Walking, highly under-estimated by most but the power on your overall health is second-to-none.
Since having my little girl I have made it my mission to get out into the great outdoors as much as possible.
Many of history’s great philosophers have emphasised the importance of walking every day. Think about it, back in the day when cars were a luxury and we had to walk everywhere, do you think there was an obesity epidemic back then?
Now, I am not for one second suggesting that walking is the cure to obesity (it would be pretty simple if it was).
What I am suggesting is that walking comes with huge benefits.
Hanson and Jones (2014) investigated the benefits of walking groups and found:
- Overall reduction in high blood pressure
- Reduction in resting heart rate
- Reduction in body fat and Body Mass Index
- In increase in VO2 Max (better capacity to use oxygen)
- Increased physical function of walking (measured by the 6-minute walk test)
Overall the benefits were wide and varied with little to no adverse effects.
There are some counter arguments made with regards to how accurate the devices are that measure the 10,000 steps model. I believe that still promoting this philosophy is important as it is one people relate to most.
The concept comes from Japan back in 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Pedometers became popular in the country and everyone was aiming to get their required steps everyday.
Tudor-Locke et al (2011) class those that actually take 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day as moderately active. Accumulating these steps through our ADL’s and possibly increasing the difficulty of our ADL’s (parking further away from work or even walking to work if possible) is likely to promote more adherence to walking as a daily dose of exercise.
Take Home Message
Getting around by foot and aiming to move more throughout the day has benefits that just can’t be ignored.
Walking is a great way to bond with the family.
Move and groove.