the best tweak I’ve made to my exercise routine

Yesterday I ranted about biking around New York. Today I share my #1 trick for staying fit at home and when travelling. I walk. And I walk. And I walk.

Photo by Eugene Tan, Aquabumps
Photo by Eugene Tan, Aquabumps

I used to be a runner. I’d run ten kilometres to and from work each day. I’d run on the beach, and in the bush. I’d compete in soft sand races and go for 3-hour bush runs on weekends. But it all began to take its toll. I got injuries, hip complaints and, in general, the rushed, harried nature of running felt wrong. We’re not meant to push ourselves. We are meant to move, and be energised, yes. But, like New York Times writer Gretchen Reynolds says,

Humans are born to stroll.

I’ve since tweaked my exercise routine. I’m softer and gentler on myself these days. I still exercise daily, and I’ve shared how I exercise recently.
But to walking: It does all the stuff running does – strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness, help with weight loss and tone up muscles (people who live in walkable neighbourhoods are 2.7-4.5kg lighter), is great for your bones and, done the right way, it burns as many calories as running without the high impact injuries. It is also the best cure for anyone (me!) who gets inflammation and water build up – it helps to drain the lower legs of excess fluid, and helps prevent varicose veins by the pumping action of the calf muscles.

And because you end up walking at a more consistent speed than running, it’s a more beneficial form of tissue-cleansing:

Walking pumps out toxins.

And the benefits go on.

But, says the science and my own experience, the trick is…do it every day. Every day. Several times a day.

And here’s how to get more walking into your day.

1. Walk to work. And parties. Don’t use excuses. Everyone can walk at least part of the way – park 20 minutes from

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