good advice. I was big, well shaped and strong, and got plenty of female attention…

… but I was often sore and tired and needed to rest my muscles. The harder I worked the more rest I needed. And I could only run up about two flights of stairs before nearly having a heart attack! Now I work out _smarter_ not harder. Now I facilitate my abilities rather than continuously temporarily debilitating myself.

(and I still get plenty of female attention, if not more 😉 )

I’ll leave it to you to work out which one I prefer! 🙂

Rich June 15, 2009 at 7:24 pm

A great blog post, as usual.

I walk to work every day, about 2 plus miles. Twice a week I also do the return trip. And once a week I do sprints, times 8-12.

The result? People are shocked I’m 48; they assume I’m mid-thirties. That’s because I’m at my high school weight.

Don’t underestimate the power of ambulation and beer. I’d walk three miles for a Guinness. Mmmmm, Guinness. Or any other decent brew. Walk long, then quaff suds. You’ve earned it.

Rich

Gina from Diet Renegade June 15, 2009 at 10:30 pm

Hi Rusty,

My exercise of choice is walking or hiking. I walk 4 to 5 times a week for an hour each and then on the weekend I’ll go for a strenuous few hour hike.

It makes me feel fantastic and being in nature helps me forget about the stresses of daily life for a few hours.

If you really think about our human history, walking is one of the most natural forms of exercise for us – I think that accounts for all of its health benefits.

Thanks so much for another great post!

~ Gina

Josh June 15, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I live about a mile from the gym. I’ll admit I drive to go work out, My father still gets a good laugh out that that one. He always told me that walking was “the most natural exercise” I used to just laugh that off but beginning today I started walking back and forth to the gym. I noticed that it was both a nice warm up and a cool down from my regular workout. I think finding little ways to add in extra walking will be the easiest for most people. For example at the store park in the back of the lot, if you take the bus or a subway get off a few blocks from your destination.

Laura June 15, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Great post. At 21 years old, I haven’t been alive enough to reap the long term benefits of my daily walking, but what I do know is that walking is one of my favourite ‘leisure’ activities. I find walking extremely peaceful and liberating. I live in the city so most of my walks are on pavement but my absolute favourite location is walking on the beach. A dirt path while hiking comes in a close second! There are many, many gorgeous trails to be hiked near me; nature is beautiful!

I’m so thankful that I was born and raised in a city that promotes public transit, biking and walking versus being stapled to your car seat. One major difference I notice when I travel to rural towns in North America is the 1. obesity rate is much higher 2. middle aged and older folks look like they take care of themselves much less.

Brandon June 15, 2009 at 11:44 pm

its easy….get a dog.

sangita June 16, 2009 at 1:50 am

AWRIGHT!! This post is right up my alley!. I always feel that I am in way better health than most of my friends because at all times in my life I have clung to walking as if it were a lifeline. There were times when I could’nt do it very often but I did it. And boy has it paid off! Just this Sunday I went for an intense one and half hour long walk. All the while listening to great music. I was tired in the evening but right as rain next day.
I am lucky to have these miles of woods right in the middle of the city not far from where I live. It will get a little muddy now when the rains start. Which means I walk slowly and deliberately, carefully bringing down my weight on each foot as I negiotiate the paths in the fresh clean air. It requires patience but and the end of it and next day morning I am glowing. Am I doing some kind of special workout?
Also to look at the beautiful royal peacocks as they saunter by!!! Feels amazing!

Yavor June 16, 2009 at 1:59 am

Walking is great, especially now that it’s summer. I walk with my lab Lucky (and also make him other stuff like running stair lol – Lucky the goofball.

I also walk to work 2x per week to the studio where I train people.

And I love just wandering through the city.

CraigB June 16, 2009 at 10:01 am

Great Article! There’s so many benefits to both walking and higher intensity forms of exercise. This article helps those that are more biased towards running, HIIT, etc. have a more open mind about the advantages of also incorporating walking into our fitness regimens. thanks for another eye opening post.

RJ June 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

There is a Swedish saying that roughly translates: “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” You have to get past the mindset that it needs to be sunny and 68 degrees to go for a walk. I challenge myself to walk a loop that takes me down by the river every day. Since I live in Northern New England, this is no small task, but the rewards are huge. Another friend of mine that lives North of the Artic Circle walks daily as well, despite “killing” cold in the winter and killer mosquitos in the summer. I’ve heard that 3 ten minute walks are just as effective…is that true?

