Strength training and walking

Can You Replace a Workout with Walking

After our email about water intake Monday, we got another question (keep ’em coming!) Can you replace strength training and walking?

Q & A:  Won’t I get the same benefit if I replace my workout with walking?  They’re both physical activity, right?      

It is true that strength training and walking are both forms of physical activity.  Both have their own unique benefits, but neither can replace the other.  A good analogy for this question would be, “if I take extra vitamin D can I skip my vitamin C?  They’re both vitamins right?”  When we ask the question this way the answer is immediately obvious – both are vitamins, but neither can replace the other no matter how much you consume.

The more years your body accumulates the more important it is to take a balanced approach to fitness vs. an all-or-nothing approach… all walking… all strength… all flexibility… all corrective/rehab… the truth is that everyone needs all of these things all of the time, and strength training actually becomes the most important with age (however this does not mean strength training can eliminate the need for the other items).

Who Has The  Time for All That?!?

One issue that jumps out when I talk about the balanced approach is that it sounds like a lot of time.  The good news is that a blended /minimalist approach to fitness can let you get almost all of this done in 2-3 hours per week.  

2-3 hours per week does not include walking because, well, there is no way to microwave walking.  We can be extremely efficient with strength, mobility and some kinds of cardiovascular conditioning; however, walking is a slow activity.  If you are hustling, you can get 3-4 miles (6,000-8,000 steps) done in an hour.  Going much faster means it’s not walking, and running just doesn’t agree with most people’s joints when you get past 30/35.  

️ Guidelines

  • Do strength and mobility and core work at least twice a week. Here’s your map for doing this in a time efficient way.
  • Walking and step counts.  Ways to “sneak” in extra steps to help you burn extra calories and boost recovery + relaxation.
  • Be patient with yourself: everyone, myself included, has room to improve.  Improvement takes time and we all waiver, especially when life is hard (like COVID hard).  Don’t give up on yourself just because you made a mistake or didn’t get something done lighting fast.  (Maybe just go take a walk to help relax )

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