A radical pedestrian revolution is underway in America! Or at least, that’s what The Guardian is reporting. Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said we should “go retro!” and treat walking as our patriotic duty – and indeed, the Society of Actuaries has estimated that if just 1 in 10 Americans started a walking program, America would save $5.6 billion in medical costs every year. Walking increased 6 percent between 2005 and 2011 in America. Are you doing your patriotic duty?
Indeed, there are a plethora of reasons to go for a walk today. Here are just a few:
- Nonaerobic walking is way better for your creativity than sitting – nonaerobic walkers generated twice as many ideas as sitters in a Stanford study.
- You can add five years to your life by walking 10,000 steps a day and going to the gym three time a week for resistance training.
- If you’re a woman over 40, regular walking can reduce your risk of hip fractures by up to 55 percent.
- A study at California State University Long Beach showed that walking can positively affect your mood and energy.
- A review of data about walking treatments for depression showed that it can improve depression symptoms significantly.
- Walking programs combined with good sleep hygiene can help to alleviate insomnia, especially in older adults, according to a study from Northwestern University.
- Walking six miles a week can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent.
- Supervised walking programs can improve arthritis pretty significantly, and can decrease the need for medications to deal with arthritis.
- Walking regularly can increase the volume of your hippocampus and, by so doing, improve your memory.
- You only need to walk 7500 steps a day to start reaping the health benefits of walking. (That’s less than you’d think.)
- If you think you have to run to get a good workout, think again – walking is also really good at increasing your energy expenditure.
- If you happen to be interested in weight loss, or if your doctor has recommended it, walking programs can have significant outcomes for weight loss.
- A brisk walk is as good for your heart as running is – it turns out that distance matters more than speed.
- Walking is more effective and generally better exercise for pregnant women than resistance workouts.
- If we started walking for short trips instead of driving, we could cut down on mileage driven by at least 49 billion miles, which would in turn cut down the costs of road repairs and cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 21 million tons per year.
So, basically, walking will keep you young, make you more creative and productive, and maybe save the planet. Got your shoes on yet?[The Guardian] [Stanford] [Sydney Morning Herald] [PubMed (1), (2)] [CSU Long Beach] [ScienceDirect] [Northwestern] [WebMD (1), (2)] [Annals of Internal Medicine] [New York Times] [Tech Times] [Europe PubMed] [ResearchGate] [Rails to Trails]
Original by Rebecca Vipond Brink