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The amazing power of walking

Friday, June 21, 2013 by: Ben Hirshberg
Tags: walking, moderate exercise, healthy lifestyle

Sometimes the best solutions are the most simple. This appears to be the case with walking, arguably the simplest form of exercise. Walking is gentle on the body and takes no special equipment to perform, making it also a very accessible way to exercise. There has been quite a bit of research done on the effectiveness of walking and the results are staggering.

Decreased pain and disability

Walking appears to make the body stronger and more resilient in addition to being therapeutic. When people suffering from knee arthritis walked for only three hours a week, their pain and disability went down by nearly half. Walking for only four hours per week decreased the risk of hip fracture in post-menopausal women by over 40 percent.

Walking and mental health

Though physical activity and mental health are not always put in the same breath, walking also appears to have a significant impact on our happiness levels. In one study, nearly a third of the depressed patients reported feeling better after only a small dose of walking. When that small dose was increased, the number of depressed patients who were feeling better jumped to about half. Similarly, walking has been shown to reduce anxiety in about half of all patients who implement it into their routine.

Decreased illness and disease

The risk of disease and illness also seems to be significantly cut down when walking is added to the picture. Some research has found that walking can decrease the risk of heart disease by as much as 50 percent. Older patients who started a walking routine were able to reduce their progression of dementia and Alzheimer's by about half as well. In one study of patients at a high risk for diabetes, walking was combined with other lifestyle interventions and almost 60 percent of patients reduced the progression to frank diabetes.

Walking and lower mortality

All of these benefits point to a lower mortality rate as well. A Harvard alumni study followed graduates for a dozen years and found that people who walked had a 23 percent lower rate of death than those who did not walk. Cardiorespiratory fitness, something walking can influence, has also been pointed to as the best mortality predictor.

Though walking may never become a fitness fad, its benefits are undeniable. In fact, if a pill could produce effects similar to the statistics cited above, it would be the bestselling drug in the world. Until then the rest of us will be making strides naturally, one step at a time.

Sources for this article include

About the author:
My name is Ben Hirshberg and I am a student from Seattle. I am very passionate about living healthfully and am constantly learning. Nutrition is a big part of my health philosophy so I am always experimenting in the kitchen with different foods. A result of this experimentation is my ebook "Paleo Ice Cream: 31 healthy recipes for the primal sweet tooth that are so easy even a modern caveman can do it" which can be found at
Physical activity is also something that I believe strongly in, and I received my personal trainer certification from WITS. You can find more of my articles on nutrition, physical activity, recipes, and mental health at

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Reply with quote  #2 
I lost 30 pounds walking with my girlfriend up and down hills for 45 minutes a day at least 4 times a week.

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Reply with quote  #3 
My pastor is 72 and still gets up at five a.m. Every morning and walks three miles, absolutely eye opening to watch him around other guys his age, he is like three times as flexible and strong as the rest off them.

After a few years of watching him, I now walk at least three miles a day.......he made me a believer.

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Reply with quote  #4 
Walking is helpful for body fitness as well as increase strength fight against diseases. We should make daily habit of walking for fitness of body.

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Reply with quote  #5 
Walking is good for our health.

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Really worth reading this!!

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Reply with quote  #7 
I agree with the post , walking is good for our health specially old age people who can not  do hard exercise they can do simple walk daily ..
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