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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The benefits of walking to work




While I was off sick patiently waiting for my broken bones to fuse back together, I did a lot of sitting on my arse. And I really do mean a lot.

The most exercise I got each day was the two minute walk to the shop to pick up chocolate/pizza/chips/cake/anything with a satisfyingly high enough comfort-food rating, or if I was feeling really energetic, the very careful and ultimately achey walk to the doctors wearing my sling.

Hubs was working away for most of the weeks I was off, and I couldn't comfortably use a computer to do a big online shop. Carrying heavy bags home from the supermarket was obviously out of the question, so I (quite happily, actually) succumbed to a life of sugary, fatty, processed food and a non-stop Breaking Bad binge.

Of course this couldn't go on forever.



I've been back at work for just over two weeks, and because I'm still not allowed to ride my bike I've had to start walking into work. Anyone who knows me will know that for as long as I've had a job, I've travelled there on the wheels. Walking takes too long and I've long been an advocate for how easy Brighton is to navigate by bike.

You can literally get anywhere in 10minutes if you put enough effort in. Even quicker if you're on one of those pesky e-bikes that used to saunter past me on my daily hill climb mid-commute.

But guys... here's the thing. I'm totally loving my walk-commute! Sure, it's a slower pace than riding in, but that doesn't make it any less of a workout. In fact, now that I'm feeling like my bones won't disintegrate with every step I'm pretty much powerwalking every day.

Literally marching up the hill like a toy soldier with the tunes I love to run to banging in my ears.


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There are so many benefits of walking that 
I never took the time to realise before:


1. Easy does it: low impact exercise


Compared to running, it's nice and easy on the joints, and a lovely way to ease back into exercise after a break. Or start exercising from scratch.  

There's so much traffic on the roads right now, we don't need any more cars polluting our planet. 

Use your legs as much as you can, while you can. Even if it's raining. 



2. Builds cardiovascular fitness


I needed an introduction to getting active again after such a long time off, and walking to work every day has given me that. It keeps bones strong, is great for building cardiovascular fitness and helps boost circulation. 

It's just as easy as running to work up a sweat - just walk faster. Power-walking at a brisk pace can be as effective as an easy paced run - and with less impact. My daily march up the hill that I used to sail up on the road bike absolutely kills my calves so I know it's a good workout. 


3. Thinking time 


Oh Brighton, I adore thee :)


I love my cycle-commute, but you can't switch off at all, not for one second. You have to be totally focused on the road and what's happening around you, especially with all that traffic about. (Why don't more people use their legs to get to work?!)

With walking, you can adjust the pace to as slow or fast as you like, stick your earphones in and let your mind wander. (Apart from when you're crossing the road, of course - don't be a dick...) 

I've been able to really clear some things up from the day at work, and take the time to soak up the vibrant, buzzing atmosphere of Brighton's beautiful streets on the walk home from meeting friends in town. 

It's a different pace, but it's fine. 



4. Catching up 

I've only recently embraced the joys of hands free. When cycling I don't wear earphones as I need to concentrate on the road, but walking home is the perfect time to make those calls I've been meaning to every day but forget about by the time I get in. 

Also, it's now socially acceptable to be wandering down the street talking to yourself. I've also noticed lots of people walking aimlessly along, head down, eyes engrossed in their phone. This makes me sad. 

Look up, people. If you must use your phone when on the move, get your hands free out and call a friend, or call your mum. I know she'd love to hear from you. 



5.  Don't mind me, I'm just high...




Never thought I'd say this, but there comes a point during my nice brisk walk to or from work where I get a little high, like I do with running. 

It's mostly dependent on what tune I'm listening to, and how late I am, but most of the time any stresses I carry with me soon melt away and I reach my destination on a wave of energy and good vibes. 

Eugh, I know... she's so Brighton. 


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How do you get to work? Do you like walking?


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