Culture Fitness Food

5 Truths About Being A Celiac

May 9, 2016

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of What it's really like being

Gluten has become such a buzzword nowadays. And not in a nice way.

I was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease when I was 14.

I think I actually got pretty lucky finding out then because I meant that I had time to try most gluten-filled foods and was just starting to be in control of what I ate by myself.

All in all, the truths about being a celiac are that it isn’t all that traumatic.

I’ve written all about my gluten journey on this blog before. And while I enjoy making jokes about being gluten-free as much as the gluten free duck, there are some things that I wish glutenous people would understand.

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1.It’s not a fad diet choice.

While I’m lucky and my symptoms don’t leave me in bed for days on end, gluten does pretty much slowly kill me inside. Avoiding gluten isn’t a fashion trend I’m trying to follow.

I also promise you that we get just as annoyed as everyone else at the whiney girls who preach about how gluten isn’t good for anyone (so much research says that it’s perfectly fine).

 

2. The fear of undercooked pasta at restaurants is real.

While I love being able to have pasta or pizza on a night out with friends, so many restaurants tend to undercook their gluten free pasta. This is probably because it tends to look done even when it’s only halfway cooked and takes longer than more ‘normal’ pastas.

I have, however, found that if I just beg waiters to make it extra soft the pasta generally comes out okay. #glutenfreelifehack

 

3. Why. Is. It. So. Expensive.

At the risk of sounding complain-y, it does really bother me that you can get two servings worth of tortellini for £1 but four gluten free rolls are £3!

Not only are gluten free substitutes super expensive, but avoiding them can be even worse. Most ready-made meals have sauces that contain gluten and paying for fresh ingredients, veggies or good meat, can cost so much more time and money.

Overall, I’m just trying to keep faith that as the gluten-free trend continues, maybe prices will drop and quality of products will increase.

 

4. Not it’s not PMS, I just ate a lot of gluten.

So my Celiac’s in weird in that when I eat gluten, (pardon the inelegance) I just get a little gassy and suuuuuper lethargic.

It’s like feeling you’ve pulled an all nighter even with nine hours of sleep. And when it comes to trying to be motivated to do work? It’s like moving mountains.

I always end up thinking, was that panini really worth it? … and most of the time the answer is kind of yes.

 

5. I’m not posh, I just literally can’t drink beer.

Living in a culture where pub culture is such a thing can be a little difficult. Going for a casual pint when you can’t actually have a pint can be tricky (and let’s be real, who really likes cider?).

Sure, I might always order a G&T or wine when I go out instead but it’s a little more acceptable to have a 2pm pint of Tennants than it is a G&T.

 

All this being said, I try to never ever make anyone feel bad for offering a bite of something glutenous.

Honestly, being a celiac admittedly isn’t always easy but it’s fun to explore new foods or even just live vicariously through others.

So those are my truths about being a celiac.
Have you ever tried going gluten free? What did you think?!

 

*Photo credit from here.

Blogging Culture

6 Things To Know About Dating a Blogger

May 5, 2016

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It’s the start of a new month with mean new a blogging tips post!

After reading this (kinda bad) article by Cosmo on “15 Things to Know Before You Gate A Girl Who Blogs,” and then Teegan’s (much better) post on “15 (Real) Things to Know,” I thought, why not make one myself.

Being a full time student and blogging requires a mastery of multitasking.

Being a full time student, blogging and having an SO requires an expertise of scheduling and multitasking.

Inevitably, there are things to know about dating a blogger. Full-time or just a monthly blogger, we have our needs. Besides the expected photo taking and post queuing, here are some things to know about dating a blogger:

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1.Computer time is working time

Yes, it might look like I’m spending an hour just looking at photos of girls in long coats but in reality, I’m checking in with my favourite bloggers. I know my comments just complimenting the blogger might seem silly but I know it makes my day to get a nice comment, so I’m going to go ahead and make some’s day.

