I’ve never been a big fan of walking for exercise.
For one, it’s inefficient. Why walk when I can get the miles in faster by running?
Also, unless you’re walking with a partner, it’s boring. It’s less physically engaging so therefore less mentally stimulating for me. Because running can be such a physical challenge, it takes mental focus. It’s often like an inner game with myself, setting and achieving even tiny goals within the run. But walking is just… moving forward slowly.
Before you get your panties in a bundle: yes, I realize there are many benefits to walking and I completely respect those who do it and love it. I am just not one of those people.
Or at least, I wasn’t.
I discovered in Tucson that running is probably no longer an option for me. I went out for a run and only lasted .5 mile before my stomach started to feel tight and uncomfortable. That was that. I walked the rest of the way and said sayonara to running until January.
So walking seems to be the next logical form of exercise to turn to. I can’t bring myself to face an elliptical, and although I keep saying I’ll start swimming again… well, swimming takes a lot of effort (driving to the Y, getting wet, etc.) There’s always belly dancing, I suppose (and yes, I will try that next week… I missed it this week).
So yeah, I’ve been trying to get out and walk more. And I have to say, tonight’s 2.8-miler around the neighborhood was one of the toughest workouts to get through! Not because I was sweating and out of breath, but because I scarfed down a big bowl of Annie’s mac ‘n’ cheese a bit too close to the time I headed out the door. A full stomach plus the usual little pains of walking while pregnant (which seem to crop up at exactly .85 mile for me) do not make for a comfortable workout.
And I admit, even without the mac ‘n’ cheese, walking is a challenge now. I’m bigger, I have less stamina, my belly starts to hurt after less than a mile and I haven’t exactly been a fitness queen over the past 23 weeks, so this walk was just as challenging as a pre-pregnant run. I’m actually a little scared for how much harder it will become in the next months.
To fight the boredom (because even though it’s more physically challenging now, I still get antsy), I downloaded some Focus on the Family parenting podcasts on my iPhone. I feel really old typing that. But that’s one benefit to walking – since the act itself takes less mental focus, you can actually pay attention to podcasts or audiobooks.
So, basically, walking is growing on me. And that’s a good thing.