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Where Does Walking Fit into a Healthy Active Lifestyle?


When I ask other runners about where they fit the activity into their lives, they have all sorts of theories. But most agree taking breaks to walk actually works in running.

When I ask health advisers they often say short walking breaks during a run can be the healthiest choice. The body may be signaling that is a necessary option.

Wherever you stand on the question, most will agree the more flexible and observant we are when we are exercising the better it works out for us in the long run.

Huffington Post reviews the question and says research suggests there are multiple health benefits to walking, but there's also evidence that it may actually improve the run overall. Here are some more takes on walking breaks.

Walking doesn't impact your overall pace.

The common assumption with walking is that if you do it, you're destroying your whole pace, but science suggests that may not be true.

Research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that runners who took 60 second walk breaks had similar run times than those who pushed through the entire race without taking a break according to the New York Times.

It helps you become a stronger runner.

Your improvement may actually depend on slowing it down. Walking can help you strengthen your muscles and increase your endurance, according to Runner’s World.

It helps with mid-run recovery.

Who has not gotten a bit winded during a run? A mid-run walk helps your body regroup and preserve energy and prevent muscle fatigue so you can power through the rest of your workout with ease, actually enjoying the whole experience.

Your body may tell you to take a break.

You may need a walk -- even if you don't think you do. You feel fine as you power through intervals or push your way over a hill, but your muscles may disagree after it's over. Stay alert to your body’s signals and break when you need to. Later you may want to review your recent runs and see if there is a pattern to the breaks that should be checked out. Everything may seem OK, but checking in with your exercise coaches and doctors works too.

A break can make the experience more mindful.

Linked in with the run is the scenery you may or may not miss, that can actually enrich the whole workout.

Treadmill Workout Advice

Using the treadmill as a backup can lead to good walking meditations. Let your thoughts flow as you walk. That way you get two exercises, one for your muscles and one for your mind.

As always if you are having issues with your running, needing more walking breaks, see your doctor first for a complete check and discussion of your health.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Roman Boed

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