Sam June 16, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Rusty,

I had a question about a previous post of yours. In your experience, how long does it take for the skin to tighten around the muscles, giving you the great tone, once you have reached your goal weight? I thought I remember you saying somewhere that it might take 1-2 months but am unsure.

Thanks,

Sam

Josh June 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

RJ,
I can relate! I grew up in Tampa, Florida. I now live in Rochester, New York. Very different extremes! In Tampa though nothing used to beat those evening strolls along Bayshore! I think I got a good cardio workout just seeing the ladies. Upstate New York winters are notorious for being brutal, very snowy and very cold. I have fallen off the walking wagon over the years but if you have a friend who lives in the Arctic Circle and can tough it out then I really have no excuse at all!

Heather June 16, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Hi, I walk everyday for at least 1 1/2 hours. Sometimes during those 90 minutes I will sprint or just straight jog for 3 miles. I think walking everyday is a great idea! And it doesn’t even have to be intense as long as you incorporate strength training several times a week.

admin June 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

gus,

You are living a healthy lifestyle. Soccer is an amazing interval style workout, strength training, and walking.

Kirill,

You get in a great amount of walking. You are inspiring me!

Joe,

I walk fast as well. It takes me more energy to slow down then it does to walk at my normal stride.

gus,

You can get a six pack without any direct ab work whatsoever, but I would add in a 2 minute plank about 2-3 times per week to make the abs slightly sharper.

Paul,

That is great. Now I have no excuse. That is some serious walking.

drew,

That is awesome. I love Gray’s Harbor. I’m going to be out your way (Lake Quinalt) in 2 weeks to stay in the Rain Forest.

Yash,

I did a ton of walking in college…an enormous amount. Good call. I do a lot of great thinking when I’m walking as well.

Drew,

I hear Minneapolis is a great city. Similar in size to Seattle, a good music scene, etc. We don’t have great public transportation, but they are working on it. Sounds like Minneapolis is dialed in when it some to this.

Sam,

I am sure walking regularly does make a difference in body fat levels as well. Not a quick fix, but over the course of a year it has to help.

Rafi,

I didn’t know the benefits were this great either. Going to go out of my way to walk more often.

Jane,

Your method of walking and jogging is a great way to get an HIIT workout outdoors. Then mixing it with walking only is a great way to get the other health benefits of walking. Great job!

Jake,

Getting to the level of an Abercrombie model is pretty easy. Simply get stronger without trying to get bigger. Gain strength while doing HIIT and maintaining a clean diet. You will naturally add a bit of muscle over time, but it won’t be excessive due to the fact that you are doing HIIT and keeping the calories low.

Mike,

I think walking in the evening is a good way to connect with nature a bit. I spend to many evenings in front of the TV to wind down. I probably need to go for a walk myself (and then watch a little TV).

Puffer,

Thanks for the compliments and the recommendations to your friends. Funny comments about the IT guys! Why is it that so many of them fit that stereotype to a “T”. Love that!

Jim,

I haven’t seen a Nordic Walking study. I’ll keep an eye out.

Kane,

I love Darth Vader stuff…corny, but I am a sci-fi geek. I will look you up for sure when I go to London. I have a tour guide for Spain, Portugal, Australia, and now London…I really enjoy getting to know you guys online. Me and my girlfriend are interested in going to the cool places in each city and the only way to do that is to be shown around by a local.

Lihan,

Sure…I agree with a lot of what is said in this article. Mainly, that diet is the key to fat loss and that the fat loss benefits of exercise is often exagerrated. As far as boosting the metabolism…HIIT put your body in an extreme fat burning state for 30-60 minutes after the workout is done. This fat burning can be amplified by doing a bit of steady state cardio during this window…click the link at the very bottom of my site that says “low body fat percentage”. What the study failed to address was the post workout HGH boost than happens many hours later. Again, this won’t get you lean if you are eating a bad diet, but will work wonders if your diet is clean. As always, I’d say diet is 80% of the battle and if you are going to do exercise, do it in a “strategic way” like I recommend.

wolverine,

It is hard to say if jogging would have the same benefits as walking. I’m guessing that you would would want to walk some of the time and jog some of the time.

