Here’s a list of things I used to be ashamed of: my crush on John Travolta, that perm I got in college, and walking.
I thought, “Walking is for the weak! Walking is not for me. I’m tough. I’m strong. Strong girls run and have perms and John Travolta posters.”
Guys, please don’t hold this against me. Two out of three of these things happened in the ’90s (but I’m not saying which ones).
Now, though, I refuse to be ashamed of any of them. I’ll shout my love for walking and John and curls from the rooftops until my neighbor, or more likely my husband, calls the cops.
Let’s talk more about walking because this post is getting way off topic.
My favorite thing about walking is that you can easily recruit people to go with you. My husband will go with me. My son will go. My neighbors will go. My dogs would love to go!
Another great thing about walking is that you don’t need any special equipment. You can just walk in whatever you’ve got on unless you are wearing sequin shorts and it is 95 degrees out with 90 percent humidity. (No joke, I saw a woman wearing a pair of those at Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago.)
I also love that walking lowers your cortisol. It helps you relax mentally and physically, and can even aid in fat loss. Walking outside where there is green and trees is even better for you.
I particularly like walking on the treadmill because I can binge-watch reality TV and feel less guilty about it. It’s tough to watch TV when I run because of the annoying sound of my feet.
Here’s a major benefit of walking for runners: it adds mileage to your week. If you want to add miles, but you’re worried about getting hurt, walking is a super easy way to accomplish your weekly distance goal.
Most of us can’t run every day without getting injured, but we can run 3 to 4 times a week and walk just about every day! If you walk 10,000 steps a day (the recommended amount for adults), that’s almost 5 miles!
But don’t worry if you can’t get that much. Start by adding an hour of walking. You can walk 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch, and 30 minutes after work. That’s an hour of walking and about two or more miles. Imagine adding two miles to your training every day by walking!
It might be hard at first. I felt antsy when I first added walking as a daily fitness goal. It took so much longer. I would be done faster if I just ran! I wanted to get it over with. But after a few weeks, I started to like it more (unlike that unfortunate perm).
Remember: You are not a failure if you walk. Walking can be part of your training. So walk proud, runners!
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a