Open LettersAn Open Letter to WalkingAnnie Stamell

Dear Walking,

Hey, moms and middle-aged ladies of the world – I totally get it. Walking is awesome. And I’m not talking about just walking in general – I’m talking about walking as exercise.

When I was a kid, my mom would go on these walks every day with two of her best friends and they’d all take their dogs and would walk for hours and I never got it. Like, what’s the point of all that walking? Are you walking somewhere in particular? And if you’re not, then why are you going at all? What are these “walks” anyway?

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the joys of walking. Walking is quite possibly the best exercise for chicks. I say this because most women’s bodies aren’t built for running. I’m not trying to sound sexist here, but that’s the truth. Trust me – I played three sports a year my entire childhood, into high school, and then I stuck with field hockey for two years of college – and even still, I am not supposed to be a runner. In between all those team activities were plenty of physical therapy appointments, recurring shin splints, three stress fractures (okay, one was in the same spot, but it happened twice), multiple sprained ankles, a torn MCL and let’s not even get into how many toes I’ve broken or how messed up my knees are now. It sucks because I like to run (SHOCKER! GIRL ENJOYS RUNNING!) and I’m one of those people who tends to think that a good workout can only come from pounding it out on the pavement with a good old fashioned jog.

So now I’ve changed my ways. In an effort to save money, I’ve quit my gym membership, which means if I want exercise, I need to get my butt outside and unless I want to wind up with a metal rod in my shin, I am not supposed to run more than twice a week.

Enter: walking. I know, I know – it might not seem like walking is a good workout, but if you crank along at a fast pace and commit to doing it for at least an hour, you’ll be surprised. It also helps to wear workout clothes because if you just wear street clothes you can’t get into the mental head game that you are actually working out.

Okay but I haven’t even gotten to the best part of walking… Yeah, it’s better for my joints and bones and it’s something you can do for free, but the best part about walking? Walking is the best because you can go with a friend! I LOVE FRIENDS!

I love to talk (no surprise there) and I love to talk with my friends, and I think I can safely wager that a lot of other women would say the same. So what better way to combine talking with friends and going on walks than walking with friends? Yeah, yeah – this certainly isn’t a revolutionary concept, but it’s definitely something I’d shrugged off, and now I’ve totally changed my ways. I can’t get enough!

Walks are fun because you can people watch and if you have a smartphone you can take Instagram pics of the weirdos roaming around at whatever hour it is you are on your walk and your friend can tell you all about what’s going on in her life and you can tell her all about yours and then maybe you can end at a coffee shop and get a latte or something delicious and the best part of all of this is you are probably most definitely going to pass like, seventeen different kinds of dogs who you can pet, and all in all that sounds like a pretty great walk to me. Right?

Fond Regards,

Stamos

Women walking image via Shutterstock

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  1. I wouldn’t say women aren’t built for running. Anyone can run, your unfortunate experience doesn’t sum up the physical build of women everywhere. You didn’t come across as sexist, just slightly misinformed.

    But yes, walking is fantastic exercise and when matched with proper eating it is a good way to lose weight (if that is your goal) with less impact on the body. I walked everywhere when I lived in San Francisco and lost about 30lbs in 6 months.

  2. I enjoy walking as well! My mum always used to nag me when I was younger and I never really got until I moved away for uni. Now that I actually have to walk everywhere, I have realised just how enjoyable it is!

  3. “Walking is quite possibly the best exercise for chicks. I say this because most women’s bodies aren’t built for running. I’m not trying to sound sexist here, but that’s the truth.”
    I want you to say this to Kathrine Switzer, the first woman allowed to wear a number and run the Boston marathon.