- Quality of Life & Wellness
Walking: the only exercise you will ever need
Walking is good exercise for most of the body's muscles
When I was a child, back in the 1950's and 1960's, I used to know a man named "Mr. Big Boy Scruggs." Mr. Big Boy was really, really old. I used to ask people how old Mr. Big Boy was. I was ashamed to ask him, to his face, "Mr. Big Boy, how old are you?" Amazingly, nobody could tell me exactly how old Mr. Big Boy was. I would ask people, at random, "How old is Mr. Big Boy?" and they would say, sometimes, "95 years old, or so." I would ask somebody else and they would answer me, "maybe he is 105 years old, there or about." I would ask about his birth certificate and I was told, "they did not have birth certificates back when Mr. Big Boy was born."
I would talk to people about Mr. Big Boy's history and I was told by one person that Mr. Big Boy could remember "way back yonder," even when the Civil War "Battle of Franklin" was fought. That was back in 1864 C.E. I was 11 years old, back in 1958 C.E., when I was really "hot and bothered" asking people questions (what they considered to be stupid questions) about Mr. Big Boy's life. I would sometime ask people who where in their 50s or 60s about Mr. Big Boy's age, and I would get an answer, "No one knows his age, Mr. Big Boy was always an old man!" So, I simply gave up on knowing Mr. Big Boy's age. He finally died. He was really, really, really old when he died. I can say this for sure.
The point that I want to make is, "Mr. Big Boy walked everywhere that he needed to go. He did not ride a horse, or a bicycle or ride in a car or on a truck. He always walked. Walking to town was just a three mile trip, so Mr. Big Boy walked to town. Sometimes I would walk with him. I would talk to him a lot and we would be walking at a fairly good pace. Sometimes Mr. Big Boy would get tired of me asking questions and he would say, "Damn boy, can you shut the Hell up sometimes!" So, I would just walk along with him with my head held down, looking at the ground going by as we traveled. I loved walking with Mr. Big Boy. Those were some good old days. Yes they were.
Somebody told me that Mr. Big Boy was a slave when he was a child. He was born a black slave. Long years ago, I suppose. I loved him when I was a kid. He taught me things that one could never learn going to school. He could not read or write, but he was gifted. Really, really bright.
Now, lets get into the Science of Walking as Exercise. It is a fact that people spend too much time working at the desk, working on the computer or watching television. By getting up and walking around, one can decrease one's risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus and other serious diseases. It does not take that much exercise, by walking around, to make a really big difference in one's state of health. I mentioned above, that Mr. Big Boy Scruggs walked at a fairly rapid pace when he had to walk 3 miles to town (to Franklin, Tennessee), but actually, most of the time, Mr. Big Boy walked at a slow pace. He used a walking stick to help give him more stability, as he walked. Do not sat at your desk for more than 6 hours without getting up to take a little 10 or 15 minute walk. When you are sitting at you desk, stretch your legs, from time to time, every hour or so will do. You will live a longer, healthier life if you do this. If you can get up from your desk, ever hour, and walk for 2 to 5 minutes you will give yourself years of extra life. It does not seem real or true, but it is.
Walking can also reduce the stresses of Life, by a lot. Believe it or not, walking is as good for your heart as running. It is a fact!
You are also burning calories when you walk. Walking at a pretty good rate of speed, the way Mr. Big Boy did when he was walking to town, can burn 460 calories an hour. Think about how much belly fat one can burn off by walking for just one hour on a fairly regular basis. This kind of activity also increases insulin sensitivity while burning off belly fat. This reduces your risk for getting Diabetes mellitus.
I forgot where I read it, but some German researchers at a university over there have found out that just 25 minutes or so of regular walking (or slow jogging) a day, can potentially add 7 more years of good life to your life span. It has to do with increasing the activity of telomerase, an enzyme that helps the body to mend DNA.
Okay. There you have it. Walking can buy you some additional, quality years of Life.
My New Year's Resolution is to do more walking myself. I owe it to myself to take better care of myself. I am busy like everybody else (too busy to walk) right? No! Wrong! I have got to walk too.