Days 89 & 90 of the Papa’s Walk Challenge.
Yesterday, I walked with my friend Suzanne through the flatlands of my neighborhood. It’s a pleasant walk, but I told her I thought I was ready to try something more challenging.
So, today, I decided to take a different route that started out with a climb to a hilltop near my home. The last time I walked up that hill was in January 2013, and I had to stop midway to catch my breath. My goal, was to walk up the hill without stopping.
I did it! I walked slowly, and I was huffing and puffing along the way, but I made it to the top without taking a break. Then, I enjoyed the downhill walk to the flatlands and followed my usual walking route.
My stamina has improved over the past few months – and I’m certain it’s a result of walking every day. I’m looking forward to tackling more hills in the weeks to come especially in light of a study by Austrian researchers that showed the benefits of uphill and downhill walking as follows:
- Walking uphill lowers tryglycerides by 11 percent compared with 6.8 percent while walking downhill.
- Downhill walking improved glucose tolerance by 8.2 percent compared with 4.5 percent while uphill walking.
The researchers think the difference may be a result of more concentric muscle activity while going uphill and more eccentric activity going downhill. Who knew?