Thursday, March 25, 2010

Heart Healthy Lifestyle

When the exercise conversation would come up with friends, I used to put in my two cents by saying that I just don't know how people find time to work out in college. I don't have the time to get on a treadmill (and all the before and after stuff-- like showering again-- that comes with it), and all cardio has taken a back seat to school and work and extracurriculars. I'm just too busy to work out.

But I have revised that statement this week. I am so busy that I actually am working out. Every day.

Have you ever tried to speed walk? It's an art. You have to lower your center of gravity in order to significantly widen your stride. But you can't sink too low or you have to bounce up and down to move. And bouncing reduces your efficiency in energy expenditure. Bouncing is also a pain (literally) when you are carting around heavy books and a laptop in your backpack.

I have recently become an expert at speed walking. I am trying to fit so much into such short amounts of time that I inevitably am almost late for everything. But running is hard to do with a heavy backpack (and its unsightly). So I've become a speed-walker. And let me tell you, I think I could give those little old ladies at the mall (the ones who walk with their arms in perfect unison with their stride) a run for their money.

For example, today I traversed from the southern to northern end of campus in six minutes. Thats traditionally a ten minute walk at standard pace. In fact, I believe I can safely say, without exaggeration, that I have sped-walked at an uncomfortably fast pace to eight of my ten classes this week.

The advantage of this new (or perfected) skill is that I can now leave my house at least three minutes later and still get to class on time. Three more minutes of emails and homework = valuable time.

The other advantage, which I hadn't forseen, is that I have officially squeezed in eight workouts this week. Because anyone who tries to argue that speed-walking isn't cardio is foolish. Cardiovascular exercise is defined as anything that raises your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time. If I arrive at my seat with heavy breathing, burning lungs, a throbbing pulse, and a heart that feels like it's about to explode (not to mention a little perspiration), I would count that as cardiovascular exercise. I have gone from too busy to exercise to being so busy that I am exercising. I consider that a win.

1 comment:

  1. You know, they say that speed walking actually burns more fat than running. Not like you need it though. Just a tibbit.


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