Walking For Recovery, Stress, Fat Loss, & Performance
Yes. Walking. So simple, but your body will thank you.
It's not a revelation, but the simplest means of movement can enhance your results/the training effect from your workouts by promoting recovery.
You can take a short walk (10-20 min even) later on, following your training session. The idea is to separate the session from the walk (or walk long enough) to allow your body to return from a fight/flight/freeze (sympathetic) state into a rest/digest/restore (parasympathetic) state. This also will heighten blood flow to the entire system. This systemic blood flow enables substrates in the muscle to perform their job, hereby enhancing the recovery process.
Proper aerobic conditioning can make us more anti-fragile and resilient to stress. Walking can enable a spike in myocardial work capacity. If you're walking for training effect/athletic performance, try walking outside on unstable surfaces, uphill, or on an inclined treadmill (if weather doesn't permit outdoor walking).
Don't get all fancy on me.
While most people mistakenly go all-in on the latest high-intensity interval craze or gimmick fitness routine, walking likely beats them all (or most) for fat loss. The idea of high intensity conditioning/cardio is meant for just that-the conditioning of your energy systems and work capacity for a given sport.
Walking adds to your step count and thus-caloric burn for the day. Walking also is a lypolytic activity-this means that it stimulates the oxidative pathway in the body, thus burning stored body fat.
What's great is that walking is a prime means to activate this fat burning capacity without compromising your fast twitch muscle fibers-something other aerobic activities (i.e. jogging) do.
Walking with proper posture also can activate the musculature in the lower abdominal cavity better than just about any targeted ab exercise that allegedly sculps them.
Keep it simple for the win.
I remember in a conversation I had with Dr. Mike T. Nelson, I was frank about the high current stress load in my life that I was permitting to give me anxiety. His reminder about walking's effect on the nervous system was timely. In short, the brain/nervous system crave novel movement, which can enable the trapping of stress and trauma in the body. Long-term, this can actually reprogram your nervous system (biological mechanism for traumas). Guess what assists this? Walking.
Walking outside also stimulates this effect because the landscapes also force our eyes to expand to peripheral vision-another neurological 'reset' that drives the ghosts in the machine of stress out of the body.
By paying attention to the world around you, walking will also pull you into the present and remind you that if it already happened, or hasn't happened yet, it's not worth stressing over.
So there you have it. The best modality for so many things is walking-and it's FREE!