Sitting, sitting and more sitting. We are all sitting way too often for it to be good for us. We tend to spend too much time sitting, which complicates things for us. Our hips get worse, our hamstrings suffer and our back definitely isn’t going to feel good.
How many people sit properly, even when they have an ergonomic chair? Not too many, that’s the answer. People have started moving to standing desks, where they literally work standing. Some have started using pilates balls instead of chairs, which does mean more exercise.
However, the best solution is to rely on our basic mechanic of motion, walking. Walking is very beneficial for us and here is why.
Doing What We Were Meant to Do
Most people think that we were born to run and some people even put that in their taglines on various social media. While that is a nice slogan and sounds powerful and uplifting, humans were actually made to walk, or rather, our best asset is the ability to walk long distances.
Our legs are great for locomotion and walking, being our basic form of movement, should be put into practice on a daily basis. Your 10000 steps aren’t enough, if they’re the laziest steps you could have taken. Fast 10000 steps are another thing, though a lazy 20000 could also work.
The point is that we should walk because it is what we are good at, it feels good and natural to us.
Walking To Combat Sitting Symptoms
Since we sit too much, we need to walk in order to combat the symptoms of sitting too much, which were indeed described above. Your muscles will get tighter on one end while they will become too loose on the other. Your hips will be stiff and your hip flexors will become very short and stiff. You might even end up with sciatica, given that your gluteus will become weaker and might start putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, from all the stiffening.
Then, there is also the whole back situation, where our upper and lower back will get weaker, particularly the rhomboid muscles which pull the shoulders back into that lovely upright position. Walking helps combat all of those symptoms pretty easily, you just have to do it more.
Walking As a Prelude to Running
If you start walking more often, you will get some exercise. If your walking is fast and you start feeling muscle burn, then you are doing good. A couple of those on a weekly basis and your body will soon realize that you want it to move faster for longer periods of time and will start preparing you for endurance training.
This is good, as walking is a prelude to running, which means that soon you will be able to take up a more intensive exercise which should be even more effective in combating sitting and other consequences of a life tied to a computer screen.
Walking As Stress Relief
We all need some kind of stress relief and for most people, going outside and moving does wonders. Some people prefer something a bit more intensive like a HIIT workout while others are good with just a walk. In any case, a walk is more than good enough to relieve some stress.
Walking is a great way to feel better and this is how it helps us.