Elle,

I have never had a dog, but dog owners seem to get massive benefits from having a dog. Someday, when I live outside of the city, I may consider it.

Done,

I don’t even pay attention to ankles, but I’m sure you are right. Your dogs are lucky to have such an active owner.

Clark,

I know many of these studies are exagerrated, but the principle is sound in this one. It makes sense to walk more and walking is one thing that is really missing in our modern society, compared to the past. I do get what you are saying. They did use a huge sample size in these two studies and it followed people over many years. This one seemed pretty legit.

John,

Good point about being able to enjoy exercise with your wife. This is another benefit. My girlfriend would hate my gym workout, but would have a good time walking with me. That is a great idea. Another way to spend more time together. Good point on gym rats as well, typically not the coolest people in the world.

Matt,

That is a good idea…especially given your circumstances. Great progress on the weight loss so far, by the way!

Rachel,

Dog owners have a win-win situation when it comes to this. You and your dog will be healthier and happier. Sounds good to me!

Helder,

Good point with the LDL and HDL levels. Also…it makes sense that we weren’t meant to jog for long distances. I never liked the way jogging felt on my body. Sprinting is fun and so is walking. Jogging makes me hurt all over.

Tony,

Thanks for the compliment…I appreciate it. Keep reading!

mickieb,

I do like putting in research, but didn’t want to make this the typical research fitness site. I try for a mix of personal observation posts mixed with scientific studies. That being said…I do spend more time on each post these days. When you know a massive amount of people are going to be reading, it puts you in an interesting position. Thanks for pointing out the typos…I don’t care if I have them in the comment section, but try to avoid having them in the post.

Thuy,

I need to get a pedometer. I believe that you can make the best improvements when you track something like this. It would be fun to do this and chart activity levels over the course of a month. I live on the 7th floor of my apt building. I should use the stairs. The elevator is so slow that it would probably be faster to walk anyway. We have an awesome farmers market in Seattle…I should try walking there as well.

Jason G,

New Zealand looks outstanding. Washington has tons of great trails and wilderness. They recently filmed the movie Twilight about 2 hours from Seattle in the Olympic Rain Forrest. I love this area, but it is fun to see the terrain in other parts of the world. I hear that New Zealand is beautiful. Have you been to Costa Rica? That is where I want to go next.

Michael,

“Walk or die”…I should make t-shirts and try to make walking cool…a twist on the “skate or die!” slogan. “Everybody who is anybody is doin’ it!”. On a serious note, it makes sense to walk at least part of the time.

Irish,

Good point on golf and walking. I play frisbe golf, which has similar benefits (although it is a bit “geeky” compared to golf). Frisbee golf is actually a blast. I saw a funny frisbee gold bumper sticker the last time I played…”Duck or Bleed!” (with a funny picture of a guy getting hit in the head with a frisbee).

Norbi,

I kind of wished that I would have lived in Hollywood when I was in my 20’s. I think it would have been a great experience…late nights, great beaches nearby, etc. Now that I’m older I appreciate a slower pace, so my plan is to live the winter months with my girfriend in a small fishining village with a nice beach in South America. Always thought it would be fun to live near Central Park in New York as well. I bet you are having a blast in Hollywood!

vito,

Your job sounds rough! I doubt you need much more exercise then you are getting. Just make sure you eat well and you will be good. Seriously…I get tired just thinking about doing that. On a side note, maintain good posture while you are handling that heavy machinery. You don’t want to ruin your back. Also…at some point, you should see if you can mix in some of the lighter work as well.

Brian,

I forgot about Flex! Freaky roided-up guys on the cover wearing sunglasses while lifting (what is up with the sunglass thing). That magazine was terrible, but I did read it 20 years ago when I was new to lifting. On a side note…Ironman was pretty darn good in the late 80’s. It was one of the few magazines that gave routines that would work for natural lifters. I know what you mean about being big and feeling sluggish. Not the way to go!

