Still talking about this book...
This will be the LAST newsletter about The Comfort Crisis... at least for the time being... Needless to say, I am probably going to be recommending this book to quite a few people for the foreseeable future. I wanted to save the topic of this newsletter for the last one because I wanted to "kick the tires" on it myself first before I talked about it.
About 3 weeks ago, I read a chapter in Michael Easter's book that addressed the idea of implementing "rucking" into our fitness routines. The idea of "rucking" is pretty simple and has been a staple of United States military training for years. GoRuck, a company that promotes Rucking for exercise, defines it simply as "the action of walking with weight on your back."
Easter explained that rucking may actually be better than either slow, steady-state cardio training or strength training for fat loss, simply because of the number of calories burned in one session. He also went on to note that it is a great way for those who enjoy cardio-type exercises to add some resistance and a way for those who prefer resistance exercise to add some cardio to their training. That was enough for me to add rucking to my training several days per week.
For those who don't know, our family has a nearly three-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, named Enzo, who regularly needs to burn off some energy. In an effort to meet his needs (and mine), and add some rucking to my routine, I decided that on my off days, I would throw 20 lbs into a backpack and take him for a 2-3 mile walk.
Very quickly it was apparent that he loved these walks, and so did I. These walks allowed me to accomplish a couple of goals that Easter (and several others) have recommended. First, I was able to get 30 minutes of exposure to fresh air and sunlight regularly. Secondly, my heart rate was certainly elevated, and it peaked as high as 155 bpm on an extended uphill walk. Thirdly, as I began to feel more comfortable with a backpack on I was able to add some additional weight, which increased my HR during the walk and also increased my sense of accomplishment after completing the walk. Finally, adding the increased activity to my day has allowed me to sleep better than I have in a long time (and I typically sleep pretty well).
This morning I just did a 2.5 mile walk with my Dad, Enzo, and my pack, now with 40 lbs in it. Walking with my Dad allowed me to accomplish all of the above goals, but also afforded me some time to catch up with him! This sure seems like a Win/Win/Win scenario to me.
Give it a shot. Put some books into a backpack and go for a walk. Let me know what you think!
Movement is my medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam