Robert Vinet

A​ Passionately Curious Bloke

Tag: Walking

Do We Need To Walk 10,000 Steps A Day When 7,500 Steps Might Be Enough

We all know that exercise is important for us. Walking, something most of us can do, makes us healthier, happier, and some even claim walking makes us smarter. Unsurprisingly, we all believe that more is better.

We’ve all heard the claim that we should walk at least 10,000 steps a day.  But there’s nothing special about the 10,000 steps number. Like many other claims, it is not based on science and was started as part of a marketing campaign to sell us something. Unfortunately, like many other health claims, it became widely accepted as fact and is now part of the conversation. So the 10,000 steps deception continues to be used to sell apps, smartphones, etc.

Setting a target of 10,000 steps and having difficulty reaching that number can have a negative effect and demotivate people to exercise at all. Why bother if you can’t reach it, right? One study showed that benefits plateaued after 7,500 steps a day.

Instead we should all do what we can to stay healthy. Our bodies were made for moving. Not for sitting all day. And over time, with patience and perseverance, the more we do, the more we will be able to do.

Training to run a marathon (42.2 km or 26.2 miles) takes months of training, slowly increasing weekly mileage over time. I’ve trained and ran several marathons. It’s not easy getting out the door sometimes. And it takes time before you are properly ready to run that distance.

The same goes for improving our health by walking. Start with what you can. Get out the door. Go for a walk around the block. Then do it again the next day. The more you do, the more you will be able to do over time.

If it’s not enjoyable, we are less likely to keep it up. So change routes. Take the dog. Change the time of the day. Listen to a podcast. Invite friends to join you. Take a hike in the woods. Listen to the birds. Stop and talk to your neighbours. Whatever you do, have fun with it. It’s not a race.

Read this BBC article to find out more.

Brisk walkers live longer

We all know that walking (and regular physical activity) has a positive effect on our lives. Now there’s evidence that waking faster live longer.

Robert Roy Britt, writing on Medium:

People who described themselves as brisk walkers (versus steady or slow) live notably longer, the researchers reported in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study involved 474,919 people with data across seven years. And while the data relied on self-reporting of activity, the results were surprising in one respect: They held regardless of body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage or waist size.

“Fast walkers have a long life expectancy across all categories of obesity status, regardless of how obesity status is measured,” Yates says.

Read More…

Why walking helps us think

Ferris Jabr, The New Yorker:

When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

Read More

Walking might be the best exercise

One of the keys to a longer and healthier life is to keep moving. The simple act of walking is as natural as breathing and could increase not only how long you live, but also your quality of life.

It’s easy to get excited about the latest and greatest trends, from high-intensity interval training to ultramarathons to triathlons to powerlifting. But at the end of the day, regular brisk walking gets you most, if not all of the way there—“there” meaning a long and healthy life. This is the main conclusion from the June volume of the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), a special edition dedicated exclusively to walking.

“Whether it is a stroll on a sunny day, walking to and from work, or walking down to the local shops, the act of putting one foot in front of the other in a rhythmic manner is as much human nature as breathing, thinking and loving,” write researchers Emmanuel Stamatakis, Mark Hamer, and Marie Murphy in an editorial in the journal.

The main study in the BJSM special edition surveyed more than 50,000 walkers in the United Kingdom—a variety of ages, both men and women—and found that regularly walking at an average, brisk, or fast pace was associated with a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality and a 24 percent reduction in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. All the data was self-reported. Participants were asked how frequently they walked and whether they would describe their usual pace as “slow,” “average,” “fairly brisk,” or “fast.” Though self-reported data like this is often viewed as a weakness, in this case it may actually be a strength. This is because “slow” versus “brisk” for a 30-year-old is different than “slow” versus “brisk” for a 70-year-old. In other words, what the researchers were really measuring was rate of perceived exertion, or how hard people felt they were walking. This method is proven to be an effective way to gauge effort and intensity during exercise. “A very simple way to grasp what a ‘brisk’ pace is in terms of exertion is to imagine it as a pace that gets you out of breath when it is sustained for more than a few minutes,” says Stamatakis, lead author on the study and professor of physical activity, lifestyle, and population health at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Another study, published earlier this year in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, examined nearly 140,000 men and women in the United States and came to the same conclusion. Engaging in at least 150 minutes per week of brisk walking was linked to a 20 percent reduction in all-cause mortality.

Read more at Outside Magazine

Happy Victoria Day Canada; Throw out your journal; A man who walked around the world for 9 years

Happy Victoria Day, a Canadian national public holiday in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

Barack and Michelle Obama sign Netflix deal – Variety

Video: Malcolm Gladwell explains his writing style and where his ideas come from to David Remnick – The New Yorker via YouTube

Video: How a crooked cop framed dozens of people – The New Yorker via YouTube

A Japanese man caps off a 9-year walk around world in Tuktoyaktuk – CBC

Six ‘bad’ foods that deserve a place in your diet – Globe and Mail

The therapeutic benefits of keeping a journal – and then throwing it away – Quartz

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May 21

1939: The Canadian National War Memorial is unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.

1988: The National Gallery of Canada, designed by Moshe Safdie, officially opened in Ottawa.

About those 2-minute walk breaks you take during the day… Keep doing them. The benefits add up.

Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times:

Walk for two minutes. Repeat 15 times. Or walk for 10 minutes, thrice. The benefits for longevity appear to be almost exactly the same, according to an inspiring new study of physical activity patterns and life spans.

It finds that exercise does not have to be prolonged in order to be beneficial. It just has to be frequent.

Most of us who are interested in health know that federal exercise guidelines recommend we work out moderately for at least 30 minutes per day at least five times per week in order to reduce our risks of developing many diseases or dying prematurely.

Pregnant Frenchwoman was fined €60 (US$74) for walking the wrong way at a Paris metro station

BBC:

The ticket was issued when she tried to shorten her journey by walking counter to a one-way system at Concorde.

Paris metro operator RATP said the system was needed to control flow and prevent “incidents”.

The woman’s partner posted a picture of the fine on social media, saying “Bravo for this racket.”

Thinking of taking a walk everyday? Why it’s good for you

Janet Viljoen, The Conversation:

There is no doubt that movement is essential for well being. The general guidelines are that 30 minutes or more of walking every day at a speed of between five and eight kilometres per hour can improve health.

And studies show that even when people don’t quite manage to walk for the recommended 30 minutes a day the benefits can still accrue. This proves that some walking is better than none at all.

For those who still need convincing, here are six reasons to take up a daily outdoor walk.

  • It doesn’t cost a thing
  • It prevents (or delays) Type 2 diabetes
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • It decreases body fat
  • Reduces symptoms of depression
  • No adverse side effects

Lucy Barnard is attempting become the first woman to walk the length of the world

Lucy Barnard is attempting to set a world record by walking 30,000 km, length of the world, from Argentina to Alaska. If she reaches her goal, the 35 years old Australian will become the first woman to walk that length.

Jano Gibson, writing in ABC News:

“It’s meant to be 30,000 kilometres but with all the to-ing and fro-ing and getting lost and trying to take shortcuts that end up being far longer, I really couldn’t give you a true number,” Ms Barnard said.

There’s just one rule: she can’t use any motorised transport.

The vast majority of the journey is by foot, but several water crossings along the route require a kayak.

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