Rich,

I love your idea about walking for beer! That is enough to motivate me. I could make a deal with myself that I would allow myself one cold beer, if the pub was over 2 miles away. I typically go to happy hour with my girlfriend at least once per week, but maybe we should have a rule that we need to walk there. Finally…someone who really understands how to motivate me 🙂

Gina,

I am going to go walking with my girlfriend tonight either before or after dinner. I really am seriously trying to make a lifestyle change and thinking long-term. Hearing your routine motivates me even more. Thanks a bunch!

Josh,

Good call on wlaking to your gym. I like the idea of getting off the bus before your destination. What I may do is park further from the busy destinations down-town. In the busiest areas of the city, it is stressful to find parking. If you go about 1/2 mile away, parking is abundant. Less stress and more exercise…sounds like a plan.

Laura,

In North America, many people over the age of 30 let themselves go. It is shocking at times. As you get older just continue to stay active and don’t use age as an excuse (sounds like you won’t) and you will just look like an older version of the way you look now. Some people reach 30, put on a lot of weight and transform into a completely different looking person. I almost think it is easier to look good as you age, because you figure out what works for your body over time.

Brandon,

That is a good solution. Sounds like many dog owners get a lot more exercise than I realized.

sangita,

Where do you live where you get to see Royal Peacocks. I think I remember you told me where you live, but it has slipped my mind. Sounds like some cool scenery.

Yavor,

Poor little Lucky! You are like a bootcamp instructor to your dog. Just kiddin’…I’m sure he loves it!

Craig B,

I have been more biased towards the intense stuff, but I’m now focused on adding in walking. No sure what took me so long to add it into my routine.

RJ,

I’m betting that 3 ten minute walks will do the same as one 30 minute walk. It is the accumulation of activity, since you aren’t really after a big metabolic effect. As far as people in Sweden go, those people are in great health, so it pays to listen to their words of wisdom. I really want to visit London badly. My girlfriend want to do Paris, but London seems more my style. Guess I’ll do both…but then again, Spain has the beaches. Have you ever been to Croatia? The beaches there look outstanding. Anyway…just thinking about traveling again.

Sam,

It depends upon how elastic your skin is and how much weight you’ve lost. If you only had 5-10 pounds to lose it will only take 30-60 days. I have noticed that if you can stay lean for 3-4 months, that you will look even better. So my short answer 30-60 days to get 90% there and another 2-3 months to reach an even higher level of definition. It pays to stay lean year round (or within 5 pounds).

Heather,

I’ve know people who have reached really low body fat levels with just one HIIT workout per week, and a few strength training sessions. The key was their diet…they created a large calorie deficit with their diet, so they lost body fat like crazy. Incorporating walking into this type of routine would be perfect. You are right, it doesn’t have to be intense at all.

Tons of great comments!

Rusty

Heather June 16, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Wow, you sure answered pretty quick, lol!

Jason G June 16, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Rusty,

Have not been to Costa Rica. It is definitely on my to do list. I went to Olympic Rain Forrest when I was younger-I love the moss on those trees! However the vampires up there are a little emotional for my taste and probably should work on not being such pansies with women.

Jennie June 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm

I just went for a walk by the river Thames! On my way back from the pub!

Norbi June 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Rusty,

yeah I can understand why one would want something different from Hollywood after a certain age, it’s certainly very active, crazy and busy here, not a very relaxed place. I’m rather in the process of settling down, but I already really like the place – it’s just got this overall very hip atmosphere to it.

Evan June 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I’ve always enjoyed walking and would walk a few hours a day during my overweight teenage years and early twenties. I credit my awesome calves and lack of visceral fat despite getting up to 260 pounds to walking. Walking is the best (and only) way I’ve found to break through fat loss plateaus. Creating that magical 500 calorie deficit is as easy as walking 2 hours a day. You don’t need to be watching crap on TV or surfing the net anyway.

Apart from the physical benefits, it calms me down and ensures I get a great night’s sleep. For added benefit, I walk for hours in my Vibram Five Fingers and practice maintaining the abdominal brace — two ways to greatly improve your posture! And if you’re interested in parkour you can surely find some structures to play with along the way.

Evan June 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Whoops, that first line should read “walk a few hours a week.”

