A couple of Julys ago, I decided I needed cardio in my life. I knew whatever exercise I chose needed to be easy, cheap and manageable, or I’d never keep doing it, so I committed to walking 30-60 minutes at least three times a week. Walking with intent, hard enough so I could feel it. It’s been life-changing for me in a number of ways. I'm now walking five to 10 k a day, nearly every day and I can see changes in my body I hadn't anticipated. I can feel changes, too: it's more difficult to get me to sweat now. My recovery rate is faster and I don't get out of breath anymore. And all just from doing an activity that's very controllable, can be done in any weather and for which you don't need really anything in the way of gear.
I have friends who've invested tons into gyms and personal trainers and all kinds of gear who haven't seen the results I have... just from walking. So now I'm adding things like planking and seven minute workouts and biking and even the occasional bootcamp, but all that walking makes for a very solid base.
I do it early every day (if I leave it until later I seem to be able to talk myself out of it!) and I track my progress with an app called Endomondo. Not necessary, but the metrics seem to make it more real to me: more like a program. I listen to the voices in my head as I walk: it's a great way for me to engage mentally with my work in progress.
An hour a day sounds like a lot, but somehow stealing that time first thing in the day puts me in a better place mentally to do all the things I need to do and I actually end up getting more done. And you wouldn't think just walking could be so good for you, but it actually exercises us in all the places we need.
I wanted to share that because it's such a simple thing really: walking. But in some ways it's changed everything for me and I kind of wanted to shout it.