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So many of my readers and podcast listeners are runners, cross-fitters, and heavy exercisers.
I get questions from these women EVERY DAY because so many of them struggle with hormonal concerns: excessive weight gain, ammenorhea, etc because they want that “perfect” paleo body.
And of course I encourage you to exercise in a way that makes you HAPPY.
There can be a lot of problems when women over-exercise. It can damage your hormones, over-stress and over-tax your adrenals, and be rather unhealthy in general.
If you’ve read any of my numerous articles on the subject, you know how I feel.
But today, I’d like to suggest something to you. An alternative, if you will.
Switch to Walking!
Why Walking is Better
Walking has a host of benefits for your health, not least of which is stress relief.
Instead of being stressful and taxing to your body, like running and cross-fit can be, walking is good for you, gentle, and balancing.
Walking has been shown to improve insulin resistance, especially after meals, which is good news for women with insulin resistant PCOS or those with diabetes.
Not only that, it reduces your risk of various non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Arguably the best thing about walking is how EASY it is.
It’s the one exercise I always resisted because I never felt I was DOING enough.
But that’s precisely the point. Walking is so good for women because it is so natural, so gentle. It’s like breathing.
The key is to walk enough.
And that’s the hard part.
The average person with a desk job gets maybe 3000 steps a day, at the most.
If they take a 20 minute walk every evening, they’re up around 5000.
To see real results and feel the benefits of increased energy, we’ve got to up our walking game.
Of course any amount of walking is better than none, but I encourage you to start slow and aim to increase to something close to 10000 steps a day.
One way to do that is to choose among the numerous fitness trackers on the market to help keep you on track and remind you to walk.
There’s a ton to choose from, and everyone likes something different, but I like the Up2 by Jawbone.
It’s nothing fancy, just a cute bracelet band that connects to your smart phone. It tracks your steps, your sleep, and you can sync it up to track your food as well, if you’re into that sort of thing. The best part about it is it’s accurateness and unobtrusiveness.
I hardly notice the thing on my wrist after a while. And it’s AFFORDABLE, which is something I can’t say about all fitness trackers. Find it here.
When you’re walking, try going barefoot and walking in grass. That’s called Earthing and as hippy-dippy as it sounds, it’s actually really beneficial and stress relieving.
If you can’t stomach going barefoot, try barefoot walking shoes. These kinds of shoes have little to no arch support and wide toe boxes to give your feet the most natural walking experience possible. I like these and these, but there are tons out there.
And to stay hydrated on your long walks, make sure you take along water, preferably in a glass water bottle like this one which is BPA free.
Finally, if you’re not into nature walks and need a little more stimulation, you can take along the modern day fanny pack so you can carry music and other distractions.
Yes, the fanny pack is back.
They call it a “runner’s belt” now, but it’s essentially the same thing. It’s a belt you wear around your waist that fits your phone, headphones, money, and keys without sticking out and looking weird. This is one that I like a lot.
So get walking! You’ll start feeling more energetic than ever very soon. It can be tough to get off the couch after a long day, but be gentle and kind and encourage yourself to be more active!