Once in a while if the gym isn't crowded I walk backwards on the treadmill. Usually just for a short bit at the end. But it really feels different (I guess different muscles are used), almost like stretching, which I do anyway at the end.
My employer sets up regular challenges to encourage us to get exercise and walking is one we do a couple times a year for 10 to 16 weeks. Last year, we set target goals like picking a city on the map and seeing what other city we could get to by counting up our total mileage. Maybe you too want to walk from Sacramento to San Francisco, or Tucson to Sante Fe, Tampa Bay to Miami etc. When we got to our goal location - and it could be in any country - many people rewarded themselves by doing something connected to that place. If you walked for example from Chicago to Detroit, have a party with your walking partners and play old Motown records and dance! Or you walked to Oshkosh from Milwaukee - assemble and paint a model airplane and learn about the air museum and its historic annual fly-in. I had vacation during that time and so set my walking to coincide with the state we would be visiting. I bought special postcards while we were traveling to decorate my cubicle at work as a reminder of how far I've come.
3/18/2009 2:26:57 AM
I like hiking the Columbia Bottoms Nature trail of north St. Louis County overlooking the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Picking up litter has a two fold benefit. (1) The twisting, bending, stooping, provides additional exercise. (2) The trail is cleaner. Pretty good idea to wear gloves.
Taking our dogs adds a bit of stop and go interval variety. Also, towards the middle part of the route - there's a nice flat area, that I like to skip as we go through it. Skipping helps explosiveness for competitive atheletes.
If your joints and bones allow it - give skipping a try!
Great article. I am concerned a bit about walking sideways, however, as I have a touchy knee that would be severely tested by that movement. I do use intervals, frequently when the whole family walks together. I will jog with the kids for a bit, then walk back to the rest of the family to walk with them.
1/9/2009 12:47:24 PM
I like the one about changine your stride, hadn't thought of that one!
Great article. Would like to see more in terms of spiritual modifications to walking. You helped me remember that I read a book ages ago, that gave visualizations such as: every time your foot touches the ground imagine the earth's energy joyfully connects to yours. Step each step carefully and reflect on the energy you are putting into the earth. Another was to choose a reference point in the distance and to turn to "see" yourself walking towards you, correcting as you watch yourself, your posture and gait, as well as seeing what is next to you with a fresh perspective.
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