Posts Tagged ‘walking’

Movement is the holy grail of health

August 13, 2017

Sitting is a disease. Movement is the holy grail of health.

Blood flow is the life force that heals our body and removes the waste. No juice cleanse or apple cider vinegar or lemon water will compensate for inactivity. You don’t need 50 different food items, from 12 different countries, or a rare plant or berry from some remote island or jungle. That’s just another example of our desire to find things that do the work for us, passively. Thinking that we can just eat a super food and that will make up for inactivity, when we know that regular exercise and maintaining a healthy body fat level is the real key to long term health.

I take a brisk 10 minute walk after each meal. Research suggests this improves digestion and reduces blood sugars, much better than a single 30 minute walk daily. Science is telling us that consistency is more important than intensity, and frequency is more important than quantity. Getting up and walking around every hour is better than exercising once at the end of the day.

— Stan Efferding

This is an excellent video by Stan Efferding:

Credo to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors

February 19, 2017

Technology changes rapidly but our biology, our bodies change slowly. Our bodies are essentially the same as 10,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago humans were stronger and healthier. I wish to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors. To do so, I will emulate their conditions:

  1. I will take a cold shower each day to emulate the environmental extremes that my hunter-gatherer ancestors dealt with.
  2. I will fast on water every Sunday to emulate the periods without food that my hunter-gatherer ancestors endured.
  3. I will go barefoot as much as possible and run my feet over lacrosse balls to emulate the lack of footwear of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.
  4. I will walk outdoors for an hour each day to emulate the long distances that my hunter-gatherer ancestors traveled each day.
  5. I will lift heavy weights to emulate the hard work that my hunter-gatherer ancestors performed each day.
  6. I will eat fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meat to emulate the diet of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.

Walk up stairs flat-footed

January 7, 2017

When I was a child I was told to walk up stairs on the balls of my feet.

That was bad guidance.

As a consequence of that guidance my calf muscles have, over the years, shortened. Shortened calf muscles have caused all sorts of problems: difficult to stand erectly, difficult to squat properly, limited flexibility, and others.

So, what is the right way to walk up a flight of stairs? Answer: walk flat-footed. On each step your foot should be flat on the step.

The power of a 30 minute walk to alter your body chemistry

May 31, 2014

A few weeks ago I was inspired to do an ultra-high intensity bike workout: go all out for 30 seconds, then 60% max for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 sets. Just prior to doing this I went for a 30 minute, brisk walk. Although the bike workout was hard, it was not devastating. A week later I was inspired to do the bike workout again, but this time I didn’t precede it with the 30 minute brisk walk. I felt like puking my guts out. My body did not like it at all.

What I learned from that experience is that a 30 minute brisk walk has a deep impact on the body’s internal chemistry.

Walking is the best exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. [Thomas Jefferson]

Humans did not evolve to be inactive

March 27, 2014

Humans evolved to do
a variety of activities,
from low to high intensity.
Most of the time, early
people were resting or
walking long distances,
but sometimes they
had to run or sprint,
climb trees, and throw
things. So a degree of
high-intensity ability was
important in terms of
natural selection. What
we did not evolve to be
is inactive.

Daniel Lieberman,
professor of human
biology at Harvard

Think better and deeper thoughts while walking

September 1, 2013

Today (Sunday morning) I went for a 90 minute walk through a nice nature trail with a friend.

During the walk we discussed varied topics, such as the three theories of aging and the moving blueberry harvest season.

It was a wonderful walk and a delicious discussion.

While walking it occurred to me that, “This is an ideal environment for discussing and exchanging ideas. Everyone is relaxed. The mild exercise makes my brain sharp.”

Contrast with sitting in a room, staring at each other across a table. That is a very uncomfortable environment. It puts pressure on everyone to try to be profound and sound intelligent.

I propose that all meetings be turned into walking meetings. The entire group should go outside and walk and talk. I suspect that meetings would be more productive that way.

I suggest that researchers could better explore deep problems if they spent more time discussing while walking.

I want to find someone interested in deep discussions on various topics in Computer Science, such as computability, complexity theory, parsing, XML. Actually, anything math- and science-related would be great. If you enjoy walking, deep thoughts, and live in the Boston to southern New Hampshire area please drop me a note.

From Mark Twain’s “A Tramp Abroad”:

“Now, the true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. It is no matter whether one talks wisdom or nonsense, the case is the same, the bulk of the enjoyment lies in the wagging of the gladsome jaw and the flapping of the sympathetic ear.

And what motley variety of subjects a couple of people will casually rake over in the course of a day’s tramp! There being no constraint, a change of subject is always in order, and so a body is not likely to keep pegging at a single topic until it grows tiresome. We discussed everything we knew, during the first fifteen or twenty minutes, that morning, and then branched out into the glad, free, boundless realm of the things we were not certain about.”

MBT/Shape-up shoes and hip pain

November 17, 2011

18 months ago I purchased a pair of MBT shoes. (“Shape ups” are of the same type).

I wore them pleasurably.

6 months ago I purchased a commercial-quality treadmill and starting walking on it wearing my MBT shoes.

After a week I started to get a pain on one side of my hips. It got progressively worse. It got so bad I had to stop using the treadmill. I layed off for a few weeks and then started back. Shortly thereafter the hip pain resumed. At this point the pain was constant, not just when I walked on the treadmill.

6 weeks ago I switched shoes, to the traditional type of shoe (i.e., not an MBT or Shape up shoe). Immediately my hip started feeling better on and off the treadmill. In a week the hip had no pain. I haven’t worn the MBT shoes since then and have had no hip pain. I am now walking on the treadmill for an hour each day without any hip pain.