Just a walk… 🚶🏼♀️
As lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home, home school the children, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.
During this time most people are managing to walk more, making the most of their allowed outdoor exercise time. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.
It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT or that sort of workout is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get the kids out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.
I did this experiment on myself so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (and has been shown in independent studies too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout a day. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely – but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty or like you’re not burning anything if all you manage is a walk on some days.