Have you noticed how some famous medical doctors and dieticians have recently been claiming that if people walk for 7,500-10,000 steps a day, they will loose weight, get in shape, etc. This is a quote from a professor of medicine who has a column in Turkey’s biggest daily newspaper (March 31, 20015):
“In brief, the miracle formula is: Everyone who has a weight problem, or wants to maintain a healthy weight, should take a minimum of 5,000, an optimal of 7,500 and ideal of 10,000 steps a day. Anything less, unfortunately, will not work.”
I applaud any kind of activity that gets people off their buts, but lets not get carried away with the benefits of just plain walking. Walking is an activity that one engages in to get from Point A to Point B; it is not a SPORT.
On average, you’ll burn about 500 kcal on an hour walk. I say on average because the amount of calories you burn is a function of your weight, age and gender.
That is the “output/expenditure” side.
Now lets look at the “input” side. The following are the number of calories you get from eating the designated food:
Arby’s Beef Cheddar Classic 500 calories
Large Belgian Waffle with 1.5 tbsp of maple syrup 500 calories
McDonalds Big Mac 550 calories
Bacon, 4 slices 500 calories
Cheddar Cheese, 4.5 oz. (128 gm.) 500 calories
Snickers Bar, 2 bars 500 calories
Bread, 7 slices 500 calories
As you can see, the benefits of the whole one hour walk, goes down the drain this easily.
Recall, or go back and take another look, at my SPORTS/ACTIVITIES article. It is not easy at all to burn calories and loose excess pounds. If it were that easy, the human race would not exist today.
I’ll save you the trouble; you would need to run about 42 kilometers to loose ONE POUND of body fat.
So, should you take a daily walk? DEFINITELY YES.
If you walk alone you also involuntarily meditate
Walking oxidates the body and your brain
You can practice Yoga breathing while you walk
You work the muscles in your legs, butt and arms
A very close friend, Emoş pictured below, suggested that I also include her reason for walking: To enjoy and “merge” with her neighborhood and surroundings. As you can see she is still a happy and in shape soul.
The muscles you are working will not get stronger or grow, because you are not challenging them, but YOU WILL BE USING THEM.
Why is using your muscles such a big deal?
The body is such an unbelievably efficient machine that if you are not using the muscles, you will succumb to a process called sarcopenia, which means the death of muscle tissue. Why muscle tissue and not fat tissue? Because, muscle tissue burns more calories and the body is trying to see you through the next famine and make certain that you pass your genes on to the next generation. So it gets rid of the tissue that consumes more of your reserve, which is stored fat.
Thus, the adage
USE IT OR LOOSE IT.
You might say, “So what, I’ll just be less muscular”. Well, the bad news is:
WHEN YOU LOOSE 40 % OF YOUR MUSCLE MASS YOU DIE.
Remember; 220 minus your age times 0,85 = the maximum heart rate for men, and 226 minus your age times 0,85 for women. If you keep your heart rate above this you will be bombarding your body with free radicals.