Movement Sufficiency NOT Calorie Deficiency
By David Grisaffi, CHEK
Corrective Exercise Kinesiologist
Golf Biomechanic Certified
Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach
Three universal goals nearly all of us share are: (1) to live longer,
(2) to live free of illness and (3) to control our weight. Amazingly,
walking lets us achieve all three. In fact, walking may be your best
medicine for slowing the aging process, reducing your chances of illness
and slashing your body fat. For anyone out of shape or not athletically-
inclined, walking is the no-stress, no-sweat answer to lifelong
conditioning. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a little time, a few
guidelines from a fitness professional and you’re ready to go.
Unfortunately, there’s more misinformation floating around today about
fitness walking and weight loss than ever before. Some experts even say
walking is not effective for weight loss at all and they insist that
only higher intensity forms of cardio will do anything to improve your
body composition. Others fitness experts believe that you should not do
cardiovascular exercise every day – even walking.
There may be a little truth in each of those statements, however,
walking always was and still is one of the best exercises for
strengthening your bones, controlling your weight, toning the muscles in
your lower body, maintaining good posture and improving your self image.
Walking uses almost every muscle in the body, it improves circulation of
blood to the joints and massages the blood vessels, keeping them more
elastic. Walking also helps you maintain muscle and an efficient
metabolism as you get older (not to mention keeping you young "in
Walking is incredibly convenient too. Since you don’t need a gym or any
special equipment, you can walk any place, at any time and that allows
you to lose weight and get fit with little or no interruption to your
People who diet without exercising often get fatter with time. Although
your weight may initially drop while dieting, weight loss from low
calorie and especially low carb diets consists mostly of water and
muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat. To avoid
getting fatter over time, you must increase your metabolism by
To get the maximum benefits of a walking program, you need make it more
challenging than a leisurely "walk in the park." Walking at a steady and
brisk pace burns more fat simply because it burns more calories. Just
remember to begin slowly to avoid muscle soreness, and increase your
pace over time as you become more fit.
To lose weight, it’s ideal to alternate your walking sessions between
high intensity and lower intensity days. For example, on one day walk
for 30- 45 minutes as a steady and moderate pace. On the next day, walk
at a faster pace. You could even do "road work" like the boxers do,
where you break up your walk along the route with some sets of squats,
lunges, bench push ups or other body weight or calisthenic exercises to
make it a real cardiovascular and muscle blaster of a workout! It
doesn’t have to be boring or the same thing every day. Make it fun and
keep it up consistently, leading an active life-style 365 days a year.
Slow and casual walking has benefits, but you will not get as much out
of walking at a very slow pace because we all have a built-in mechanical
advantage for walking long distances at normal speeds.
Our bodies, via the spinal column, muscle attachments and bony
structures, reserve energy in the musculoskeletal system and release it
back to us without asking for additional energy output. In other words,
as you walk, your spinal column keeps energy in reserve because of the
way you straighten and extend your spine during normal walking.
As you step, your spine is stretched, and as you take another step, the
energy reserved in the spine is used in propulsion. The spine acts very
much like rubber band as your walk, harnessing this reserve energy.
To get substantial cardiovascular, muscular and weight loss benefits,
this is why you must walk briskly or create extra movement patterns
beyond casual, slow walking in order to optimize your walking program
for weight loss and cardiovascular fitness.
Walking the right way will also improve your posture and tends to help
keep you upright (because you must see where you are going). Just hold
your chin up and shoulder slightly back.. Walk with your heels hitting
the ground first and your feet pointed forward. Swing your arms fully
and make lengthy strides.
To lose weight and achieve optimum health, exercise and diet are both
necessary and interrelated. Exercising without maintaining a balanced
diet is no more beneficial than dieting while remaining a couch potato.
Carbohydrates are high-octane fuel. They provide energy for movement
and help raise internal body metabolism. They’re also satisfying. The
key is to avoid adding high-fat and high calorie toppings to your
carbohydrates. Also be sure to focus on fruits and vegetables and do not
eat the majority of your carbohydrates from the starch category such as
bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes. These type of carbs can create an
insulin spike, which in turn feeds your fat storing system.
Fruits and vegetables are the ideal health, diet and fat loss foods for
many reasons. They’re relatively low in fat and calories, high in fiber
and rich in essential vitamins and minerals. The National Research
Council recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables
Your everyday habits will determine your long term body weight and body
composition. Make sure you get enough sleep, drink enough water to
expel toxins, avoid processed food as much as you can, eat your fruits
and veggies, eat organic when ever possible and work hard.
Just one last thought: taking a three-minute walk after each meal is
worth a four pound reduction in body fat in a year’s time. Climbing two
flights of stairs a day burns off half a pound of body fat in a year.
On the other hand, one candy bar eaten daily will cost you 20 pounds
If you enjoyed the information in this article, you will also enjoy the David Grisaffi Walking Guide, which is a complete walking exercise plan that comes FREE with the Firm And Flatten Your Abs program at
David Grisaffi, C. H. E. K. II, CFT, PN
Corrective Exercise Kinesiologist II
Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach II