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Overcoming Sitting Disease with these Walking Benefits

Did you know that walking benefits your heart, your lungs, your joints, your skin, your liver, your gut and even your brain and sex drive?

As Hippocrates once said, "Walking is man's best medicine", so why don't more of us do it?

About a year ago, my husband and I started a walking meditation each morning before work and I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be outside in the dark, cool fresh air before anyone else is even awake. Not that you need to walk at 5:00 am like us, but walking is so refreshing and rejuvenating.

For me, the biggest of the walking benefits is that it overcomes a chronic problem and a chronic physical stress in society referred to as 'sitting disease'.

We just don't move anymore. We get up in the morning and sit down for a cup of tea and breakfast. Then we walk out to the car and sit as we drive to work. Then most of us walk to our desk and sit here for the next 8 hours, before getting back in our cars to drive home. Here we sit again eating dinner and watching television the rest of the evening.

Something is drastically wrong with this picture.

(Photo compliments of geographic.org.uk)


What is the time and energy investment?

To receive all walking benefits you simply have to do it for half an hour a day.

That means you have 23 and a half hours to do with as you please!!

You can do more if you like, but according to the research, your return on investment seems to decline after about 30 minutes a day. You can even do three 10-minute bouts of walking each day...it doesn't matter how or when you do it, just get going!

And you don't have to do any super intense activity like training to run a marathon or becoming a triathlete...this is simple, basic walking that we are talking about.

Again, this is just half an hour a day - 2.08 percent of your day. The walking benefits are enormous and way worth the time investment...see for yourself in the studies listed below.

Statistically Speaking: Walking Benefits

Here is a list of some inspiring and motivating evidence to get you up, out and walking:

  • Leonard Vearman, a researcher in Australia found that those who watched 6 hours per day of TV lived 5 years less. This sounds odd to me as we don't even have a TV in our house, but apparently, the average person in the United States watches 5 hours of TV per day, meaning that the nations live span is reduced because of TV alone!

  • According to a National Institute of Health study published in Brain, Behaviour and Immunity in 2011, regular aerobic exercise can modify the brain such that it may prevent diseases like Alzheimer's.

  • Other studies on Alzheimer's and Dementia patients showed a 50% reduction in disease with regular walking.

  • Patients with knee arthritis who walked 1 hour 3 times a week, reduced their pain and disability by 47 percent

  • Those with diabetes, in addition to other lifestyle interventions, shoed that walking reduced their condition by 58 percent

  • Postmenopausal woman with 4 hours a week of walking reduced their risk of hip fracture by 41 percent

  • A large meta-analysis showed that walking benefits anxiety patients such that they were able to reduce their anxiety levels by 48 percent

  • Those suffering from depression, depending on the duration of walking showed yet more walking benefits with between 30 to 47 percent of patients showing relief from their disease state.

  • Walking has become the number one recommended treatment for fatigue.

  • Dr. Stephen Blair, who did the Aerobic Center Longitudinal Study, showed us that low cardio fitness levels were the number one predictors of death (above other risk factors like smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, etc.)

  • Based on some employee health studies in Japan, they found that for every 10 minutes of walking, there is a 12 percent reduction in your likelihood of getting high blood pressure.

In general, walking simply improves quality of life and is the best solution I know to chronic disease self management.

Hands down, across the board, walking benefits are significant, so I will leave you with the question first posed by Dr. Mike Evans:

"Can you limit your sleeping and sitting time to 23 and a half hours a day?"

Yours In Wellness,

c

Dr. Lisa

P.S. Just a bit of doctorly advice...Be sure you have a good pair of walking shoes and have your feet assessed to see if a good quality pair of Foot Corrector Orthotics would be of benefit...in all you do, be safe adn take care of your body, so you can enjoy quality of life for years to come.

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