In my teens and 20’s I hated walking… with a passion. I couldn’t understand why people would walk when they could bike, run, rollerblade, drive or bus. Walking was boring, unproductive and useless. Yes, I was adamant about not walking. I had way too many other things to do with my life. Sounds pretty harsh. It was.
Gosh! Was I WRONG. Walking allows the human body to work as designed, moving through mobility and stability of almost all body parts, and it is the most natural biological whole body movement. We are bipedal for a reason. We weren’t born with a bike or car in hand.
Walking has been a huge part of my life in my thirties (more so the later half), and as I am nearing (2 months) my forties I am nurturing and loving my body more through walking.
Now, if you are thinking YEAH you are ### older that’s why you are walking more! <- this is not the case. I am walking more because I am smarter. If I were to go back to being an elite athlete many years ago I would incorporate walking into my recovery program. Yes, that is how vital it is as a movement. Getting the appropriate ankle range of motion, knee health, hip movement, shoulder love and being outside getting some air. And, let’s be clear this is only 5% of its benefits.
When you do sport/train/compete you are literally tearing the crap out of your connective tissue and muscles. What do people do to recover? They stretch, mobilize, rest and sleep. This is not enough to get back to your body’s most natural optimal state. There needs to be whole body movement involved. What is that? Walking.
Honestly, don’t knock it until you try it. If you are an athlete and have issues with your body here is your homework.
For ONE month (yes, one month because anything less is not really giving it a go) walk everyday for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter when, where, or even if it is in increments of 5-10 minutes each just walk. If you can do more, go for it. Do an hour! 3X20 minutes throughout the day.
Shoulder issues? You decide to buy a program or get help from a health care practitioner that just works your shoulder girdle. Good luck. The whole problem won’t go away because your shoulders are attached and affected by everything else in your body. WALK.
Hip issues? How are you hip flexors? Do you actually have proper hip extension? I’ll answer that for you= No! Give walking a go.
Walking helps you recover from the tip of your toes to the top of your skull. Yes, you need to wear proper shoes, walking with the legs pelvis width apart, feet forward, ribs down, not falling forward, nothing in your hands for true natural shoulder mobility/stability, etc… The thing is we have lost the ability to walk properly, hence having more challenges with our bodies. Our beautiful ‘progressive’ world has shattered our bodies. So let’s all go back to basics.
If we must feel the need to excel in our sport we must have the equal goal to excel in our health.
Remember: Sport performance does not equate to overall body health. We need to blend the two together.
Check out the whole “walking” thing. It was “invented” a looooong time ago