Weight training is the greatest form of exercise.
Its transformative effect on the body has no equal.
It’s also our best defense against the effects of aging and modern sedentary lifestyle.
But while there’s no substitute for lifting, it does have a perfect complement: walking.
A brisk walk might not be a momentous calorie burner (neither is weight training for that matter) but that’s a very narrow view to take.
Walking is special in that unlike almost every other type of exercise, it doesn’t dig a recovery hole but rather promotes recovery.
So physically, if weight training is a rocket then walking refuels the boosters.
Mentally and emotionally, walking helps lower stress and improves mood & well-being.
That reason makes it the BEST way to blow off steam.
Now in the past I would hammer the weights to “exercise my demons” and it helped. I always feel better after a hard, heavy workout.
But now I prefer to burn off negative energy through more positive means, like walking outdoors.
For one, it’s more productive. Once I’m back home I’m more relaxed, and I’m usually able to work through whatever was bothering me, thanks to walking’s rhythmic quality. Often I even have a plan figured out for moving forward.
But after pounding the weights while I may feel great I still haven’t dealt with whatever matter was bothering me.
I just shoved it aside, so it will be back once the endorphins clear.
The main reason for this approach is to avoid potential weight training burn out, which is a real risk if you habitually associate training with battling negativity.
My daily workout is a beautiful high point of my day and it’s also precious ME time. That may seem selfish but its necessary, especially as I’ve gotten older and busier, which also makes it harder to pull off. Funny how that works.
As a final point, lifting weights is how I tick the daily gratitude box: every workout I’m reminded of this incredible gift I’ve been given of health and mobility.
So on days when life gets stressful or the online idiots start to grind me down, I go for a stroll instead.
Save the best of you for what’s best in life.