Your doctor isn’t the only one who thinks walking is an excellent prescription for healthy living. I totally agree with Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who has reportedly stated in so many words, “Walking is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug.” When I read this in a Harvard Newsletter I regularly receive I just couldn’t help but smile. Many in the Newton NJ area have already commented that, “The 45 year old owner of BrianSchnabel.com is seen walking everywhere,” and, “Looks damn good up close, too!”
Granted; just because I walk everywhere with my Registered Seeing Eye Dog, as a part of my lifestyle, doesn’t really make me all that special. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that any physical activity is a blessing to anyone’s health in general, either.
“Yup!” My mother feels she failed miserably when it came to teaching me how to ask people for rides and other help. However, while I credit my highly independent lifestyle for the development of my awesome body, I didn’t know walking is recognized as the one activity on earth that provides a soul with a whole host of benefits.
Did you know walking counteracts the effects of genes that cause weight gain? I didn’t until I read the newsletter from Harvard that I mentioned earlier.
Apparently Harvard researchers looked at over 12,000 people; focusing on 32 obesity-promoting genes. They wanted to determine how much these particular genes actually contributed to the weight of the human body. What they discovered amongst the study participants, who briskly walked for around an hour each day, was that walking cut the effects of those genes in half.
I generally average about four to five miles per hour when I go for a walk. I wonder if Harvard would consider that to be a brisk walk? I only ask because it would seem that many here in the Newton NJ area seem to cringe at the thought of being invited to take a stroll through town with me.
They say at the University of Exeter that walking helps pacified a sweet tooth, too. That was something else I didn’t know until I read the newsletter from Harvard.
Usually; my sweet tooth only kicks in when I know, or can smell, chocolate in close proximity. I rarely by candy because when it’s in a wrapper I can’t usually smell it. So, for this blind guy, “If it’s out of sight it’s out of mind.”
However, a pair of studies done by the University of Exeter showed that a 15 minute walk curbs cravings for chocolate. Apparently, walking can even reduce the amount of chocolate one might otherwise eat during stressful situations. Also, other research has confirmed that walking can reduce the desire to devour a variety of other none chocolaty yet sugary snacks.
I have understood for a while that my habit of walking all over God’s creation has cut the risk of heart disease down quite a bit. I’m not sure if it’s been cut down by 30 percent. But, that was in the newsletter Harvard puts out, too.
In addition; I read that walking has been known to reduce the risk of cancer plus diabetes. Women who want to avoid breast cancer need to walk at least seven hours a week for a 14 percent risk reduction though. “Are you ladies here in Newton NJ sure you don’t want to come walk with me?”
Obviously; walking at least twenty minutes a day will lower blood pressure and cholesterol. But I’m not sure how walking eases joint pain. Maybe this is because when walking with my Seeing Eye Dog; the pull between myself and the dog puts quite a bit of pressure on my left shoulder, low back, and knees at times. I can usually tell when it’s time for a new pair of shoes based on the way my back and knees feel when I’ve come home from a walk to the Newton NJ Walmart, ShopRite, Dunkin Donuts, etcetera.
I will agree though that walking certainly does boosts immune function, especially the way I’ve been trained by the Seeing Eye and other places. When you are taught to work your dog in all kinds of weather, you generally don’t hesitate to go out in all kinds of weather after you’ve returned home from the training.
My mobility instruction went pretty much the same way too. How are you going to learn to get around during snow storms, rain storms, and other weather events if you avoid being trained to use a cane during such times?
So, “No,” I don’t get sick much from all the walking I do. However, people continually insist that I’m nuts for walking to where ever I need to be, usually within a three mile radius of my home.
“True!” The traffic is kind of tricky around Newton NJ and hard to avoid. However, it certainly does feel good to get out there to get things done.
However, being a blind person in Newton NJ has its health benefits, despite what other folks might think. I know that if I could see I’d be driving. I’d probably look like hell because of all that sitting behind the wheel, which many others my age are paying a high physical price for, too.