Walking for Cardio


Well, it’s definitely fall, and pumpkin-spice season is in full swing. I don’t really get the urge for pumpkin everything, but you know, Halloween and all. Actually, I might skip October and go straight to November and the TRUE holiday season! 

One area I would like to discuss is cardio. When it comes to fitness, some level of cardiovascular activity is necessary. It not only helps with heart health, but also with respiratory strength, which in turn makes your body more efficient at using oxygen. This is vitally important to not just the average person, but aircrew members particularly.

I’m often asked what type of cardio I do in my fitness regime. I wish I could tell you that I’m still a hard-core runner or ultra-marathoner or that I even do intense cardio classes, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As it happens, I rely on walking for my cardio needs. 

Let me explain. I was an avid runner in my younger days. Driven mostly by the military requirements to be able to run a specific distance over a specified time, I spent years honing my skills as a runner. As I have gotten older and because of various injuries, I’ve had to give up running and high-impact cardiovascular exercises. It’s frustrating to recognize that I could run a marathon in my younger days but that now it hurts to jog lightly down the street. That doesn’t mean I have to give up entirely, and neither should you.

I have adopted a low-impact cardio regime that consists of walking with a weighted vest for an hour or more everyday that I can. Bodybuilders and fitness influencers are leaning towards the benefits of what’s known as Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio. Simply, walking on a treadmill at a reasonable rate at the highest incline you can get (no less than 10 degrees) helps to stress your lungs, heart and really works your legs. This has resulted in bodybuilders using this technique to shed fat, while not overdoing the cardio and/or risking injury.

While I am a huge believer in fitness and gyms, I also believe anything you do fitness-wise should translate into real-world application. That means I encourage you to use a treadmill, elliptical or rowing machine (can’t forget those spin bikes too) that offer low-impact cardio. I have just found there is no limit when it comes to walking for fitness!

As aircrew members, it’s imperative that we take the time to walk and stretch our legs after a flight. This will help us keep the chances of blood clots low, too. Just remember, no matter what your fitness regime looks like, at the very least, walk and attempt to get to 10k steps each and every day.

As always, if you are interested in any specific fitness-related topics reach out to me at Ericray4470@gmail.com . Tune in next month for a new article on challenges!


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