If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I like to try new things, especially when it comes to health and fitness. I’ve shared my thoughts on “healthy eating,”spinning, kickboxing, Pilates, stretching and Whole 30. I’m a self-proclaimed gym hopper and if you hear me singing the praises of any one activity, you can be nearly sure I’ll drop that activity in about six months.
That said, I think mixing up workouts is important. It relieves boredom and helps aging bodies figure out what now works, when what used to no longer does.
Walking as Exercise
Recently, I discovered the benefit of walking as exercise. It happened when I Googled how to get lean legs. I felt like everything I was doing at the time was making my legs larger not smaller. I stumbled on this specific blog post by Rachael Attard and honestly felt like it was speaking directly to me. She said, “Are you wondering how to get skinny legs?” I thought, why yes, yes I am. She said, “whenever a client would tell a trainer they wanted thinner legs, the trainer would tell them it shouldn’t be their goal.” I’ve heard that many times or it’s not in your genetics. That one always made me want to scream. She said, “when someone complains about getting bulky, the trainer says women don’t have enough testosterone to get bulky.” Yup, I heard that too, but certain things did make me feel bulky, no matter what anyone said. Jeans don’t lie! And then Rachael said what really spoke to me, “who are you to tell a woman she is wrong – her body and her idea of “bulky” may be different than yours.”
With so many of Rachael’s points striking a chord, I decided to take her suggestions from the post. I didn’t purchase a thing and I simply began walking as exercise. Every day.
Body Type Determines The Best Exercise for You
Rachael’s post includes a LOT more information than I’m sharing here. She explained that different body types require different types of exercise. Most importantly she helped me realize that a lot of what I was doing wasn’t helping me achieve what I wanted.
She suggested that walking as exercise would slim my legs sooner than would running. She confirmed what I’d always suspected that activities like running, spinning, elliptical, Stairmaster and even walking on an incline may contribute to muscle-building right where I don’t want it.
And so, I walked and I walked and I walked and guess what? I lost an inch on my thighs and I’m kind of loving the simplicity of it all. I hop on a treadmill and I walk as quickly as I comfortably can for as long as I can. No incline, no painful running, no up and down pace setting. Just one, steady-as-she-goes, walk and I’m done. This, along with a bit of yoga, Barre and Pilates, is feeling pretty good right now.
I love that I’m finally seeing change in the right direction and that I can do this every day and not feel sore or broken. I love that if I don’t have a treadmill nearby, I can walk outside.
I don’t like that walking often feels long, boring and time-consuming. TV helps!
Just Something to Think About
Now, is this for everyone? No, of course not. Am I kind of loving it right now and just thought I’d share as an interesting alternative to higher impact activities? Yes!
I’ve mentioned it to a few people who have similar body types and, interestingly, they are finding similar success.
I’ll check back in six months when I’m sure to be onto something new. Meanwhile, I’ll see you later, I’m going for a walk!
Sooo, six months passed. What do you think now?
Hi Ivana – Thanks for checking in. Well, I’m still walking, I like what walking has done for my legs in terms of shape. I feel longer and leaner and my clothes fir more comfortably. Truth be told, summer was indulgent, so I have to work off a few unwanted pounds, but walking is still my goto along with some toning classes and yoga classes. I am finding that walking is more than enough to burn calories and offset what I eat and drink. Right now I am trying to do 3 miles a day and I find walking the… Read more »
How long did it take you to see that loss of an inch? Also what progress(es) have you made to this day?
Hi Jane – I apologize for the delayed response. I’ve been enjoying a bit of an unplugged summer this year. It was about 4 weeks before I noticed the inch loss. I imagine a good amount of that was water weight, but the fact that I was moving in the right direction suggested my exercise routine was finally not working against me. To this day, I have noticed a new, more elongated, shape to my legs that I am happy with. I continue walking for cardio along with Barre and Pilates classes and feel that I have found a good… Read more »
How long did it take you to see the loss in an inch? And what progress(es) have you made to this date?
Too bad Oscar can’t keep up! Love walking and can’t wait for the nice weather! See you around the hood!
I know Jen! Remember the days when he was my primary walking companion? Miss that. See you outside.
I’ve been walking for exercise for… let me see…40 years! I used to be a “power walker” which, if you do it correctly will get you into beautiful shape and tone it all. Your article makes me want to walk more. I’ve also converted to true crime podcasts instead of music, it’s a great way to pass the time. I’ll walk with you anytime, Beth.
It’s really been life changing Betty. I was trying so hard to do exercises that were working against me both in the results I wanted and discomfort. Walking is tightening things up in a way I wouldn’t have expected. I love your podcast suggestion. I tried audio books but think didn’t quite work for me. Let’s plans a walk date soon.