We are defined as a species by walking, as being upright on two legs allowed for our evolution into Homo-Sapiens. Our ancestors were primarily hunter gatherers, following herds of animals around the high-lands and low-lands. This required a slow paced movement as we would typically travel with everything that we owned. This travel, along with daily tasks like gathering and collecting, promoted our ancestors walking the distances of approximately 5-10 miles per day, and in some cultures further.
I really like Mark Sisson’s approach to movement/primal fitness in which he suggests to move slow frequently, lift heavy things and sprint here and there. “Moving slow frequently” or walking is probably the most primal thing we can do towards achieving a weight-loss goal, or reducing body fat. In this day and age we have so many wonderful modes of transportation that walking can sometimes be overlooked, as driving is so much quicker and easier.
I typically use walking as the primary source for cardio with my clients that have a weight loss goal. It is extremely low impact which is much appreciated by our joints. Also, based off of Respiratory Quotient (RQ) studies, in lower intensities of cardiovascular work, our body uses more fuel from our fat. I would typically program 3-4 days a week of a scheduled walk, whether that be in the gym on a treadmill, or outside enjoying nature. When my clients use a treadmill I typically tell them to increase the incline to 6-12% and maintain a pace of 2.5-3.5 mph, depending on ability. This will increase the heart rate into the 120-160 beats per minute which is great for the cardiorespiratory system and for fat loss. Sustaining this intensity for 30-60 minutes is recommended. When my clients walk outside I encourage them to keep a brisk pace for that 30-60 minutes and suggest they wear a heart rate monitor to ensure their heart rate is elevated into that 120-160 bpm range.
I assume all of you know what walking looks like so I put this video up because its awesome.
By Eddie Lester
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