Walking alone is not Enough


Walking alone is not Enough
Many Americans believe that 30mins of walking a week is enough exercise to keep them living long healthy lives. These are the same people that will most likely to have problems later on in life.  If you believe that 90 minutes of exercise a week will correct sitting on the couch/chair for 80 hours a week then you will have some serious problems.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise per week. Over the course of seven days those 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week.  Surely running is more than enough to help me keep healthy. If you think that is true then you’re are greatly mistaken.  What about keeping Strength, power, and bone density up? What do you do then? You have to add in Strength Training.  World Class runners don’t just run every day they perform strength training to help prevent injuries from occurring. Resistance training has two main goals. The first goal is to help the athlete get stronger. The second goal is to help prevent injuries. Injuries occur through trauma or overuse.  To keep yourself resilient against gravity and the world around us it is very important to add resistance training to your exercise routine.

ACSM guidelines are 2-3 days a week of resistance exercise that is a minimum of 8 different exercises between 2-4 sets of 8-15 repetitions on each exercise.  So you will have to add another 30-40mins to your workout.  In total your workouts should last at minimum and 1hour (that and 1 hour of work time not leisure time).  Muscles have three functions in terms of movement. To cause movement (concentric contraction) such as bending your elbow, and to slowly resist movement (Eccentric Contraction) To slowly let your elbow bend while resisting the weight and To resist movement at all( Isometric) Holding a box and not allowing the move cause of weight.  Most people do not get hurt moving the body. Where most injuries occur is when people try to resist movement.  Resisting movement causes a greater force to be placed on our muscles and tendons due our mechanical disadvantage of our levels in our body.  Lifting weights and keeping Lean body mass will better your chance to resist those eccentric forces that occur on a daily basis.
To be honest in my opinion I believe that people should do more weight training than running. This is my reason for claim. Most people don’t run or bike to work. The typical day is get out bed walk to kitchen table sit and eat walk to car sit and drive.  Walk to your desk and sit and work. Then leave work go home and sit and watch tv, eat and go to bed. Now if you were to add running 30 minutes to your day you would make significant improvements to your cardiovascular system.  You may also build some lean mass in your legs from the running that you’re doing. Besides the recreation running you don’t do much running elsewhere unless it’s your occupation. On the other hand you perform yard work, lifting and moving furniture, and other various physical activities that may require bending, carrying, and climbing. Does running alone help you perform those activities? Not really because when you’re running you performing the same motion over and over. Which doesn’t correlate with bending or climbing weight training on the other hand forces people to move in positions that they may not be in on a regular basis? Not to mention will help improve muscular strength and endurance.  Parker et al study took a group of 60-77 year old women tested them on a submaximal walking test(2mph at 3.5% elevation) and weight carrying walking( carry a weight at 40% maximum elbow flexion strength) test. They recorded VO2, heart rate (HR) Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), and Rate Pressure Product (RPP). Placed the group on a 16 week whole body strength training program.(3 days a week 1 hour per session) Then tested again. They say 57% increase in isotonic strength and 29% increase in isometric strength.  No change in VO2 max but significant decreases in HR, SBP and RPP while perform the walking test and Weight carry test.  Not only did the women improve their strength to prevent injury. Their ability to use oxygen became more efficient as well.  Not to mention as well when performing strength training people will work on full range of motion which is important for keep good flexibility and mobility of the joints.  So with older people especially it is very important that they perform strength training to keep muscle strong and bones dense.  As you age strength training becomes more and more important as you age.  Remember the goal of strength training is to help prevent injuries.  Younger people especially women have a fear of lifting weight s because they don’t want to get bulky.  Honestly that is like saying you don’t want to read because you are afraid of becoming a genius. It takes a lot of work to put on lean body mass most athletes work an entire year to put on 5- 10lbs of mass. So if your 3 workouts a week will not make your bulky unless it is in your genes. The fear of getting to big has long been debunk also most people are not willing to put in the amount of time to put on more muscle.

All in all Strength training is very vital for a healthy life I believe that everyone needs to incorporate some form of Strength training. It will help improve your quality of life and help prevent injuries from occurring as you age.  Walking or jogging is not enough keeping strength and lean body mass is very important for keeping you independent  and out of the retirement home

 

Author: Smithfitness

A former basketball player now fitness professional. Alex holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Kinesiology and certified NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist(CSCS). Alex loves lifting heavy things repeatedly and going for long runs or rides and helping others achieve high levels of fitness and health. If you love fitness and health follow this blog and submerge yourself in all the fitness and health knowledge.

2 thoughts on “Walking alone is not Enough”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. I have always considered myself a runner, but for the past couple months I have been doing more strength training than running. I was afraid that if I wasn’t running as often or as long that I wouldn’t feel as good running. But, I was pleasantly surprised that my runs almost seem easier now that I have incorporated strength training into my week workout routine. I will definitely be taking some of your advice into consideration as I think about future workout. Thanks for sharing!

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