Monday, April 6, 2015

Battle of the Bulge: Hit the Road

I have always been voluble about loathing the gym. To voluntarily drive to one, just to murder my muscles? How could I possibly summon the motivation for that? 
But exercise is necessary for good health and weight. For some, self-flagellation, um, I mean, the gym works. But for those who don't do any exercise at all, that could be too daunting.  

Especially after consuming quite a lot of calories over the last two days.

Walking is a great way to exercise.
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk.
It's effective without being murderous.

I have met quite a few individuals who will do anything to avoid walking, but are serious gym-goers.

Me: "Look, we've been circling the lot for a half hour already. Just take that spot; the walk can't be more than two minutes."

Her: "Let's look some more." 

Walking to public transportation, for me, takes a little more than ten minutes. Yet people who live closer than I do drive. They also tend to look at me pityingly. Often neighbors will pull over and ask, in the same tone as if I was clinging to a cliff face, if I want to ride. My response of "No thanks," leaves them cross-eyed in shock.

On Shabbos afternoons in the spring and fall, I throw a visiting toddler nephew or niece into a carriage and taking an hour-long walk. There are a number of benefits: the baby is happy to be outdoors (he remains eternally grateful, singing my name for a mile), he is no longer in the house and so cannot destroy it, and I get toned. Win-win.
Every morning there is an old man who walks grimly back and forth in front of my house, even when the temperature plummets. He just marches on, not speed walking, simply plodding away, getting the exercise he needs for his health. 

Walking does not require any sort of payment plan or specialty equipment. Yet many are absolutely terrified of walking. They'll go to the gym, happily, but they won't walk; it is a dreaded four-letter word.

But going to the gym gives visions of burning serious calories. Working out tones the muscles, but in terms of getting rid of that 500 calorie muffin, it isn't going to do much, according to Time Magazine.

If the gym does not appeal to you (I cannot believe I am such a rarity), just park your car a little farther away from Target, for starters.


Daniel Saunders said...

I walk quite a lot, either to public transport (I don't drive) or just for its own sake, but I don't think it ever did much for my weight (not that I've done a controlled experiment). It was taking up jogging that helped me lose those few extra kilos. Not at the gym, though. I won't pay good money for something I can do for free in the street.

Princess Lea said...

I'm trying to inspire people to embrace the middle road by walking it, as opposed to gym or nothing.