Glowworm June 16, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Hi Rusty-
I want to thank you for everything. I am always amazed and inspired when I log onto Fitness Black Book. You are truly an amazing inspiration, and I don’t just mean physically. You have made a huge commitment to helping people that you will never meet, you strive to change outdated thinking and to help people help themselves all in a great, open, honest format. Words cannot express my gratitude! I am sure you are bogged down with life’s issues that we all face, I just pray that you never stop posting regardless of what cards life deals you. Thanks again!

sangita June 17, 2009 at 2:35 am

I live in India Rusty, in the state of Maharashtra and in the city of Pune. And when you guys (u and your girlfriend) come here I promise you a good time. I’ve got it all planned out. You are going to get blown away! Not to mention all the delicious food I’ll be cooking!

Jonavan June 17, 2009 at 4:21 am

I thought this might be a related entry. It’s a blog of how to put together a standing desk. I don’t know if this qualifies as walking, but I’m sure it is better than sitting.

http://webworkerdaily…how-to-build-a-standing-desk/

Matt June 17, 2009 at 9:59 am

Thanks for the encouragement Rusty! I’d like to add that of the 60 lbs I’ve lost since the beggining of 2008, more than half of it occured over the last 2 months since I discovered your site and Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat. I can’t thank you guys enough…

I’ve done the post-HIIT treadmill walk twice this week – both times I’ve increased the incline every 30 seconds so at the 15 minute mark it’s maxed out – then I decrease it every 30 seconds till I’m back to 0. Even at a walking pace it kicks my butt!

Juan Pablo June 17, 2009 at 10:28 am

Hi Rusty!

I´m a 33 years old guy from Madrid (Spain). Maybe I´m your first international reader, who knows (I´d be honoured, i´ve to admit!).

Just wanted to congratulate you for your excellent site and body of work. I´ve training for 5 or 6 years now and avidly reading a lot of related stuff (in the Internet, scientific and technical literature, etc.) and I´ve to say that your articles deserve a privileged position among all I´ve come across during all these years (and it´s been a lot, ranging from the Venuto system, to more sports and less bodybuilding focused books like Anita Bean´s, Melvin Williams and many, many others (including the Abs System, designed by the chief editor of Men´s Health).
To summarize a little bit, I fullt agree with all your statements as they proved them right with me (i did it naturally, without any prior advice till I found your “system” materialized in text). My height is 190 cms and I weight around 73-75 kgs (can you perform the conversions here for the rest of the readers, please?) and do body weight lifting at home (pull ups, push ups, dips, shoulder raises and stationary bike). I usually have 2 raw eggs for breakfast, legumes with lean protein at lunch, and a salad for dinner, as well with some lean protein (chicken breast in most of the cases). I eat a lot of veggies, and almost none fruit (because of the fructose, but I´m a convinced follower of the low GI type of foods, and it happens that the majority of fruits have a very low GI. I also read the “Glycemic Revolution”, a very recommendable manual).
I do have a cheating day (apple pie, ice cream, Godiva…), and on weekends the lean protein use to be sirloin steaks.

Well, too much stuff for now, sorry for the typos and errors, and, again, two thumbs up for your excellent site.

All the best from Spain,

Juan Pablo

Brad June 17, 2009 at 11:57 am

Long summer days = long summer walks!

browngrl June 17, 2009 at 7:01 pm

totally agree!
I think intervals are great and should be part of everyone’s excercise regimen but even more important is just being active as much as possible – walking is great for this AND it doesn’t cause as many injuries as running AND it is interesting AND fun (I live in a big city and walk everywhere and this is how I have really come to know my neighbourhood)AND you don’t need special training or equipment AND you can bump up the intensity easily but walking up hills and stairs on your walk and stopping for push ups,lunges etc – all around winner

admin June 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Heather,

I happened to be online right as you commented. Good timing on your part.

Jason G,

Yeah, “Twilight” was geared more towards teenage girls, but still entertaining. I like my generation’s teen vampire movie, “The Lost Boys”, a bit better…but that is just probably because I was a teenager in the 80’s…it certainly wasn’t the acting.

Jennie,

It is a small world. That is hilarious. Hopefully the beer was good!

Norbi,

Hollywood certainly has its great points. I’m sure you will have a blast.

Evan,

You are making me feel lazy! Two hours of walking per day…I need to work my way up to that. I did walk to the grocery store today for food, but that was only 45 minutes round trip.

