As we continue our journey of capability and becoming a better version of yourself. Today we focus on crawling and walking. Two very simple activities that are essential to developing a full physical capacity. The saying goes you need to walk before you can run and you need to crawl before you can walk. Most of us have stopped crawling. Crawling is the foundation of locomotion and it is something worth revisiting in your training regularly. Our modern day lives with its requirements of long duration sitting in the same position, limited movement variety and the hamster wheel training mentality of the fitness industry creates limitations on our movement ability. Crawling is the reset button for this. We spoke about this extensively here and here.
This leaves us with walking. What is so special about walking anyway? Walking has many more benefits than you think. We are built to walk, it’s in our genes. Aside from our structural adaptations that make us pretty good at walking it has a myriad of mental and physical benefits that most people are not capitalizing on.
Walking isn’t sexy
It’s not! It’s not really challenging, it’s not fast, intense or flashy. It’s not new or innovative, but it doesn’t have to be. This might be news to you, but your body isn’t new or innovative. Our body has been working this way for a really, really long time. There isn’t anything new in the health and fitness industry either. All the things that have been effective have been effective for a long time. The only new thing has been the gimmicks and those haven’t really worked anyway. Yes we have made things more effective and efficient and we have found better ways of doing things. But the foundations and the principles have remained.
The problem with walking is that it’s not sexy. It’s not fast, it’s not going to give you a six pack in 6 weeks or bigger arms in 4 weeks. It’s not a quick fix, it’s not 10 minutes of work to get results. Its 30min or more, multiple times per week for months on end that gets you results. It will get you results. That is guaranteed. In most cases, in ways that you didn’t expect.
The first prize is walking in nature. Trees, mountains, forests, uneven terrain. All of these things have massive benefit and it has been proven to improve your immune system, reduce stress and boost creativity. Walking has been shown to improve cognitive function in adolescents.
The physical benefits include increased aerobic capacity and fat metabolism associated with low level aerobic activity. It is great for recovery and can be meditative as well, it allows you to slow down and let your mind tune out, from the constant buzz of the world.
There are few things more satisfying than a long hike in nature. It’s calming, challenging and it’s a reset button for the mind. It improves your aerobic capacity, which has an effect on your fitness and recovery capacity. It’s simple but unsexy activity that everyone needs but few actually do. So walk more, do it consistently and reap the benefits. If you live deep in the concrete jungle take a walk around the city. Take a 10min walk in your lunch break. If you really have to walk on a treadmill.