2. Photos? Plllllllease?

Bloggers need photos. Yes, it’s nice to fill a blog with photos of my hands and feet but sometimes, a few pictures of my face might be better. This is when I will shy-ly ask you to take photos for me. Consider this a compliment (I don’t just trust anyone to be my Instagram Husband).

3. Oh, The Places We’ll Go

If there’s a new cute café or must-see movie, I might say we’re going as a date but be aware I’ll probably be writing notes or snapping pictures for a blog post. I promise I’m enjoying being with you… I’m just also thinking of my millions of adoring blog readers (ha).

4. Not to Mention…

This is inevitable. I will mention you in a post. I’ll try not to but I’ll eventually just feel the need to give you photo credits and low-key brag about the date you took me on.

 

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5. Tolerate my use of a phone camera

Some people will roll their eyes to the high heavens when they see someone taking a picture of their food at a restaurant. When I do this, just know that I too am internally judging myself but feel comfortable enough around you to go for it.
(Also special props to those of you who let your SO’s use your phone for blogging purposes because they have lesser-quality phone cameras).

6. Social Media is important. (Yes, I think it sounds silly too).

Football news is to you what Instagram is to me. I find it informative (about trends or even what new restaurant my friend just went to) and honestly, just like the pretty colours. Please tolerate my every-spare-moment email checking too; I promise I’m still listening to you.

 

Admittedly, sometimes a pull back into the real world can be good. But as long as you know that blogging is important to me, we’ll get along just fine.

How does your SO feel about blogging? What are some things to know about dating a blogger in your opinion?

Fitness Running Sports Tips

6 Running Apps for Literally Anyone

April 28, 2016

Running-apps

Today’s post is from Simply Feet. They’re a cool online sneaker retailer. But best of all, they know their sh*t when it comes to running apps:

Running is an easy and free way to maintain fitness. While it is simple to keep track of your distance and speed on a treadmill in the gym, it can be harder to know exactly what you are achieving out in the real world.

Luckily, there are lots of running apps that can do this for you, from basic apps that let you know how fast you are going and the distance you have covered in your sport shoes to those with a gaming angle to keep you interested and motivated. Wearing the best footwear or sports insoles will also keep you motivated when running which will make you want to maintain your fitness even more!

The prices for these running apps range from free to a few pounds; however, there are so many to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start. Here is a roundup of some of the best apps:

For beginners : 5K Runner

If you are a beginner looking to get yourself to that magical 5,000 metres, this is the app for you. This free app, which is available on both iPhone and Android, has a plan to get you from unfit to fit in eight weeks.

Beginning with short bursts of running interspersed with walking and building up to achieving the full 5k, a built-in audio coach guides you through your runs, tracking pace, distance and heart beat and spurring you on with inspirational quotes and badges. This is great if you are new to running or if you have not run for a while.

For pros : Runkeeper

Available on iPhone and Android, there is a free version; however, it is worth paying for the extras to get the best out of this app. This one is a favourite among professional runners for its accuracy in tracking distance and pace. With real-time audio updates on your pace, mileage and calorie count, the ability to set personal goals and track your progress against them and training programs developed by professional coaches, there is a lot on offer here.

You can use it alongside iTunes and Spotify and it will even match your music to your pace. In addition, you can use it in conjunction with other fitness devices such as the Fitbit and Pebble. This is great if you are serious about your running and want an app that is easy to use; however, the downside is that it can get a bit expensive.

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For fun : Zombies, Run!

Do you need to literally feel that someone is chasing you to make you run? Do you love The Walking Dead? If so, this app is for you. 

As the main character in the story, you go through a series of missions to save people, collect supplies, etc. All the while the zombies are after you. With impressive voice actors and sound effects, this app is great at what it does and will keep you interested and motivated. It is available free on iPhone and Android, but you will need to pay to unlock more missions.

