Weighty Wednesday -- You DON'T Have to Run

Last week, I kept reading newspaper articles, magazine articles, and Internet articles that encouraged people to run.

Basically, they were saying that once you get your weight to a certain place and your health to a certain place the next step is to start jogging.


I can testify--TESTIFY, I tell you!--that you do NOT have to jog to lose weight or get in shape.

To reiterate: I'm a 51-year old woman who lost 50 pounds. I'm wearing a size four jean--in fact, wore my daughter's jeans yesterday and had 'baggy butt' halfway through the day. I need to buy better jeans! And I did this through Weight Watchers and WALKING. I could flex my arm muscles and you'd be surprised to see muscle definition--deltoids and biceps--we won't get into the triceps and 'bat wings' today. Though I will mention the bat wings are smaller than they used to be.

If you don't want to jog/run to get in shape, you don't have to.

But remember just because you aren't jogging, it doesn't mean you don't have to sweat or breath hard.

You do. . . if you want the benefits of walking without risking injury with jogging.

  1. Have you ever wheezed and can't catch your breath while walking?  
  2. Have you ever suffered a groin muscle pull while walking?
  3. Have you ever hurt your joints while walking?
  4. Have you ever gotten shin splints while walking?
  5. Have you ever rolled your ankle because you didn't pay attention what you walked on?

Well, okay, I'll confess, I've done all of the above while walking, BUT it didn't put me out of commission for weeks of recovery. To recover, all I had to do was slow my pace down for a day or two and then I could amp it up again.

Besides every single one of those 'Have you--?" issues were flare-ups from previous injuries.

  1. I have allergy-induced asthma. When the pollen/mold count is high, I wheeze.
  2. When I tried jogging a few years ago, I pulled a groin muscle. When I was walking two-a-days for about 10 miles a day, I irritated it. I dropped back to one walk-a-day for a week and it fixed itself.
  3. Actually, it helped the bursitis in my knee due to old skiing issues when I used straight skis in the 1980's. It was all they had back then. The curved skis are totally better, shift your weight, cut across the mountain. Easy-peasy. Far fewer knee injuries.
  4. Shin splints happened when I pushed my stride and pace too much--old aerobics injury.
  5. This happened, but I shook it off and could walk the two miles home. If I had been jogging, I might have done greater damage.
The one thing jogging will do that walking can't do--is help you finish quicker. Four miles walking, jogging or running is still four miles. It just takes a little longer to walk it.

The benefits from walking are fewer soft tissue and joint injuries than from jogging or running. I couldn't run a half marathon this way, but I don't want to. I don't necessarily want to be in as much condition as I was when I was in my 20's or 30's . . . we won't talk about my 40's that was when I was fat and didn't care!

I'm good with being healthy, active and fairly fit, simply through walking.

But you do have to sweat and breath hard to gain the full benefits.

Guess what I'm going to do once the sun comes up . . . yep, WALKIES!

Later, Peeps!


Marilyn said...

I always wanted to run, probably because the knee docs always told me I couldn't. I'm a big believer in walking, though. Way less joint damage, and with my cranky joints, that's a big deal.

Meg said...

I'm a big believer in walking and I have seen your wonderful results. Thanks for keeping it real.

Margaret Golla said...

I've always wanted to run, too, Marilyn, but I always get hurt!

Walking works, Meg! I'm the poster child for it. :-)