How much does walking help us? Let me count the ways. Walking is probably the single best and most under-appreciated exercise in existence in the world of fitness.
According to About.com The 1996 Surgeon General’s report, Physical Activity and Health, recommended “a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity on most, if not all, days of the week.” The benefits are greatly reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and other maladies. Walkers have also been shown to live longer and live to a healthy, active old age in greater numbers than their couch potato friends.”
About.com also said, “The CDC reports that Michigan Department of Community Health analyzed 1996 and 1998 BRFSS data and found that only 1 in 18 people who say walking is their chief exercise were doing enough.
* 78% walked for 30 minutes or more when they walked
* 34% walked at least 4 times a week.
* 26% walked at moderate intensity (3.5 miles per hour or faster)
* Only 6.7% met all three goals.
RevolutionHealth added that you can walk in spurts of as little as 10 minutes each. So, 30 minutes, yes, but in bite-sized pieces.
It stated, “Walking helps to keep your bones healthy. It is a weight-bearing activity. This can help to reduce your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.”
The site adds good suggestions on logistics as well.
Check out AARP for some more good tips. AARP points out, “Managing your weight, Controlling your blood pressure, Decreasing your risk of heart attack, boosting good cholesterol, lowering your risk of stroke, reducing your risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes, avoiding your need for gallstone surgery, protecting against hip fracture.” And more.
The Mayo Clinic
Some of the benefits mentioned at this site include higher percentage of body fat burned, increase health and fitness, boost energy levels, decrease in health risks.
The emedtv says, “All you need is 3 minutes of moderate level physical activity on most days of the week to see health benefits.
“Among the benefits, helps keep bones, muscles and joints healthy, reduces anxiety and depression, boosting your mood, helps you sleep better. give you the opportunity to socialize actively.”
Medicine.Net quotes Hippocrates “Walking is man’s best medicine.” It cites “the percentage of adults who spent most of their day sitting increased from 36.8% in 2000 to 39.9% in 2005! ”
Among other benefits, walking is good for your brain, improves physical function. Studies of senior citizens who walk regularly showed significant improvement in memory skills compared to sedentary elderly people. Walking also improved their learning ability, concentration, and abstract reasoning. Stroke risk was cut by 57% in people who walked as little as 20 minutes a day.
Another website devoted entirely to walking is Coolwalking.com It includes the quote from Thomas Jefferson “Of all exercises walking is the best.”
A civic pride site, for the City of Cambridge has some very nice tables on calories burned and also specifies walks inside Cambridge itself with distances.
In addition to many of the benefits mentioned elsewhere, walking bolsters the immune system and helps prevent osteoporosis. As far as calories are concerned you burn approximately 100 calories for every mile you walk. That’s 100 good reasons …
Finally, check out my Page – Why You Should Walk More to get further information.