If you like to share: MapMyRun

MapMyRun, which has a community of more than 30 million members worldwide, lets you track your route, pace, distance and calories. It can even tell you when it is time to get new sport shoes! The best bit, however, is that you can connect with millions of users by taking up challenges and sharing your runs with friends.

You can also track your other activities, such as walking, cycling and gym workouts. It is available for free on iPhone and Android; however, you have to pay for many of the handy features.

For ease of use: Endomondo

In terms of usability, it does not get much better than Endomondo – an easy way to track and maintain an account of all your fitness activities. Whether you want to get to 5k or train for a marathon, simply set a distance, time or calorie goal and the app’s in-audio coach will act as a personal trainer and talk you through it.

This app is also great in terms of socially connecting, with the ability to share workouts on social media and track yourself against friend’s achievements or receive real-time pep talks from them. As with Runkeeper, you can pair it up with devices such as the Fitbit and Pebble. It is available free on iPhone and Android, with optional in-app purchases to enhance the experience.

For a good all-rounder : Nike+

Several of the running shoe brands have running apps; however, the best one comes from Nike. It is really well designed and despite having loads of features, it is also really easy to use. It offers real-time audio feedback, coaching advice and tracks every detail of your run.

This app is great whether you are just starting out or a seasoned professional, and is repeatedly rated one of the best running apps out there. It is all free on iPhone or Android. All you need now is your sport shoes to help you get active this summer!

What are your go-to apps?

Culture

5 Steps To Get That Coffee Shop Atmosphere Anywhere

April 25, 2016

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I am the WORST when it comes to doing work anywhere but a coffee shop.

I find my room too small, the library too quite and my living room too crazy.

A coffee shop atmosphere on the other hand: juuuuuuuust right. (I’ve even been studying in my favourite pub recently).

I know a lot of people like studying in coffee shops for a multitude of reasons; from good wifi to caffeination options, I love how all my friends seem to have their signature spot.

A coffee shop atmosphere seems to be comprised of five features that we’re going to talk about recreating today:

+noise
+ drinks
+ company
+ seating
+ interruptions

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Noise

A lot of people find the murmur of a coffee shop atmosphere to be exactly what they need. The geniuses at Coffitivity must have agreed because they made a magical little website that simulated coffee shop sounds. You can even choose what kind of café you want.

 

Drinks

Another big part of coffee shops is, well obviously, the coffee. Whether you’re a chai or triple shot kind of person, if you’re recreating your favourite coffee shop atmosphere you got two drink options:

Either get your favourite drink to take away from your place of choice or make it yourself. It’s actually pretty easy to make a mean hazelnut latte with the right ground coffee and a quick frothed milk tutorial!

 

Company

I’ve realised one of the reasons I study well in a coffee shop atmosphere is because I feel like other people are staring at me and that forces me to do work and not be on Facebook for hours on end.

This is a little tricky to recreate on your own. You can either position yourself so that your screen is visible through a window or just ask a friend to work beside you. It’s all about peer pressure really.

 

Seating

Another appeal of coffee shops is their array of seating. I always either sit at my one table against the wall or right by one of the back windows. Other friends of mine love sitting on couches. Figure out your style and recreate it.

 

Interruptions

Teehee, this is a funky reason, I know. But I like a coffee shop atmosphere because it means I can either totally tune out and work or just kinda chill. I usually set a timer for 20 minutes and make myself zone in on work for 20 minutes and then give myself a break.

 

Admittedly, even with all these elements, it’ll never be quite the real thing but close enough.

My least favourite thing ever is that my favourite coffee shop closes at 5 so late night essay writing often leaves me just striving to recreate their coffee shop atmosphere.

How do you study best? In coffee shop noise or total silence?

Uncategorized

Spot the Difference: Simple vs. Complex Carbs

April 21, 2016

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Everyone knows about carbohydrates’ infamy.

They’re terrible if you want to lose weight. They’re good for nothing. They’re just filling with no nutritional value.

THIS IS ALL WRONG.

