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Fitness Tip – Is Walking Really Exercise?

I recently read a post by my friend Karen McCoy (who is also a past interview) and she was talking about walking and how it is/is not exercise. She says walking is not an exercise. Walking is an activity.

This triggered something in me as I’ve been thinking about writing about this very subject as well, I just wasn’t sure on which direction to take it in. Well, thanks to Karen, now I do!

First of all, I want to say I agree with Karen. Plain and simple, walking is NOT an exercise, it is an activity. Let me give you an example: We walk to and from the TV to the refrigerator, some people have to walk to take the garbage out. Even though this is walking, this is NOT and exercise.

I can hear it now, “Andrew, that’s not the kind of walking I’m talking about. The walking I do is around the block, that’s exercise, right?” Well, now it goes to the idea as to what you consider to be exercise. The best definition of exercise I found was, again, from Karen.

“Exercise is when we train our bodies in a structured environment to attain a higher level of fitness and health.”

Using this definition, which is spot on in my book, walking around the block is NOT exercise. Now, just to add a bit of “Andrew Philosophy” to this, if you walk around the block with the intention of raising your heart rate and sweating, then maybe I can lean towards your way of thinking. But you’ll still have to convince me because a block isn’t that long of a walk (unless you live out in the country where a block could be a couple of MILES long!)

Saying all this, I will tell you I like to walk. I put on my headphones and listen to motivational stuff and different radio programs (I’m a Lex and Terry junkie!). But when I walk, I concentrate on upping my walking pace. So much so that when I’m done, I’m almost out of breath and yes, I’m sweating. So, I call this a form of power walking. I going out with the intention of attaining a higher level of fitness and health. I also do a push up and sit up routine before/after my “walk”, but that’s a whole different story.

My parents both walk everyday, but I defy ANYONE to keep up with them! Even those Dad is 73 years old and Mom is a tad over 29 years old (*grin*), they are in great shape. Why? Because their “walk” is done with the intention “to attain a higher level of fitness and health”. So, in saying that, Yes their walk is exercise.

Saying that, going out for an evening stroll with your sweetie is a nice thing to do (and it’s better than sitting down watching TV), but it is NOT exercise.

Do you get the difference?

Now, I also will say that if you are currently doing NOTHING in terms of exercising, then yes walking is a great start BUT makes sure you progress from a walk around the block to something more physical to attain a higher degree of fitness, ok?

Coach Red, The Interview Series’ VPT, says “if you have a fat dog, you’re not getting enough exercise“. In terms of going out and doing something for yourself, she’s right. Walking your dog is NOT considered exercise, but it IS better than sitting in the house doing nothing, and it’s great for your dog as well!