Weight Loss Exercise – Walk or Run?

Well I broke my cardinal rule about “only” walking the other day and I actually jogged my 3.3 mile trek.  Then I did it the next two days as well because I couldn’t believe it the first day.  If you remember in one of my earlier posts, I had commented on the fact that my doctor had recommended that I stick to walking because it is much lower impact thus easier on my knees and hips, and that it wasn’t necessary to do.  I have been doing that and for my weight loss goals it’s been just as effective, and burns the same amount of calories for the same distance covered.


I still feel that way and will likely stick to more walking than running, but I was feeling so good over those few days that I felt like Tom Hanks as Forest Gump when he went through his “running phase” and as I hit the road for my walk that day, “I just felt like runnin’, so I did”. 


It all actually started on one unusually busy day and before I knew it, it was almost 9 PM and getting dark.  I don’t like to walk after dark if I can avoid it because of the obvious dangers of traffic, but I really didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill inside either. At first I was just planning on jogging for a mile and then walking the rest, but then after a mile or so, I found that I wasn’t breathing hard and my calves were doing ok, so I just kept going.  After two miles it was still the same thing, so I kept going and before I knew it I had jogged the rest of the way home.


So what had started as something I did for times sake, turned into something that I really felt good about doing and quite frankly, surprised myself completely as I did it. So why did I risk my knees and hips to do this silly thing that I have been saying wasn’t necessary all along for effective weigh loss or as a weight loss exercise? 


The reason might surprise you.  It was simply “because I didn’t know I could”!  If you’ve followed this blog, then you know that I smoked for 30 years, and quite heavily, and I have been over weight to obese most of my adult life as well.  I haven’t jogged anywhere in a very long time for fear of keeling over dead (literally).  A year ago, I would be so out of breath from simply walking up a steep hill or even a long flight of stairs, that I typically avoided doing so. 


As I’ve lost weight through my weight loss regimen, my lung and oxygen capacity has greatly increased, even more than I myself had realized and I was simply so shocked that I was doing it and not gasping for breath, that I just kept going.  I was actually “giddy” with pleasure from my small accomplishment and I did it the next two days just to reassure myself that it wasn’t an accident!  So what now!  Well you can bet I’ll be seriously considering the 5 and maybe even the 10K events here locally in the spring!


As for now, I’ll probably take it easy until I see how my knees and hips react to the newest punishment before I commit to doing that everyday.  It goes back to what I had said in an earlier post in this blog, and that is about setting small goals and working hard until you reach each one.  If you had told me that back in February when I started this journey of weight loss and life change that I would be able to jog my fat butt over 3 miles without killing myself, I would have done nothing but laughed.  Now, I think about things like running a 25K marathon!  Well maybe not yet, but at this point, who knows what is possible if I put my mind to it? 


Speaking exercise, if you like to bowl, we have bowling shirts which can be embroidered with your name, your teams name, or your logo. 


Update:  As of today I am at 211 lbs. with a 35 inch waist.  Weight loss regimen is still an average daily walk of 3.5 miles at 47 minutes walk time (or a 3.3 mile jog in 28 minutes!).  I spend 10 minutes on the weight machine immediately following my walk and ending with 30 sit ups on the ab lounge.

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