Just yesterday morning I stopped at an Upper East Side Diner for breakfast. Sitting at the booth in front of me were two men of a certain age, friends. They just sat down to order and were reflecting on their morning experience prior to arriving. One man proudly said to his friend, “I’ve already been to the gym.” Excited to share his dedication to being fit. His friend lifted his head up from the menu and replied, “I just walk.” As is his way was the way and walking is all you needed to do to stay “fit.”
Is Walking Enough?
Walking is a motor pattern engrained in the brain. As infants, we progress from rolling to crawling to walking. It’s a necessary movement pattern that allowed us to stay with the tribe, follow the herds around and keep up alive. It is so primitive that no matter what goes wrong with the body orthopedically, the brain will figure out an alternative way to move the body in gait. Walking in essence is survival.
Walking is known as “Man’s Best Medicine” but it falls short of keeping us fit for golf or fit for life. Walking is a one-dimensional exercise. It’s only 1 of the 7 primal movement patterns. These movement patterns include; squatting, lunging, pulling, pushing, bending, twisting/rotation, and forms of gait (walking, jogging, running & sprinting).
But in modern-day society, we tend not to move in the other patterns that were/are necessary for survival.
Gait is the seventh primal movement pattern, but in & of itself, walking is not enough if you want to remain functional.
By functional I simply mean it helps you do things better or what Dan M. Ritchie, Ph.D. and Cody Sipe, Ph.D. (authors of Never Grow Old) call “doability”. Your ability to clean the house, do yard work, hike a mountain trail, hit a tennis ball, ski down a mount, or carry luggage with greater ease and less discomfort. To do all that we want to have a mastery of ALL the 7 fundamental human movement patterns.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Now don’t get me wrong. Walking is great. It’s movement. I love to walk. In fact, I think that’s one of the best benefits of living in a city like New York. You can and should walk everywhere. My job gives me the opportunity to walk 7-10 miles/day. But, I still need to exercise!
And when I say exercise I am referring to doing things that allow me to maintain the following bio-motor abilities:
- cardio-vascular efficiency
What About My Cardio?
First of all – all forms of exercise are cardio. Cardio simply means you are using your heart and lungs. What you are really thinking of is aerobic exercise, which means you are in the aerobic (with oxygen) energy system. In layman’s terms, aerobic exercise means you are exercising at a low intensity. Low enough that you can talk while you’re doing it.
If you don’t know how to break out of the one – dimensional routines you’re doing by walking on the treadmill or using the elliptical trainer you need someone who can coach you on how to move. As you push past 50, you will want to hit your movement patterns several days per week. As we get older we actually want to make an effort to move more frequently with brief, daily, highly effective movement sessions.
Let’s get started: Call (917) 596-8485 to get Fit for Golf and Fit for Life