Glowworm,

I will never stop posting. I really appreciate the positive feedback from you as well as many others. I could be watching TV instead, but I really get a lot more out of helping people. This is really fun and rewarding for me. The nice thing is that I have made contacts all over the world. How cool is that?

sangita,

Indian food is delicious and the country does look amazing. I’m sure it would be a culture shock, but me and my girlfriend would love to visit. When we do, we will contact you. Thanks for offering to be a great tour guide.

Jonavan,

That looks great. Someday, I would like to have a standing desk as well as a seated desk. I’m not sure I would want to stand the whole time, but part of the day would be great.

Matt,

I’ve done a very similar routine while walking on the treadmill. That is a great strategy. At some point this will become too easy for you, but by then you will have lost even more weight. Thanks for the compliment…and yes, Brad Pilon obviously gets my highest recommendation. His material is outstanding.

Juan,

This site does get quite a bit of international readers, but the more the merrier! I love the fact that we can communicate for free from across the globe. I really think the Internet is an amazing thing! So you are about 6’2″ and 165-170 range. Sounds like you are lean and have a similar build to a pro-beach volleyball player. Very good…sounds like you are very educated in staying in great shape. I am humbled that you compare my site to these established fitness guru’s…I know the methods I talk about work extremely well, but I still appreciate each and every compliment.

Brad,

I am going to really work hard and develop a walking habit this summer when the weather is nice. By the time winter hits, it will be a habit so it won’t be hard to continue. I really do look forward to long summer walks with my girlfriend!

browngrl,

I have come to realize that it will be easier staying lean by simply moving around more. Besides that, walking is a good staple to a healthy lifestyle. I have done pretty well this week and still trying to add in walking whenever possible. I have to admit, it has taken a bit of effort to get over my habit of grabbing the car keys every time I leave the apartment.

Great comments!

Rusty

Sagheer June 19, 2009 at 2:34 am

Hey Rusty

Been reading your blog for a while and I love the fact that you are not afraid of trying things which are different and at times may be at odds with your method of training.

I was 80kgs (5’8″) when I decided to work out as my job as an equity analyst is long drawn (15 hr days) and with little exercise. I dropped down all the way to 63kgs (11% BF), then decided to buff up a bit. Thanks to all those fads I overate and now I have 17% BF, 70kgs. I think your method of training makes sense to me. I do not aspire to be built like a pro wrestler. I want a Tom Cruise kind of physique, so working towards that. My main fight is with my diet. Indian food is carb rich and not exactly very healthy! HELP!

PS: recommended your Fitness Black Book on my blog!

Studio Element Personal Training June 22, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Walking has almost become a lost art. It’s a great way to get active during a workday and you can walk anywhere. We have become so reliant on cars and other modes of transportation. Walk or ride a bike next time.

Jeff June 22, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Someone once said “The two best doctors I have are my left leg and my right one.”

Helene June 26, 2009 at 6:52 am

Thanks for your contribution to Take Care of Your Health Care Carnival. Walking is an excellent exercise that is very natural for the body.

LisaR June 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm

I agree and so does award winning cardiologist Dr. Morgadam. He says intense exercise too often actually INCREASES your CAD risk by over a thousand percent.

Yummy July 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm

I’m a little late, but this is a GREAT post. Thanks so much for the info!
I try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. I also try to walk to work on most days. It’s great take a stroll first thing in the morning or right after dinner. Go with your lover, your friends, your dog, or your ipod! Smell the roses! 🙂
Once you get in the habit it becomes a nice, relaxing part of your day.

pjnoir July 7, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Remember- the 30 min walk is in ADDITION to a good HITT or cardio workout. Simply walking is great to reduce stress, grease the joints and keep the body parts in motion (see Satch Paige) but if you are diabetic and/or need to control weight by increasing calorie burn-a HITT/cardio workout with a strength training program is still the front line.

katie July 17, 2009 at 11:03 am

I guess I better start walking on my lunch break!

Dennis July 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Currently I’m deployed & at the small FOB we are stationed at as there at most FOB’s there is a bus system that gets you around to where you need to be. It amazes me how many will rather take the bus rather than the short walk (other FOB’s can be a much longer walk of several miles) to the chow hall, the PX, or the laundry facility even when it has cooled down. I simply refuse to do so & will walk everywhere instead of taking the bus. Been here for over 9 months this time have only riden the bus maybe three or 4 times.

