At a rest area in Tennessee, I came across this little sign. It was a 1/7th of a mile lap around the area. It would take less than three minutes to walk it. It certainly isn’t much. Walking 1/7th of a mile is not going to instantly help me get my “marathon” figure or conditioning back. On the other hand it wouldn’t hurt either. So why not just do it.
Walking that lap is a good thing, not a great thing. Doing seven laps would be a better thing. At least it is something. It is similar to intentionally parking in the back row of the truck stop. The walk back and forth is a good thing. What you buy and consume from the store may matter more, but the walk still helps. If you do it several times per day, it helps more.
There is a benefit curve to exercise that is similar to your engine’s torque chart. There is a sweet spot. While your truck’s sweet spot may be 1300 RPM, your body reacts well to different lengths of exercise. Your body’s sweet spot is probably somewhere between 20-45 minutes of exercise. If you take that 3 minute walk around the rest area, it will increase your metabolism for about 3 minutes. If you exercise for longer, the increase in metabolism is more likely to stay longer after you stop actually exercising.
Obviously, if you are training to run a four hour marathon, some of your training sessions are going to last longer than 45 minutes. Running five miles is a great thing, but you can’t expect to be able to run 26 miles, if your longest training run is five miles. Most of us are not training to run a marathon. Most of us want to lose weight. We want our heart to be stronger.
It has been said that sitting is the new smoking. We are seeing office personnel use stand up desks. We don’t have that option. As a matter of fact there are times when we do whatever we can to keep that left door shut. While, I always have a bottle of water in my cup holder there are times when I hold off drinking it, like just before I go through Chicago. That isn’t good for us. We need to be taking breaks. As long as you are already stopped, you might just as well take a quick walk.