How much will membership at a gym set you back?
I suppose it depends on the area where you live. But, I have been quoted anything from HK$500 up to $1,350 (US$ 65 – $170) per month for membership of a gym. Fortunately for me, walking is still free of charge.
So, what are the benefits of walking as compared to joining a gym?
The first one that comes to mind is your timetable. Walking is a matter of getting your shoes on and walking out the door. And you can do this at any time of the day or night. You don’t have to wait for the gym to open.
I have already written in some detail about my target of 5 km (3 miles) a day. Looking back over my records, I have noticed that this usually takes me between one hour and twenty minutes to one and a half hours. The point I would like to emphasise is that you don’t have to set out with the intention of doing the 5 km in one go. There is no hard and fast rule about doing it all at once.
Why not divide it into three equal parts or 30 minutes each? Or even short periods of twenty minutes? You are, after all, master of your own destiny.
One of my regular readers asked me why I had never mentioned the issue of burning calories. I must confess the subject never really occurred to me.
What exactly is a calorie? Once again Wikipedia comes to the rescue. I tend to measure my personal success by weight loss and how I feel in general. Having been a beer drinker for several years, I developed a rather large belly. One of the first things I noticed when I started walking regularly was the ability to tie my boot laces without going into contortions. It was, of course, because I was losing my belly fat. As a result, I was becoming more limber. Even my wife noticed that I was able to get out of a taxi without having to grab hold of the door frame.
The reader who brought up the issue of burning calories kindly put it into perspective for me.
Walking 6 – 8 km burns roughly 4,500 calories. According to the reader, this is the equivalent of 24 pints of beer! Or 8 Big Macs! To be honest, the thought of drinking 24 pints or eating 8 Big Macs doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Especially the 8 Big Macs.
Most smartphones have a built-in health programme. And if you are recording your progress on a smartphone, it will almost certainly tell you how many calories you have burnt.
If you find this to be useful, then that is good. I find that weighing myself once a week is a better indication of progress. What it comes down to is what works for you.
At the end of the day, we all walk for our own reasons. In my case, it is fitness and enjoyment. I tend to look inwards in quiet contemplation, enjoying the scenery around me. Many others listen to something via AirPods or earphones. Unfortunately, some listen to radios or phones which they carry with them, heedless of the people around them.
The important thing is that we ENJOY what we do. I enjoy my daily walks and, when possible, a hike in the hills and I fully intend to carry on as long as I am able. I hope my readers do likewise.
The day before posting this I completed a 7 km hike over the hills of Tai Po from Tai Wo into the Lam Tsuen Valley.
Admittedly I wouldn’t have attempted it without the company of my son, James. But, two things were immediately obvious, my fitness level was very much improved, and, having the company of a good companion makes all the difference.
Do you want it more than you’re afraid of it?Abbie Barnes
So, stop thinking about it, get out there and do it!
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