Markus Kislich August 13, 2009 at 11:28 am

Hey Rusty!
Name‘s Markús, I‘m an Athletic Strength Coach up here in Iceland….Top of the World !;-)
I like your stuff, makes for a nice, refreshing change. The Fat-Burning advice is 1st class.
About walking: I live(literally)right on the beach, and I walk there near every day(at least in the Summer !;-)playing with my Doggie.
It‘s surely at least a half an hour on average per day total, and while I have no scientific back-up for this I should say that my health is excellent, at least that‘s what it feels like.
Making good progress with the Eat-Stop-Eat Fasting System, keep up the Good Work,
Thanks,

Markús.

Christina Collett August 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Hi,

I have a buddy that runs about 10 miles a day, but doesn’t really do a whole lot of walking. I understand that you have to have intense cardio to reduce fat, but if running so much, do you need to add walking in there as well? Is there a difference between running and walking fitness wise? And does running have the same effect on your health as walking does?

thank you!

Physique Bodyware USA August 24, 2009 at 8:22 am

I do walk everyday for 20-30 mins in a garden, I have a gym just below my apartment but I don’t like to walk on a treadmill. Early in the morning, listening to nature, breathing fresh air is so refreshing.

Paul T. September 26, 2009 at 7:49 pm

Rusty, I am very busy and don’t know if I have enough time to add walking into my schedule, do you think the cycling I am already doing might have some of the same benefits of walking?

Kylee November 9, 2009 at 4:41 am

Dear Rusty my name is Kylee and I live in Victoria, Australia.
I am glad that you brought walking up because I love walking.
In fact where I live they call me “The Walker” because that was the main exercise I used to lose 40 kilos in 1 year (I have 3 kids but I looked like I’d had 3 + more kids…lol)
Anyway walking gives me time to think, relax, it makes me happier when I walk, plus on top of that I haven’t needed to see a doctor in a year and a half seeing I haven’t gotten sick, I chuck on my mp3 player,crank it up and away I go.
I usually throw running up and down 5 flights of stairs every second day but it really has changed my life regards Kylee Celik.

brittany May 1, 2010 at 6:28 pm

im 19 and i work at chipotle(currently in cosmotology school as well) and im a cashier so im on my feet all day. and from how busy we are all the time im fast walking all over the place and my shifts are about 6-8 hours long. so maybe thats what keeps me healthy but my feet kill me so bad if i work 5 days out of the week. we have to wear specific shoes (shoes for crews) so its not like i can get some special shoes for my soar feet or back. and id love to actually work out but my feet are always hurting too bad. any suggestions?

jump program September 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Being on shape doesn’t mean you are already fit. You still have to do the simplest exercise which is walking. Walking helps you move every part of the body and stays you on condition.

Chris October 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Dump the car! I know some people need a car, but a lot of people only think they do. The rise in obesity is not just about poor diet, it is directly in line with the rise in car ownership. Motorists have a lot in common with disabled people in wheelchairs, they both get about without the use of their legs. In fact, a car is just a wheelchair with an engine.
I passed my driving test many years ago, but I have lived a full and enjoyable life without ever owning a car. Walking really makes me feel alive.

robert November 26, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Walking is a moderate aerobic exercise. It increases breathing and heart rate, improving circulation, and increasing muscle and bone strength. Walking is also a low-impact exercise….it is easy on the joints in the ankle and knee, and since the body stays balanced and its momentum is in control, walking is mostly an accident-free exercise

Zoe March 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Hi Rusty,

Just so you know a walking pub tour is fondly known here in England as a Pub Crawl, some places also call it a Beano !!

[email protected] June 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I’ve also noticed that people who live in “walking” cities like New York tend to be in great shape. More walking and less driving!

Vaclav Gregor September 6, 2011 at 6:53 am

Interesting article. I think it’s a good idea to just walk everywhere and always use stairs. For ex.: I always walk to the gym, which takes me about 15 minutes to get there and another 15 minutes to get back home.

Niko - noeXcusefitness December 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I always walk for 30mins during my lunch break at work. It’s a healthy way to get out of the office and get some fresh air. I still eat clean and train with intensity 5 times per week, but the walking really clears my head.

