At least 30 minutes of walking five days a week or some form of intense aerobic exercise (such as running) for at least 20 minutes three days a week is what the American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine standards indicate able-bodied people should be able to do to sustain their health and vitality.
Dr. Joseph Mercola says, “If you want to add seven years to your lifespan, set aside 20 to 25 minutes for a daily walk. This simple habit, which can also arguably be one of the most enjoyable parts of your day, has been found to trigger an anti-aging process and even help repair old DNA.”
Katherine Harmon for Scientific American (Jan. 4, 2011) states, “A new analysis of walking speed studies shows that—down to the tenth of a meter per second—an older person's pace, along with their age and gender, can predict their life expectancy just as well as the complex battery of other health indicators.”
Walking gets your lymph functioning; while walking, the soft pounding of your feet on the ground combined with the spontaneously natural diaphragmatic breathing that occurs while walking helps move lymph fluid and releases the toxins from the blood into the lungs. Your exhalation then expels those toxins from your lungs. It also stimulates the water circulation within the body. This is important as water represents the largest component of the body and its circulation can take place only by our moving and deep breathing.
Both speed and manner of gait and the distance we are able to travel on foot are indicators of our health, vitality and even our projected longevity. One study shows that the slower we walk, the shorter our lives.
Think about it.
Humans tend to slow down the older we get. Maybe it’s not because we’re getting older. Maybe it’s because we’re not using our bodies enough (walking as one example) in order to slow the aging process.
The key is to build up your endurance to be able to walk without getting winded. If you can walk short distances without getting winded, build up your distance endurance gradually until you can tolerate great distances without unduly taxing your lungs and diaphragm.
How easily or quickly we become winded is an indicator of health.
If you can’t walk reasonable distances without getting winded, here are a few tips for building up your endurance:
- 1st: Walk to the end or your driveway.
- Next: Walk to the corner.
- Third step: Walk halfway around the block.
- Now: Walk all the way around the block.
- Note: Keep extending your distance day to day.
- And: Walk at your own pace.
Humans have gotten lax when it comes to this simplest, most vital form of exercise!
We drive up and down parking lot aisles to get the closest parking space. We drive to our neighborhood store. We stay in and watch television instead of taking a nice walk. Many shuffle instead of picking up their feet and walking.
- Park towards the back of the parking lot?
- Walk with purpose?
- Walk to your neighborhood store?
- Take the stairs?
- Take frequent walks?
- Find reasons to walk?