The non flashy, simple things are actually the things that we can leverage for some of the biggest changes for our health, fitness and aesthetics.
For most of our history, walking has been the primary means of getting from once place to another. But it was more than just that. It provided are ancestors with such a distinct survival advantage that it shaped the course of human development. It freed up our hands for making tools which allowed us to acquire better food and more resources which ultimately allowed for our brains to develop better capabilities. So our capacity to walk is edged into our DNA. It’s one of those unique features of our species and because of that it has a dramatic impact on the health of our bodies. More so than it does in other animals. And in terms of health, walking has been shown to reduce the risk of a number of diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and many others. In fact, it has a linear relationship with a reduced risk of death from all causes. Your chances of eventually dying are always going to be 100%. But your less likely to do it today if you simply walk more. Walk more, die less. Seems like a pretty good deal to me. Aside from lowering your risk from dying from just about everything, walking is a valuable tool for improving your body composition. Most people can expect to burn about 200–400 calories but it’s going to depend on the context of the terrain, your weight, your walking speed. But on average that’s about four times over your baseline metabolic rate. Combined with a good diet in can result in some meaningful fat loss. The best thing about it is it low recovery demand and low injury risk, those are unmatched. So, whether you have a long way to go in your wait loss journey, just want to maintain a healthy body fat level, or maybe you’re shedding those last few pounds to get absolutely ripped for summer, walking can play a significant role. The final things about walking that I think are really cool are just some of the peripheral benefits like it being free, it gets you off the couch outside and into the sunshine. It’s an opportunity to see new things. It can improve your psychology and mental health, an opportunity to put on a podcast and learn something new. If you walk with friends and family it’s a great way to catch up and connect socially.
There’s so many benefits embedded in this simple activity that has served as one of the most important and unique aspects of our evolution. So it that sense it is the original, physiological hygiene.
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