How to get a real workout from walking



Minute 1: Is walking as good as running?

Cheering a child taking their first step celebrates one of the most basic human functions -- our ability to put one foot in front of the other without wobbling and falling over like a college kid on a Thursday night. We marvel at baby deer and giraffes who begin to walk within hours of birth. Yet, as adults, walking for exercise is sometimes seen as a consolation prize for those who don't run. It shouldn’t be that way, according to this new story: “The Worst Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Walking, Says Olympic Walker.” The story blows up stereotypes such as walking is only a workout if it exceeds 10,000 steps or that walking doesn’t provide the same benefits as running. Australian Olympic hopeful Jemima Montag also sings the praises of walking workouts in this recent piece: “The ten things you’ve got wrong about walking.” Montag highlights a few key takeaways like aiming for a quick 100 steps per minute instead of focusing on the 10,000 step total. If you can't get outside, are recovering from an injury, or simply want to introduce a cross-training workout to your regimen, you can also consider the 5 benefits of an incline treadmill walk. #WalkTheWalk

Minute 2: Hot Tub Time Machine

Let's imagine for a second that a hot tub functions as a time machine. Not in the "I went back to the 1980s and relived the glory days at a ski resort" sense, but in a time-saving or even a well-being sense. It turns out that the physiological response to passive heating (hot tub, warm bath, sauna) compares favorably with aerobic exercise. The thesis is supported by a study published late last year and is described more fully in this new story: "Can't face running? Have a hot bath or a sauna – research shows they offer some similar benefits." And passive heat therapy doesn’t just benefit couch potatoes. There are documented benefits to using it in conjunction with a run or workout. Sauna culture has existed in Scandinavian countries for centuries, and Japanese culture has strongly followed onsen (hot spring) bathing. There have been plenty of studies to support health benefits from saunas. Moderate exercise and heat therapy have both been shown to reduce heart disease. The idea is that both activities raise your heart rate and your body temperature in a safe manner.