We’re big fans of exercise, particularly walking. “Exercise,” as portrayed in the media and advertisements, is a sweaty activity that is made to look repetitive, stressful, not fun and probably expensive (all the special clothes and equipment). Walking, on the other hand, can be integrated into daily life and doesn’t require special clothes. You don’t even have to sweat.
Health benefits of walking include lowered disease risk and stress reduction, not to mention a bit of calorie burning.
A Stanford University cardiologist is gathering data from an app on volunteers’ smart phones to track activity patterns. The goal: to discover ways to fight disease with physical movement. One early finding: we’re sitting around more than we admit. The widespread 10,000 steps-a-day recommendation, which adds up to roughly 5 miles, is more than minimum 30 minutes a day recommendation. Apparently most of us aren’t even getting that.
Which brings up the issue of the walkability of our environment, which Donna and Kathy discuss in the podcast. WalkScore rates neighborhoods on walkability, which means using walking for transportation, which is a really effective way to integrate walking (activity) into daily life. Looking for more ideas? This Harvard Med School newsletter article has more tips. That article was written before the Pokemon Go craze, which apparently caused a surge in step tracker step counts. Meaning people were walking more while playing the game. And they didn’t even have to put on special “exercise” clothes to do it.