I heard a guy being interviewed on the radio last week who was walking around Australia.
He had put his life on hold to get his health in order and it was a journey that will take him roughly two years to complete.
Aside from being really motivated by his story, it got me thinking about how underrated walking was when it came to fitness.
I have never enjoyed walking. I have short legs, I’m a dawdler and I’ve always thought why walk and take forever to get somewhere when I can run and get there quicker.
That was until I had my first child. He would only sleep during the day in the pram while it was moving, so I ended up walking roughly 10km a day with him until he was about one.
And I’ve got to say, I developed a real appreciation for walking.
Not only was the fresh air and scenery great for my sanity, when I did start running and exercising again I was surprised by how fit and strong walking had made me.
Now I don’t think that I would like to walk around Australia but I really admire the guy for doing it. And I could not help but be touched by his story.
His name is Brendon Alsop but affectionately goes by the tag of the Fatman. He is 47 and from Geelong and has set out on his trek to ‘regain his life’.
He is raising money for cancer in the process, and walked through Newcastle last week. I found it a really motivating story.
Obviously walking around the country is not going to be feasible for most people, but you can still take control of your own health by walking every day.
No matter what age you are, walking is good for you. It is low impact, which means easier on the joints than running.
It has also been shown to aid weight loss, improve cardiovascular fitness as well as lower risks for conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes.
You don’t have to go for an extended period of time – just start with 20 minutes or even 10 and gradually increase your time. Studies have shown just 30 minutes a day to be beneficial to overall fitness.
There are some things to consider before you get started though – ensure you have decent footwear, consult a medical practitioner if it’s been a while since you’ve exercised or you are on the comeback trail from illness or injury, and make sure you incorporate some stretching before and after your walk.
The beauty of walking is that you can do it in many places. You can map out a daily routined walk, or you can vary the scenery. You can do it solo and have some quiet time to yourself, or go with others. It’s a really great way to get moving.