Son of Grok

More SoG original artwork

More SoG original artwork

First off, due to the stellar response from yesterdays post, I will be revamping the way I do these exercise posts. I will do an introductory to exercise portion for beginners and also an actual more complex workout that I perform for the exercise experts to weigh in on. This way we all get to have a little fun. Today’s focus is easy because I recommend this as a foundation for beginners and experts alike!

SoG exercise principle #1: Walking
Walking is so important. It makes me sad at how quickly it is overlooked. I would actually consider walking the most important exercise that I do. I recommend a 30 minute to 1 hour walk at least 5 days per week. For me this means I take an hour walk during my lunch on work days. My walk usually ends up being about 4 miles. Not only does this work wonders for my physical health but also for my metal health.

For the beginner: There is no better place to start than this. Almost anyone can walk. It does not require any fancy equipment, gym memberships or acrobatic skill.

For the expert: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This is one of those exercises that you don’t have to get progressively better at. You still reap the benefits of this “low level cardio” activity. Just because you are fitter now or can do heavier weights or more complex exercises doesn’t mean you should progress your walking to jogging. Stick to the walking.

Benefits of walking:
1. It is low impact and easy on the joints. Much easier on the body than jogging.
2. It can improve posture.
3. Walking has been shown to greatly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
4. Walking has been associated with increasing HDL cholesterol (or “good” cholesterol).
5. Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of need gallstone surgery by over 20%.
6. Walking increases endorphin release and improves mood.
7. A daily walk is a great opportunity to get your needed dose of vitamin D.
8. It is a great opportunity to clear you mind or get some thinking done.

The list of benefits goes on. The most important benefit for me is an observed one… when I walk, I jest feel better. To me, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Primal Connection:
No doubt about it, when Grok wanted to get somewhere… he walked. He didn’t hop in the car, call a cab, take the bus or use a rascal. Get back to your primal roots and and some good walking to your Primal life.

What are your thoughts?

20 Responses to “Exercise for Beginners (and non-beginners) #1: Walking”

  1. Roger De Rok

    “Metal health” eh? Since I always listen to music on my headphones during my walks, it improves my metal health as well. Haha.
    Seriously though, walking is great. It blows off a lot of stress, gives you time to think or daydream, and a good way to pass the time. I try to walk 7 days a week even if that includes taking my daughter to the zoo or museum (carrying a toddler makes it more of a workout ha). Don’t rent the strollers or wagons.

  2. Vivian

    I found walking very difficult to fit into my long workday until I gave up my car (to my university-aged son, who was thrilled) and forced myself to walk to and from work, every day. No matter the weather. It’s a half-hour downhill on the way to, and half-hour uphill on the way from, so I get an hour 5X a week.

    I always start out with a grumble in my head, but within 2 minutes of actually stepping out the door, I’m in walking mode and enjoying every minute of it. Sunshine/rain/blizzard, it’s all good. I really enjoy the opportunity to exchange ‘good mornings’ with everyone I pass – brings a smile to my heart to make those ’stranger’ connections. Just starts the day out right. On the rare day that I can’t walk, I feel the lack the entire day.

    Gotta admit though that my decidedly non-grok Ipod adds to much of the enjoyment.

  3. Son of Grok

    Roger,
    Nothing wrong with a little metal health. lol. Thanks for pointing out my typo… I am leaving it though.

    Vivian,
    That is Great! I am in the same boat if i miss my walk… I MISS my walk. I listen to my mp3’s when I walk too though. I think that if grok had access to an mp3 player, he would rock out while he walked out.

  4. emergefit

    Just a scant few minutes to share this story, but it aligns well with your topic SoG. I have a client who walks every day for 30 minutes, and has done so 6 days per week for 10 years. She has no treadmill, and lives in a remote are with few paved roads and lots of harsh terrain — she is 70 years old. Where then, does she walk? In her house – lap after lap, upstairs and down, and tells everyone that she can that it is the best 1/2 hour of her day. Hope this helps a few readers who can’t find the time or place :-0

  5. hq

    Great tip Sog.
    I know my neighbor will drive to the starbucks in the morning when it is just two blocks away! This same person will then go to the gym later in the evening to use the treadmill!
    Walking rocks!

  6. hq

    Oh Ya, your artwork rocks too!

  7. lm

    I listen to books-on-tape when i walk. Mysteries are best and sometimes i find longer routes if there is a real good part. If the battery goes dead or i have forgotten to bring the next CD/tape then i hightail it home. If i ever figure out how to download from my public library to my Mp3 player – they offer 16000 free audio books.

  8. Robert M.

    Why is that stick-man carrying a naked female torso upside-down on his back?

  9. TrailGrrl

    I like the artwork! It’s right on my level of drawing.

    I used to think that if I wanted to exercise that if I didn’t run (well let’s face it… jog) then I wasn’t doing anything, and that “walking” for exercise was for old people in bright white leather New Balance shoes.

    The first time I walked in the woods instead of trailrunning (which actually might be SLOWER than my walking) it was a total eye opener. Much more enjoyable and you are able to really experience the woods. It’s very serene yet it can be demanding. I think running maybe gets you a notch up on happy happy endorphins, but walking is perhaps a better stress buster to clear your head. And you don’t have to get all psyched up to do it.

