..or that way. Whichever works for you.
Walking. Frowned upon by most active people in favour of more strenuous activities where they can “feel the burn” and other similarly hateful phrases.
However the benefits of exercise don’t simply come down to calories in vs calories out. Remember folks, not all calories are equal on the way in, and the same goes for the way out.
1000 calories of steamed veg is going to have a drastically different effect on your mood, energy levels and day to 1000 calories of chocolate buttons.
Likewise, walking might not give you the same caloric burn and metabolic boost as a quick interval session, but you should still make time for it in your day. Not only does it improve circulation and keep your metabolism from bottoming out between more dedicated exercise, it will also improve your mood and help you to clear the decks in your overcrowded and overworked noggin.
Since my son Harry (my second) arrived a couple of weeks ago I haven’t managed more than 2 hours consecutive sleep. Neither have I managed over 30 minutes of exercise.
When Archie (my first) was born I beat myself up – see the confessional video here – for not sticking to my usual routine, and began to dread every workout. When I did manage to motivate myself enough to get started, I’d feel weak and demoralised and finish up worse than I started, both in body and in mind.
Again, not ideal.
So this time I’ve switched things up. I’m doing quick, short sharp workouts when I feel up to it rather than when “best practise” says I should. I’m talking between 5 and 15 minutes. And in between?
I’m walking. I’m doing lots of walking. And it definitely helps. I might resemble a member of the undead, with my jumper on back to front and non-matching shoes, but I don’t care – when you’re averaging 3 hours sleep a night then everything counts, and I suppose that is my take home message. It all counts.
And every single time I venture out – not to go anywhere in particular, just to clear my head and wander over Greenwich Park – I feel so much better once I get back.
So if you’re too knackered to train or in a bad place mentally, don’t beat yourself up or reach for [insert favourite “treat” here] – throw a coat on and get outside for a walk. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make.
Ian “Walking Dead” Male
Ps. Potentially exciting news later in the week – so keep an eye on your inbox!