*mind = blown*

 

Carbohydrates are actually just a macronutrient that is made into glucose and then energy in your body.

Along with protein and fats, carbs are one of the three macronutrients. There are also simple vs. complex carbs. But before we get into all that, let’s chat about carbs even are and why they’re not the terrifying monsters that Mean Girls makes them look like.

 

WHAT CARBS ARE

-macro-nutrient

– turned into glucose and then energy

– made of fibre, starch and sugar

– simple and complex kinds

– found in bread, sugar, nuts and vegetables

As you can see, carbs aren’t actually only found in starchy food that we generally think of. Also, carb-o-loading (the art of eating a bunch of carbs before a race or tough workout), isn’t actually thing. Bu that’s a post for another time.

Now, as for simple vs complex carbs.

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I used to think that obviously simple carbs were better because they sound purer and must be better. I also didn’t know what a simple vs complex carb was. Hint: I was very wrong and complex carbs are simply all around better.

 

SIMPLE CARBS

-just one or two sugar molecules

-quick energy, rapidly digested

-basically just sugars (raw sugar, fruit juice concentrate)

-found in cookies, pie, soda, etc.

Simple carbs are pretty much what pop culture wants you to believe about carbs. They’re fatty and pretty bad for you in bulk. But they’re not allllllll terrible. Simple carbs are great if you need a quick energy boost because they’re so easily and quickly digested. They’re also important for people with blood sugar problems to help them.

COMPLEX CARBS

– aka. non-refined carbs

-sugar molecules in long chains

-high in fibre (digested more slowly)

-fibre kind (fruit, veg, nuts)

– starch kind (oats, rice)

-found in broccoli, apples, quinoa, kidney beans

Complex carbs are the ones you really want to eat. They lead to a healthy diet and keep you much fuller for longer because of all their fibre and because they’re digested more slowly.

So when it comes down to simple vs complex carbs, you need complex carbs because they give you more energy without a crash, aid digestion because #fibre, are great for metabolism and even help with sleep, brain function and your nervous system.

 

So overall, clearly not all carbs are created equal.

In the simple vs complex carbs race, I declare complex carbs the winner.

Did you know the difference? What’s your favourite complex carb??

 

 

 

Sources: HealthLine and One Green Planet

Culture Fitness Tips

How does Moisturiser Work?

April 18, 2016

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After seeing so so many beauty blogs reviewing so many different kinds of moisturiser, I couldn’t help but wonder how does moisturiser work?

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time know that I love doing kind of sciencey-things-made-fun posts. If you have any ideas for posts, please let me know in the comments!!

As for moisturiser, it’s one of the few beauty products I use. Moisturiser and eye liner is pretty much my whole morning routine.

WHAT

Your skin has three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and a layer of fat. The top layer, the epidermis is usually made of 15% water and when it falls to around 10%, your skin starts to fell dry.

We all know what that feels like: yucky.

Drying out sometimes happens when you use strong soaps that reach down deep and clean out stuff. That’s a good thing but they sometimes take too much water and good oil with them, leaving skin dry.

Drying out can also happen when your skin sheds cells too quickly and in white flakes.

This is when the question of how does moisturiser work comes in.


 

HOW

Moisturiser is basically drops of oil suspended in water and held together with stabilisers (doesn’t that make it sound cool?!). It both restores oil and water in skin and also helps regulate cell turnover (that’s why its important to keep using moisturiser).

Now-a-days, a bunch of other things are often added to moisturisers. From anti-oxidants for anti-ageing to UV-protection, moisturiser has started doing so much more than just, well, moisturising.

There are generally three things in moisturisers that all work in different ways.

Humectants absorb moisture from the air and hold it (sounds like sorcery right?!).

Emollients fill the spaces between cells to smooth skin.

Preservatives, well, preserve the moisturiser.

It’s pretty easy to find a moisturiser for just about anything. Depending on the additives, they can be used for:

+ anti-ageing
+ sun protection
+ evening skin tone
+ clearing acne & blemishes
+ foundation (gotta love a good BB or CC cream)
+ making skin look less shiny

… and oodles of others along with combinations of all the above.