    I’ve also notice that my goals and my aesthetics have changed dramatically now that I am into “slowing down” in terms of eating and lifestyle. I just got TrailRunner magazine in the mail, and last week a triathlon magazine. I’ve noticed that now when I look at the people in the pictures and on the covers I think that they are just plain too skinny and that look has really lost it’s attractiveness for me. I find myself reading National Geographic Adventure and enjoying both the articles and the pictures for the sense of adventure and also the aesthetics of those in the pictures. I tend to find balance and symmetry most attractive. And I know I’ve said it before, but Tarzan really is the perfect shape for a man in my opinion (I even think that the Disney cartoon Tarzan is kinda cute). I think that surfers and others who do whole body sports or routines and who tend to eat paleo (e.g., Laird Hamilton, actor Paul Walker) tend to have good all-around aesthetics. So I guess I’m bummed that I renewed my subscriptions for a few mags that I am not that into anymore.

    So my goal tomorrow when it is supposed to be 50+ degrees outside (yesterday was below zero!) is to simply go for a walk in the woods. This shouldn’t require any “gearing up” other than some trail shoes or light hikers. I’m guessing there will be some mud to play in!

    Ribeye and shrimp in chipotle sauce at the Mexican place tonight!

    Looking forward to more workouts as they unfold. Don’t forget the cape!

    TrailGrrl

  10. Rachel

    I love walking. When I moved I deliberately looked for an apartment within walking distance of my office so I could get 20 min in each way. It’s one of the best parts of my day!

  11. Son of Grok

    Emergefit,
    That is a great story! I like to get outside myself but I guess you make due with what you can. I know many 70 years olds that can’t climb stairs so that is pretty awesome!

    Hq,
    I never understood that either. People will fight over the closest parking space to the door when they go to the gym just so they can go inside and hop on a treadmill. Go Figure.

    lm,
    Sounds like a good way to get some exercise AND some culture!

    Robert M,
    Wouldnt you if ou could get away with it?

    Trailgrrl,
    You are so right that you don’t have to get all “psyched up” or be “in the mood” to go for a walk like you do for running. Laird Hamilton is the man! That shrimp sounds absolutely awesome. Let me know how it turns out.

    Rachel,
    That is the way to go. If I lived close enough to work, I would do the same. I live just out of range though so lunch walks it is! lol.

  12. TrailGrrl

    We have a new big expressway exit that has built up near our neighborhood (it’s big enough for an IKEA) and we now have a town square where the farmers’ market is now held. The new library will also be right there sometime this summer. A bunch of hotels and restaraunts are already there so they have done a good job of building sidewalks to get around. Now they are starting to take a walking path from the bottom of our neighborhood to the town square. I’m hoping I’ll be able to walk or ride my bike to the farmers’ market and library without getting plowed over by traffic. The hill back up the ridge is gonna be a hard one to ride though!

    TG

  13. Link Love Mondays!! | GO HEALTHY GO FIT

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  14. Hanlie

    I arrived here via Go Healthy Go Fit and am so glad I followed the link! I’ll be following your series with great interest!

    I started walking on New Years day and could only manage about 30 minutes. Yesterday I walked for 90 minutes and I’ll be doing a 10K walk in two weeks’ time. So, obviously I’m a big fan! My longer walks take place outside, but I do a few sessions of interval walking on the treadmill every week too.

  15. Son of Grok

    Hanlie,
    Welcome to the site! You sound like a regular walkaholic. Personally, I can’t stand the treadmill. I would sooner walk little circles arounf my living room than the treadmill. Some people love them though! Thank you for the input!

    Trailgrrl,
    Not many things i dislike more than bike riding up a hill. One of the main reasons i don’t bike! lol

  16. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Exercise for beginners (and non-beginners) #2: Sprints

    [...] so now you have your walking regimene in place from last week. Whats next? Well, a great next step is to incorporate some [...]

  17. warren

    SOG,
    stumbled upon your site from one of my other faves MDA, FTA, cant remember (sound like federal agencies dont they?) I very much agree about walking. Its one of the activities I have done for years and has always done wonders for my mood ect. I have chronic lower back problems and i have to keep my exersise low impact. I do exersises in the pool and some machines. at home i do core work and a little bit with dumbells. I think a post about how small dumbells 5-10-15 lbs can get one started would be great. BTW the stickman art rules!

  18. Son of Grok

    Warren,
    Welcome to the site! SoG kind of sounds like an agency too I guess huh? The next exercise for beginners post is actually going to be how to get a good workout with just bodyweight. I will try to look at how to effectively get a workout with the lighter dumbells too for a post in the future. Thanks for thh comment!

  19. Son of Grok » Blog Archive » Exercise for beginners (and non-beginners) #3: Strength and Resistance Training

    [...] so you are now an expert at walking. You also have your sprinting regimine down pat. It is time to throw in some resistance [...]

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    [...] did a pretty good job covering my idea of 3 important aspects of exercise here (#1), here(#2) and [...]

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