The lockdown isn’t over, not everywhere at least, and the past several weeks of quarantine and coronavirus coverage have given rise to unexpected levels of stress and anxiety for a lot of people. While exercise is a great way to relieve all that, exercising at home isn’t an option for everyone. But with warmer weather now widespread in most of the northern hemisphere, there are more options. Leave it to six-time member of Team USA, Chris Mosier, to show even casual walkers how to get the most from a walk around the block.
The accomplished transgender athlete spoke to USA Today for its series on working out during these trying times.
But before you lace up those sneakers — Mosier prefers Nike, by the way, since he’s a longtime ”Be True” athlete for the brand — the All-American duathlete and triathlete has some key advice.
“For general walkers, one thing to try to be conscious of is posture,” said Mosier. “It’s easy to not be conscious of form when you’re just strolling down the street, but it’s important when you’re walking with intention, especially if it’s just for 30 minutes during a stay-at-home order, to make the most of that time out there walking. Another tip for the everyday walker, if you haven’t been doing a lot of walking before quarantine, is to accumulate miles gradually. You want to build slowly.”
Thinking about picking up the pace, maybe going for a run? Mosier has been running lately, while recovering from an event-ending injury in January — a torn meniscus in his right knee. He wrote in an Instagram post Saturday evening that he’s opted to not have surgery — so far.
“One thing is for sure: if you haven’t run in a while, running is hard.”
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One thing is for sure: if you haven’t run in a while, running is hard. I’ve been running off & on throughout the last four weeks as I’ve felt a little more confident with my knee rehab (reminder: torn meniscus that I chose not to have surgery for - so far) and some days are really tough, and others are faster but still tough. I’m in a better place with it mentally, in terms of accepting the bounce back & giving myself space. I’m furiously taking notes in the Rebound book (swipe!) & can feel the fire coming back. . A few other things I learned: 1. I do better with a schedule than without one 2. Progress is not linear 3. This is all a good reminder of how I am temporarily able-bodies and to give gratitude to my body - all of it - each day. . #imagedescription Chris Mosier wears a white Nike @edgeathletelounge singlet and hops his hands on the bill of his Chicago Marathon hat with the Chicago skyline in the background. Photo two is the cover of Rebound by @cindykuzma & @feedtheathlete. . #transathlete #training #mentatraining #rehab #tornmeniscus #rebound #running #edgefam #chicagorunning
“For anybody coming back from an injury, walking is such a great way to build that confidence back up over time or get in a lighter exercise without as much pressure,” Mosier told the paper.
And the man knows of what he speaks, when it comes to the difference between running, and walking.
“The No. 1 thing that’s different is form,” Mosier said. “What differentiates racewalking from running is you have to have a straight leg – touching the ground in front of you – and your back toe can’t leave the ground until the heel of the (front foot) touches the ground. Basically, you have to have one foot on the ground visible at all times. It’s very counterintuitive and different for anyone who is a runner because you don’t have that lift phase.”
Maybe you’re considering sticking to the treadmill? Mosier tells USA Today, you’re really missing out.
“To me, the treadmill offers a fraction of the enjoyment because you get to look around and explore your neighborhoods and scenery on a walk outside,” he said. “You can add in curiosity by changing up the scenery. And it can be alone time or with a person you’re quarantining with. Whenever I’m feeling itchy and in the house, I know it’s time to move around, it’s time for a walk. It’s such a great anxiety reliever.”
And while we all wait for the rest of the world to re-open, and for sports competitions to resume, Mosier has found walking to be something that stays with you, no matter how old you get.
“The best part about walking is you can maintain it for your entire life,” he said.
Chris Mosier made history in January as the first out transgender man to compete alongside other men in an Olympic Trials event. Read more about his other history-making achievements by clicking here.