In recent years, the fitness world has been increasingly captivated by high-intensity exercise, with proponents touting its effectiveness for burning calories, enhancing cardiovascular health, and condensing full-body workouts into brief sessions. While high-intensity training does have its merits, it is not the sole approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, I’m here to advocate for the often-overlooked, gentle, slow-paced workouts that not only bring joy but also offer long-term fitness benefits. My journey to embracing the slower side of life began when I met my ex-girlfriend, an ardent high-intensity exercise enthusiast. This experience ultimately led me to appreciate the merits of slower workouts and inspired me to start this Fun Slow blog.
The Quest for Speed
My ex-girlfriend was passionate about her workout philosophy: if an activity wasn’t fast, hard, aggressive, and intense, it didn’t qualify as exercise. Her dedication to her HIIT routines was contagious. However, her frustration grew as she observed my exercise preferences, especially during our runs together at Roosevelt Island in DC. I was inclined towards slow jogging, a pace that enabled me to enjoy nature’s beauty and engage in introspection. Her impatience was evident, as she couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t pushing myself to the limit.
Despite her mockery of my leisurely pace on the rowing machine, elliptical, and while cycling, I remained steadfast in my conviction that slow and steady exercise held value. Rather than delving into practices like yoga, tai chi, or hiking, I focused on activities like slow jogging, slow rowing, slow walking, and slow biking. These slower forms of exercise allowed me to maintain a healthy lifestyle without succumbing to the pressures of high-intensity workouts.
The Joy of Slow Movement
My venture into the realm of moderate exercise led to the creation of the Fun Slow blog, a space devoted to celebrating the slow side of fitness. I have become a firm believer in the idea that exercise can be a delightful, sustainable activity that doesn’t always necessitate pushing oneself to the extreme. By embracing the art of slow movement, we can enjoy the journey towards improved health and well-being at a comfortable and satisfying pace.
The Benefits of Embracing Slow Movement
Beyond the joy of engaging in slow-movement exercises, there are numerous benefits to adopting this approach. Some of the advantages include:
- Reduced risk of injury: By moving at a slower pace, we allow our muscles and joints to adapt to the movements and stress of the exercise, reducing the likelihood of injuries that can occur with high-intensity workouts.
- Improved mental well-being: Slow-paced activities offer an opportunity for mindfulness and reflection. This can help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression while fostering a deeper connection to ourselves and our environment.
- Increased adherence to fitness routines: High-intensity workouts can be demanding, leading some people to feel overwhelmed or discouraged, causing them to abandon their fitness journey. In contrast, moderate exercises can be more enjoyable and approachable, encouraging consistency and long-term commitment.
- Enhanced weight management: While high-intensity workouts can burn calories quickly, engaging in regular slow-paced activities also contributes to weight management by promoting a healthy lifestyle and fostering a love for exercise.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Moderate exercises like slow jogging, walking, and biking have been shown to improve cardiovascular health over time, as they help maintain and strengthen the heart and blood vessels.
- Greater accessibility: Slow-paced activities can be more easily incorporated into daily routines and are suitable for people of all fitness levels, including beginners and those recovering from injuries.
Although high-intensity exercise has its place in the fitness world, it’s essential to recognize the value of slow movement activities. By appreciating the benefits of moderate exercises like slow jogging, slow rowing, slow walking, and slow biking, we can take control of our well-being and embark on a fitness journey that is not only enjoyable but also sustainable. Embracing the art of slow movement can bring long-lasting rewards to our health and happiness, proving that sometimes, it’s better to take the scenic route.