In August 2 years ago everything changed. Before that, in June, I knew I wanted to get back into shape. I knew in January. I was disappointed and frustrated every time I would go into a change room and try on a pair of jeans. They didn’t fit me right but it wasn’t a problem with the jeans. It was a problem with my body. I was gaining weight. My clothes weren’t fitting me the way I wanted them to, not the way they used to fit.
On August 12, 2013, 80 weeks ago, I started run walk. My life improved in so many areas after I began this exercise:
That June/July 2 years ago I began working out at the gym. I would go every single day. For 30 days. I worked out anywhere from half an hour to an hour each time.
And I don’t know if it was the metabolism that had changed, or my defeatist attitude, but it just wasn’t working. Nothing was changing. The weight/fat wasn’t going away. My clothes were still not fitting. It was devastating. It was horrible. Frustrating.
And then my friend invited me on her morning run. I told her I wasn’t a runner. I couldn’t run. I didn’t like running. She said we can run/walk. So that’s what we did. We walked and then we ran. She would point to a sign and say we’re only running to that sign. She would say we’re going to run to the end of that bridge. Then she would say, now I stop here and do 20 jumping jacks. Lol! It was fun though, I worked up a sweat and my heart was pumping. I would realize later that this was the beginning of a real transformation.
Then, my cousin sent me a great podcast that explained the benefits of getting back to nature and this sealed the deal. I understood why I had to change my routine and bring it Back to Nature.
And this was how run walk started.
A few weeks after that run walk with my friend, I started running outdoors near where I live. I found the perfect spot.
My single most important weight-loss activity finally had a name: run walk. That’s when my body started changing. My metabolism geared up. My heart started really pumping and these 10 factors are what made it effective in my opinion:
- Outdoors: Run walk has to be done outside. There should be trees and grass. There are pheromones in those plants that plug into your brain centers to trigger endorphins. These are happy hormones and I think he’s happy hormones help make this exercise more efficient and healthy somehow. Also natural terrain outside is different from a treadmill. There is wind, a variable terrain and other factors that keep you on your toes when you were outside rather than inside a gym.
- Shoes and socks: Get a good pair of running shoes. For my first consecutive 10 days of run walk I had a really crappy shoes. They had no support. Looking back, they served me well. I didn’t get any problems with my feet. It was fine. But then I went to Footlocker and bought a pair of Nike Rosherun shoes. It was like I was running on a cloud. Super comfortable. I also bought a pair of running shoe socks. Socks are very important. By the best running socks you can afford.
- Consistency: Just do it one time at first . Then try and build up a consistent routine. Consistency is key. Your body will benefit from the change and soon learn to do the exercises independently. But you have to push yourself to be consistent for that to happen first.
- Measure: Use a running app to time your 1st mile. Counting either your time or your distance will motivate you to beat your old record.
- Buddy system: running with other people will help in your consistency, happiness factor and support. Find friends who you can get addicted with.
- Challenge: start with one minute walk 30 seconds run. Then do one minute walk one minute run. Then alternate between running and walking, running more than you walk.
- Form: Roll your shoulders into the back of your body, open your chest. Mind your posture. Keep your neck along and in line with your spine in the back body. Feel you’re equal on left and right feet.
- Water: drink water before, during if possible, and after your run walk.
- Sunscreen: don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun! When I first started run walk I got burnt badly. Use a waterproof sunscreen and be generous.
- Food: listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t force yourself to eat because that is what you were trained to believe. You won’t drop dead if you don’t have massive amounts of food in your body. You would think that run walk would make you more hungry. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes your body wants to build muscle and sleep more instead of eat more. Sometimes you will want to eat more. Again, listen to your body. Eat more if you are hungry.
And there you have it. Run walk! It’s how I started my fitness journey. It made me happier, stronger, leaner and gave me more energy.
Get outside wherever you live: