10 Reasons Why You Should Walk More

By Zac Marshall, MA, Certified Personal Trainer at Prairie Stone Sports & Wellness Center

The benefits of walking are numerous! Even the General Surgeon agrees. In September 2015, the Surgeon General issued a Call to Action to increase walking among Americans of all ages.

The Call to Action stated that “one out of every two U.S. adults is living with a chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. These diseases contribute to disability, premature death, and health care costs. Increasing physical activity levels significantly reduces risk of chronic diseases and related risk factors. Because physical activity has numerous other health benefits—such as supporting positive mental health and healthy aging—it is one of the most important actions people can take to improve their overall health.

Below is a list of 10 reasons why you should consider walking as a way to improve your health:

  1. We are born to walk. Walking is an innate physical activity.
  2. Walking is one of the few forms of physical activity we can do without thinking about it.
  3. Walking is the physical activity of history. Historical figures who were avid walkers include Aristotle, Gandhi and Albert Einstein, to name a few.

“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it… but by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill… Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be alright.”

                                                Soren Kierkegaard, 1847

  1. Walking is the physical activity of choice for longevity. Cultures around the world where people have exceptional longevity often feature walking as the primary form of physical activity. 
  1. Walking can burn a lot of calories! Did you know that 10,000 steps in a day burns the same number of calories as a 1-hour vigorous workout? It’s true; they both burn about 500 calories. 
  1. Walking offers many rewards with a relatively low amount of risk. (See # 4, 5, 9, and 10) 
  1. Walking is arguably the most practical form of physical activity. It’s familiar, convenient, free, cross-cultural and multi-generational.
  1. It is estimated that walking uses over 200 muscles. From head to toe, muscles throughout your body are used for walking.
  1. Walking is the exercise of choice for successful weight loss. The National Weight Control Registry conducted a research study on over 5,000 people who have lost at least 30 pounds and have maintained their weight loss for at least one year, and the most frequently reported form of physical activity was walking.
  2. Walking provides benefits from head to toe!

 …Yet, even with all of its benefits, Americans still don’t walk as much as other countries.      

Average Number of Steps Taken Per Day

United States: 5,117

Japan: 7,168

Switzerland: 9,650

Australia: 9,695

Get out and walk at Hoffman Walks – our free series of monthly walking events designed to get you moving and enjoying the great outdoors.