More on the Benefits of Walking
We now live in a world where walking is discourages. We take elevators, escalators, we drive most places and try to park as close to our destination as possible.
But what if walking more actually helped us live longer? That seems to be the case in a recent study (see study breakdown here).
Recently many of our exercise outlets were taken away. Gyms were closed, parks were closed, and malls were closed, a popular walking place for year for the elderly. Not only that, but as mentioned above, our culture has made walking less and less an activity we HAVE to do. Even walking around the grocery store has been replaced by apps like Instacart and other food / grocery delivery services. Walking has become something we have to be proactive about doing. As a wellness coach I often prescribe my clients 30 minutes of walking per day on the sun and attempt to get 6000-10,000 steps per day.
As it turns out, that can help people live longer.
Here is a very important piece from the research:
“Comparing the lowest step counts to the highest step counts reported in the studies included in this meta-analysis, walking 16,000 steps per day was associated with a 66% reduction in all-cause mortality compared to walking just 2,700 steps per day. Stated conversely, walking 2,700 steps per day was associated with a three-fold greater risk of all-cause mortality than walking 16,000 steps per day.”
Other studies have shown that walking has led to significant decreases in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, body fat percentage, body mass index, total cholesterol, and depression scores.
With COVID sweeping the nations the last two years we can all agree that we have had to take our health into our own hands and walking 6000-10,000 steps per day seems to be a way to do that.
So, how do we accomplish this? Many of us have limitations on how much walking our schedule allows. I work with a lot of clients who have office jobs while other have very active jobs and getting the 10k steps is not much of a challenge. While those with the office job have to be proactive in getting those steps so here are a few tips to getting more steps in:
- Schedule a 30 minute walk in your day just like any other important appointment you have
- I will walk during my phone calls! I’ve been known to pace quite a few steps while on the phone.
- Park farther away from the entrance when you go places
- Choose the stairs over elevators etc
- Track your steps on your phone or smart watch
- Schedule a 3-5 minute walk every 1-2 hours if you have an office job
- Use the furthest bathroom away at work
- Walk the grocery store a few laps before you shop
- Find a few friends to form a walking group to catch up as opposed to talking on the phone
All in all, we all will have to be more proactive to get more steps but research show it may help us live longer and be more healthy!