Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is it a cop-out to not jog?

I bumped into my neighbour the other day at the shops and she asked if it was me she had seen out walking. She mentioned how she has just started her own walking routine and that although her body feels awful afterwards she can feel improvements. My neighbour is about 10 years older than me, but fit and trim looking and I always thought she was a gym junkie, so I was floored when she said that walking is tough. From the first day I have walked, I haven’t felt any real difference in my fitness despite subtle changes in energy levels, alertness and a vague general feeling of ‘well being’.

With all the recent talk of plateau’s I think my body has jumped on that bandwagon and I’m there staring at the very flat, seemingly endless plain with a dead straight road and barren fields that look so drought stricken they could suck the blood out of your veins if you got too close. Actually I lie, this plateau is a tropical rainforest and there are lots of beautifully coloured birds and butterflies and I am really quite content here. That’s probably the problem with this plateau because it’s not the dread barren place as in the first description but the second one and so my motivation to leave is low. Except of course I still have that image of those pants and the fact that I don’t fit them.

So this all got me to wondering about fitness and how much is enough. After a month of daily walks, I think it is time to increase the activity level a bit but I hate jogging which is the logical step up from walking. My whole premise to get myself to start exercising regularly what to do something I enjoy. This I have done with great success. But is it a copout to whine about not wanting to work harder? Do I just bite the bullet and workout wether I enjoy it or not because it’s good for my body and will help with weight loss? And how much is enough? Should we always push our bodies to work harder and get fitter? Is it enough if you have the fitness and strength to get through the day and the activities you enjoy doing?

Yes, I have doubts. I am beginning to clarify my thoughts on this which I will write more about (once they start sticking together a bit better rather than just floating around in my brain) but in the meantime I am curious to hear what your thoughts are and how you act on these.


  1. Great question! I walk everywhere- usually get in a couple hours of walking each day- but I very very rarely jog. Maybe once a month or once every few months. For the most part, I hate running because I find it boring.

    If you dislike jogging but feel like you ought to up the intensity, walk on an incline. Hills or rough terrain or even walking in snow/sand make a big big difference. Also, I like to do things like just jog across streets when I'm out for a walk. A 5-second jog every couple minutes isn't boring and it still gets the heart rate up a bit :)

    - Sagan

  2. Walking daily for a month is healthy enough methinks. If you want to kick it up a bit, I agree with Sagan about jogging every few hundred meters. Also, try picking at least 3 poppy songs (10 minutes worth or so) that you really like then dance like crazy! :D Every little bit counts.
    I think the key is finding an activity you enjoy that gives you the challenge you need.

  3. Id suggest perhaps walking intervaled with SPEEEEED WALKING. Power walking. 30 seconds of each to start?

    Im just not a runner or jogger----as much as Ive tried to like it so IMO if it isnt your 'thing' find something which is!


  4. agree with Miz-- its tough to love something if you don't LOVELOVE it you know? I can't run, but I LOVELOVE cycling....walking the dog and lifting...oh and LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE pilates!

  5. running = snore

    I'm going to try running for a week or so to see if this preconception will change. In the meantime, I found a way to combine walking with some spice--a fitness trail at a park nearby. There, I walk for a few minutes then stop at a "station" and do jumping jacks, step-ups, or whatever it is those signs tell me to do. It at least breaks up the monotony.

    Do you have anything like that by you?

  6. It's all about doing what you enjoy, as you so wisely say. Sounds like you have some great suggestions up there above me. Go for it, you can do this, you are doing this, on your terms, in your time.

  7. Sagan - Yes, I have hills, great idea! But snow!?!?
    Banana - Thanks, that's a good point. Music also does wonders.
    MizFit - I love the interval suggestion.
    Rupal - I'm happy about the consensus. I definitely prefer something I enjoy so it's good to hear that others work on that principle rather than pushing themselves for the sake of 'health'.
    Camevil - I know what you mean, but not within walking distance. The machines within cycling distance are fun but more for entertainment than exercise.
    Berni - Thanks for the encouragement.



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