Rebecca Onion in Slate:
I walk to and from my office daily. It takes 25 minutes, if you don’t stop at all to look at your phone. (It takes me 35 to 40.) That includes a few steep hills, of the kind I didn’t believe existed in Ohio before I moved here. (They do.) On the weekends, I go on at least one longer hike in our nearby state park, featuring a few more of those punishing Appalachian hills. These are, comparatively speaking, little baby walks, never longer than two hours.
This is a reasonable amount of aerobic activity, if falling slightly short in terms of the recommended amount of intensity, particularly given all the breaks for checking my emails and responding to social media pings. I used to do CrossFit, and part of the reason I stopped going to “the box” was the fact that the workouts included so much jumping and running—activities I’ve disliked for years. My current low-cardio routine—walks, weightlifting, and some yoga—suits me better. But I’ve still wondered if I could be getting a little more of the kind of exercise that makes you breathe hard.
Then I saw a blog post by Whole30 co-founder Melissa Urban, who made a very convincing case that a practice called “rucking”—walking with a backpack full of weights—could turn my little walks into more satisfying cardio.