 

So clearly, how moisturiser works isn’t a simple answer but it’s definitely still one of my favourite products.

What’s your favourite? What science-y post do you want to see?

 

Fitness Food

What’s The Real Deal with Vitamin C?

April 14, 2016

 

vitaminC

Ah yes, Vitamin C.

The first two things I think of when I think of Vitamin C are oranges and drinking/eating it in copious amount when I’m sick.

 

In Athens, fresh squeezed orange juice was allllll over. And in every single place, from coffee shop to street-side restaurant, it was amazing.

But it got me thinking: what really is Vitamin C, how does it work, and does it even really work?

I needed answers. So I did a bit of research for you all.

Vitamin C is also known as L-asorbic acid (kinda gross sounding right?). It’s found most commonly in citrus fruits and it’s pretty uncommon to be low in vitamin C (unless your diet is very unvaried).

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THE WHAT

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that the human body doesn’t naturally produce or store.

You need it for a bunch of things; ranging from small and obscure to pretty important:

+ collagen production
+ some neurotransmitter function (brain stuff)
+ metabolising proteins
+ being an antioxidant
+ boosting immune function
+ growth and repair of muscles

As for if loading up on vitamin C really can cure your cold, I’m sorry to report that studies show this is a myth. The vitamin doesn’t help prevent against colds or cure them once they’ve started.

However, people who regularly have vitamin C do generally have shorter colds. It’s still up in the air if large doses can really shorten a cold too.

 

THE HOW

While there is only a certain amount of vitamin C your body can absorb daily, there’s no harm in ingesting as much as you want (within reason). Because your body doesn’t store the vitamin, it will just pee out the rest.

Obviously, oranges and other citrus fruits contain a lot of vitamin C but surprisingly so do potatoes!

Other vegetables that generally have the vitamin (when consumed raw) are:

+ green peppers
+ kiwis
+ brocoli
+ strawberries
+cantaloup

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In all, while vitamin C does a lot of great things, it’s not generally something you’ll have to worry about. Most people get plenty without ever having to think about it.

Do you believe in the cold-healing power of vitamin C?

Fitness Tips

FITAZ : Pre-Review

April 11, 2016

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I love fitness guides.

There’s just something so exciting bout starting a whole new regimen.

So I am suuuuuuuper excited about my new collaboration with FitazFK.

I think this is perfect time of year to restart a new routine too. Classes are winding down for me and summer is approaching. What better time to get that hot summer bod?

I’m also really excited to start this programme because it seems so achievable. Admittedly, I’m one of those people who can be really into something for a few days and then totally run out of steam. But Fitaz is only 28 days long and is broken down into three stages; one week for the first two and then two weeks for the third. Thinking about stages that are only 7 days long totally seems do-able.

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The What

Fitaz basically helps you get fit in 28 days.

No, it’s not a crazy crash diet or body-breaking workout plan. It’s all about re-setting and then slowly building your fitness and metabolism.

The guide is also packed with info. From how to do dynamic stretches to food ideas to workouts (obviously), it’s got literally everything.

Aaaaaaaand it’s also only $28 which is crazy affordable compared to some other guides or apps that can be upwards of $75!!

 

The How

One of the most appealing things to be about Fitaz is that it’s designed in three stages.

Phase 1 is all about re-setting. This is the cleanse phase. The guide talks about what food groups to cut out and starts you off with a few workouts.

Phase 2 is all about re-introducing some food groups, seeing what makes you feel good or bad and making your workouts a little more intense.

Finally, Phase 3 sets you up for life.

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Like I said, I just feel like this programme is so achievable.

So here I go! Check back in 28 days for my final review.

Have you ever tired fitness guides? What do you think of Fitaz?

