Finding Value in Walking

January 22, 2018 in Recovery

This past September, I realized I needed to take a step back from the gym. I was pushing myself too hard- prioritizing workouts over sleep and self-care, going even when it was the last thing I wanted to do, and feeling like working out was a compulsion rather than an activity of joy.

Every single day I’m working on being more intuitive with what my body wants to do for movement or if my body doesn’t want to move at all. This part of my recovery has come on the further end of the cycle, but since September, I have definitely made strides in working towards intuitive movement. In the process of trying to move intuitively, I found great value in walking. Something so small that I would never consider “enough” for my body before, but a form of movement I truly began to appreciate.

I swapped out gym sessions for nature walks. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with others. I turned on a podcast and just soaked in every bit of nature around me. Walking is really moving meditation. It feels purposeful to me. Whether I’m walking with no music or podcast and just being outside with nature, or walking with a friend/family member, I feel connected.

It’s sad that I never considered a walk “enough” in my eyes. No, walking isn’t a high intensity workout, but my body doesn’t want to do high intensity workouts all the time- no one’s body does. We aren’t made for that.The fitness industry fools us that we always need to be dripping sweat for a “healthier”  life- a myth that I believed for so long. The thing is, sweating does feel great. But you don’t need to kill your body day in and day out for that intense sweat. Walking still does release endorphins and offers benefits for your mental and physical health. I’m glad that more people now are recognizing the benefits of going for a walk and seeing that it holds great value for our bodies.

If you struggle with exercise addiction, I challenge you to break your normal routine this week. To not go to the gym on a day where you typically would. To go for a walk that day instead. If you struggle with exercise addiction, I challenge you to take an extra day off. Being intuitive with our body is TOUGH, but we have to break our routines to truly tune into what our bodies want. Take off your step tracker, get off social media, go outside, (or inside on a treadmill if it’s cold), and just walk. Let your feet feel grounded into the earth (or treadmill) and give some gratitude to your body.- it has legs that allow you to do something that a whole lot of people cannot do.

Any thoughts? Drop them below. I’d love to keep this convo going. Sending you all love! xoxo 

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17 Comments

  • Reply Caroline January 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Totally agree with you on this one! There is something wonderful in just being able to move the body, and that doesn’t have to be anything in particular. Something I try to remember is that there are benefits to absolutely every type of physical activity, and there is no one activity that is “better” – all are equal. Lately, I’ve been loving Pilates. I don’t really sweat, but I love how strong it makes me feel. Glad you’re finding ways to cherish your body <3
    Caroline recently posted…Will I Start Running Again?My Profile

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      yep! love that. all forms of movement are equal. they all provide benefits!

  • Reply Vanessa January 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    This resonates with me so much!! I used to hate going to the gym, but now I’ve a newfound love for it now that I go for myself and to build my strength, not to build a bigger booty. Lol! I definitely love walking, particularly hiking!! You can’t beat a good hike with AMAZING views!!

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      the views on hikes make them even more incredible! Love that you have found a better relationship with working out too <3

  • Reply Cora January 23, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Walking makes me feel free me in my hips… which is a place of huge tension where we hold a lot of our anxieties. If I pick up the pace and gently sway my arms, I feel energized. I love the feeling of the outside air on my face, and listening to the collection of sounds of the world around me. I, too, have learned that walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It releases both our physical and mental tensions and gets our heart moving in a way that it is happy.
    Cora recently posted…Week In Review: Appointments, Movies and Normal Life ThingsMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      it really is one of the best forms of exercise. so happy you have found its benefits helpful in you’re life!

  • Reply Emily January 24, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    So so so true. I love walking, and I underestimated it for so long as a workout. It’s so soul filling and refreshing to be out in God’s creation praying, thinking, and just enjoying movement without worrying about sweat.
    Emily recently posted…Comment on Weekend Thoughts: On Grandparents and Not Running by KatMy Profile

  • Reply Naomi January 25, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Today, I headed outside to run, my OR coast self forgetting snowy Pennsylvania sidewalks are slippery. Not wanting to fall flat on my face, I took an unintended walk instead. I spent the first part of it thinking “ugh, when I get back I’ll have to go to the gym”, but then I realized, oh, this is actually lovely, walking in the snow.

    There’s so much value in “just walking”. Thanks for your beautiful words reminding us!
    Naomi recently posted…Winter Break RecapMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      love that you walked and realized that doing that is enough!!

  • Reply kat January 25, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    UGH – slap me in the face why don’t you! THIS is totally what I’ve been struggling with lately – not letting my exercise addiction slip back into control of my workouts. It’s like lately nothing I do in the gym feels like enough. My brain tells me I can do more – I NEED to do more – but my body is slowly breaking down each and every day.
    Sheesh – you and Em both have had posts this week that have felt like they were meant for me. Love you girl <3
    kat recently posted…10 Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Recipes for Peanut Butter LoversMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      let your body take a break… i know it must be desperately craving one! our brains get in the way, but don’t let them get in the way of the messages you’re body is sending you! sending you love <3

  • Reply Agness of Fit Travelling January 27, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Walking is a great way to stay fit, especially when travelling and exploring new places, Lyss! I couldn’t agree more with your post!

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      thank you <3

  • Reply Kaylee January 27, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Walks are pretty powerful. In the past year, I’ve definitely learned to enjoy my walks to and from campus, either as you said listening to a podcast/music or just contemplating life or engaging my senses–the sun on my skin, the wind in my ears.
    Love the idea of intuitive movement! That’s the ultimate goal.
    Kaylee recently posted…Week in Review: The Routine of ThingsMy Profile

    • Reply Alyssa January 30, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      intuitive movement is a beautiful goal to have- and you can definitely reach that <3

  • Reply Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off January 31, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    You must have read my mind! I am currently working on a post called “My Journey to Intuitive Movement,” and I can tell my journey definitely mirrors yours in many ways. I also have a post about how walking is absolutely ENOUGH, and though I still sometimes need to consciously remind myself of that, I’m so glad I’m no longer in the place where I feel like a slave to the gym or the fitness industry. Truly, humans were not made for super intense exercise day in and day out, and that kind of thing requires much more fuel than we likely have the desire to supply. Walking, yoga, Pilates all feel so good right now.
    Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off recently posted…What I Ate Wednesday {Busy Times}My Profile

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