Nieves Zedeno January 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

I’ve been doing intense cardio/weight training (1/5-2 hrs) 3 times a week, or alternating intense and weight training for an hour each day (4-5 times) and was not going anywhere.

So now, I do intense cardio/training for 2 hours every other day, and walk my dogs for 3.3 miles (about 1 hour) on my off days. Rest one day. It[‘s been a month and I’m beginning to see a difference. For one, my knees and feet aren’t as stiff or sore any more (Im 49 yo, 5’1, 126#)

Rainer January 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Exactly what I used to say, “Walking is for sissies, overweight people and those who can’t do a ‘real’ workout. Well guess who’s walking 3 miles a day – and enjoying it? Yeah, me.

I came out of a hard core, extreme training environment ever since I was a young teenager. I made it onto two Olympic teams but I paid a dear price. I just had my eighth (that’s 8) surgery and am now re-training my body to walk without a limp for the fifth time.

This time around, I am waiting a lot longer before I go back into the gym to hit the weights. In the meantime, I have discovered walking. Even that wasn’t so easy at first but it’s really done wonders. It also gives lots of time to think.

Maybe I’ll have to reconsider yoga now too!

Rainer January 31, 2012 at 8:07 am

January 30, 2012
Rainer said:
Exactly what I used to say, “Walking is for sissies, overweight people and those who can’t do a ‘real’ workout. Well guess who’s walking 3 miles a day – and enjoying it? Yeah, me.
I came out of a hard core, extreme training environment ever since I was a young teenager. I made it onto two Olympic teams but I paid a dear price. I just had my eighth (that’s surgery and am now re-training my body to walk without a limp for the fifth time.
This time around, I am waiting a lot longer before I go back into the gym to hit the weights. In the meantime, I have discovered walking. Even that wasn’t so easy at first but it’s really done wonders. It also gives lots of time to think.
Maybe I’ll have to reconsider yoga now too!
Permalink • Reply to this

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Jeff G August 7, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Rusty, love your site. I have been following since novmeber 2011. In that time i have literally lost 60 pounds from lifting weights (as you recomend, eating right, and doing hiit. My wife has lost 35 pounds). We came to waikiki for a month long vacation, rented a tiny studio apartment. We have been no gym, though mixed in some body weight exercise work, and basic cardio ( running along the beach beats the hell out of any tredmill from a motivation standpoint), though nothing as intense as hiit. The only difference is we walk everywhere here with no car, probably average 3 miles a day. My wife is down a size in clothes in 2 weeks, and my shorts are falling off me. My point is i believe walking is a great help, for health and fat loss that is not a lot of intense work. Your site is amazing, anyone who disagrees does not know what they are talking about.

nicole January 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Hi,
This post worried me a bit, I work out 4-5 times a week, but work at an airport which consists of me sitting for 8 and half hours! I do love to walk, it is just my jobs restricts me of this.
Have you got any tips of how I can work around it?
Thanks

Leigh February 13, 2013 at 10:38 am

Nicole:
A lot of people have desk jobs in which typically they sit for an avg. of 40 hrs /week. You do get a lunch and breaks throughout the day (required by law) – take advantage of these to walk. Also consider a standing desk. You can buy one or make it yourself inexpensively. Your company cannot “require” you to sit all day.
Leigh

Richard March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Good stuff Rusty! I sit a great deal while at work. I walk up/down flights of stairs every day. Gets my stubborn calves stimulated too!

pomegranate5 March 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

I started taking 2000 steps daily in the last few weeks, I then increased it to 4000. I pushed myself a little bit and reached 6000 steps in one hour. Six thousand steps is 4.83km I can now walk 1000 steps in 8minutes. I aim to reach 10000 steps. I try to walk daily. My lower back feels better with the walk and daily asanas/stretches/yoga for the back. I noticed the hourly walks led to better sleep, feeling lighter upon waking in the morning. It’s like I have a spring in my step.

Do not force yourself, increase the steps gradually.

I weigh around 53-55kg. I am slim but have some abdominal fat. I hope the daily walking helps shed the fat and am able to get a lean belly. I know a healthy diet is essential combined with the walking.

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