Do you walk? I mean do you really get out and walk? Walking is one of the most unrecognized ways of exercise. However, if we don’t spend some time walking every day, it affects our health. A study of 929 people in Spain suggests the more sedentary the individual, the worse their cardiovascular, endocrine(think diabetes), and obesity profile was (see the full study: Sedentary Lifestyle and Its Relation to Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Insulin Resistance and Inflammatory Profile). Walking may not burn the most calories, but it will help you to maintain your health.
I have a sedentary job. I work in a cube at a computer. I realized several years ago that I was sitting too much. I worked out five days a week, but nothing changed. When I got my first pedometer, I found out I was only walking around 5000 steps a day. I increased my steps to 10,000 and then to 15,0000 and I had better luck keeping my weight in check and helped improve my stats. The walking broke up the sedentary time. Less time sitting, more time walking improves health outcomes. Even if you already work out. I learned from scientists studying this subject that you are better off if you workout, but that workout is not effective enough in negating the effect of sedentary behavior (see this meta-analysis: Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women). The bottom line: get off your butt during the day or that workout you did this morning doesn’t mean squat.
Walking is something you can do any time, anywhere. You don’t need special equipment to do it. You can do a little if you haven’t exercised in a while and build up to longer walks or do it if you are already fit. If you need a safer place to walk, try the local school track or a mall or shopping center. Take an extra lap around the big box store when you are buying lumber for a home project. Park further away from the store. If you have a treadmill at home, spend some of the time that would on the couch watching television, walking. Just do it.
A pedometer is a helpful tool for walking. You can spend less than $10 or as much as $300. However, they can help you gauge how far you have walked. Also, get a pair of good walking shoes. Yes I said walking shoes. Running shoes don’t work for this. The gate is different for each. Tony used running shoes at first and had pain. He got walking shoes and hasn’t had a lick of pain since. If you can, invest in a good pair. They are not cheap, but will actually be less expensive than cheap shoes you kill in a few months.
How do you walk for exercise? Let us know in the comments!