Berlin Destinations Travel

Ich Bin Nicht Ein Berliner: Berlin Hacks

April 7, 2016

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I was in Berlin in November and just couldn’t stay away! (Check out my last post about Berlin with a free cheatsheet!!).

I was just in Berlin two weeks ago and still really liked it. While I still think it’s a bit of a weird place in that there doesn’t really seem to be a concise central neighbourhood, I do love the culture.

Berlin has something for everyone. But instead of just talking about what to do and what to see, let’s chat about the more obscure things. Like tipping, the metro and what you should really eat. Here are some Berlin hacks.

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BE A TOURIST

I’m from NYC, so I get the fear of being a toursit. But honestly, some of the best memories I have from trips are times when I’ve just gone all out, camera-around-neck and map-in-hand and just really let the wonder of the new things I’m seeing be all over my face.

Go see the Brandenburger Tor and spend some time staring and taking silly photos.

Take a boat tour down the Spree.

Spend all day museum hopping or finding every piece of the Berlin Wall you can.

They’re all fun things to do and really do give you a sense of Berlin even if it is in the most touristy of ways.

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THE METRO

I love taking the subway.

The Berlin metro is great. It’s simple, clean and as most subways are, quite cheap.

There’s no Metrocard or Oystercard; you just buy your ticket, which is a receipt, and validate it in a little box. There are no turn-styles so everyone is trusted to be actually paying (and are also a little scared of being caught without a ticket because random ticket checks do happen).

I really like this way of doing things because if you get a week pass, you stamp it once and then can just walk into the metro as much as you want. It’s quick and easy. Germany efficacy right?

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WHAT TO REALLY EAT

We all have heard of Currywurst. Yes, it’s good and yes, you should definitely try it. But after that:

+ schnizel
(thin, breaded chicken that isn’t really Berlin-ish but Germany enough to be worthy of trying)

+radler
(beer with lemon; super easy to drink)

+ Thai food
(might sound weird, but Berliners love their Thai food)

+ Eiscaffe
(not iced coffee, its coffee with ice cream)

Berlin is great and I could go on for days about all the fun places to go and things to experience. If a list of actual sites and such, check out this post.

What are your thoughts on Berlin? Any other Berlin-hacks?

Slider Sports

True or False: Walking Is As Good As Running

April 4, 2016

Featuring photo outtakes!

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This is an age old question.

Okay, maybe it’s a rather recent question actually.

But either way, is walking as good as running?

Some people say that a 40 minute walk is just good a 20 minute run. You’re getting your heart rate slightly up and doing cardio either way. Some people even argue that walking is even better than running because it’s less stressful on your body if you’re not used to that level of activity.

Greatist says that running takes 2.5 times more energy than walking. However, their article also says that runners tended to lose more weight and regulated appetite hormones better than walkers.

However, this Prevention article argues that walking is altogether better because it has less stress on your heart, along with the rest of your body than running. Then again, it was taking runners who run for upwards of two hours into account.

Aaaaaand then there’s Forbes, who says that pretty much any cardio has risks and if neither running or walking are for you, there’s always yoga or pilates or…. (helpful, right?).

If you want some more reading, Health Ambition has the most comprehensive view by far (they’ve got how-to’s and benefits to walking).

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There are also a few things that the two have in common. Walking and running don’t have different effects on how long you live and both are admittedly forms of exercise.

Here’s a little simplification of what it really comes down to when asking if walking is as good as running:

Walking:
+ does burn some calories
+ less injury risk

Running:
+ burns more calories
+ more weight loss
+ appetite hormone regulation

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(aren’t I a natural model?)

But if you’re a hater of running, do not despair!

If you are going to go with walking as a workout, there are some hacks to make walking as good as running:

+ speed walk (get their heartrate up!)
+ added weights
+ walk more and longer
+ sneak in “workouts” (speed up on your way to work or class!)

So I think that overall, we can say that no, it isn’t true that walking is as good as running. But there are benefits to both.

Are you into walking? Or are you a die-hard runner?