Don’t Forget About The Long Slow Walk

It’s going to come as no surprise that I love the gym.  I like to exercise and get my daily workout (even one with burpees if I must).  The gym is great, but what about other exercise?  Surprisingly, I have grown to appreciate the long, slow walk as another form of exercise.  However, this one is more mental exercise.  Perhaps even something more.

I’ve read various estimates about how far our ancestors walked daily (between 4 and 10 miles), and I can’t help but wonder if all this walking is something that could be beneficial for us today.  To be clear, I am talking about walking outside.  I spend the majority of my time in some form of building (something I’d like to change), but I notice a certain change in my mood on the occasion that I take a long slow walk outdoors.  I should also specify that the walking isn’t “power” walking.  I don’t care how far I walk or how fast.  Actually, I try to walk as slowly as possible, and turn it into more of an exploration that just a walk around the block.

What got me thinking about walking was looking at animals: horses, bulls, wild game, and big cats specifically.  I’ve seen an 800+ pound brahma bull jump a 5 foot fence with ease.  Big cats drag their prey (often their bodyweight or more) up into trees or up mountains to their dens.  Thoroughbred horses have incredible leaping ability and are super fast for a creature their size.

Do these animals “train” at all?  With the exception of a race horse, they don’t.  They just do what bulls or deer or lions do.  And it works!  Brahma bulls or thoroughbreds or tigers don’t care about what they weigh or how high they can jump or how much weight they can drag, but they are more impressive at any of those things than I am by training specifically for them (relatively speaking).  Even more interesting to me is that the lion at the zoo does not look as healthy or terrifying to me as the ones I see in the wild.  Not to say I’d want to be alone with him in his cage.

I realize these are different mammals with different biological systems than mine, but it still makes me wonder if maybe I could be fit and healthy just by doing what I’m designed to do (walk a lot?  climb things?  run?).

My curiosity led me to search around, and not surprisingly there are others who’ve pondered this.  Check out MovNat, a company which believes that the best physical education and fitness is achieved via natural human movement.  Chris introduced me to Ido Portal, whose philosophies are similar.  MovNat thinks we are like the creatures in the zoo in today’s world.  The front page of their site says:

We are not meant to live in a confined environment. We are not meant to be disconnected from the natural world and our own true nature. Chronic pain, immobility, depression and lack of vitality, these are the symptoms of the zoo human syndrome. Modern society conditions us to consider this as normal and unavoidable. We don’t think so.

It’s interesting to think about no?  So what does this mean?  Well it does not mean that I’m going to stop coming to the gym.  But it does mean that I’ll try and take longer walks….outdoors….preferably when it’s warm (let’s be real).  It means that I’m going to budget my money and take one outdoor/camping trip per year.  It means that I’ll be aware of opportunities to sit outside at restaurants and coffee shops, and take those opportunities when I can.

Basically it means get outside and move.  Move around!  Play an outdoor sport, run with the pets, climb a tree, have a camp fire, go hiking/rock climbing/skiing or whatever.  If you already do stuff like this, GREAT!

Because I believe these people have an interesting observation about us living in confined environments, and I’m having a hard time coming up with examples that disprove their philosophy.  After all, it seems to work for other animals.  What do you think?

Stet’s Strategy

Ooooooooooo, this looks fun…….and hard.  I’m going with a tough weight on the front squat.  Choose something that you feel just a little uncomfortable with, and remember to break it up in chunks.  Like 8/7/6 for the first set of 21.  My only advice for the burpees is to just keep moving.  Resting never makes me feel any better, so even if it’s the slowest burpee ever, I just keep the body moving.  When you hit the round of 9, get really excited because you’re almost done!

The Oboard Says…

For Time
Front Squats
Over the Bar Burpees

Posted by: Stets