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January 31, 2024

Benefits Of Walking

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Walking is something that almost all human beings share the ability to do. It is evolution's way of making us get from place to place without fatiguing.

However, in a modern world where the need for walking is becoming less and less; we are now seeing the effects that NOT walking has on our health and our bodies.

Listen, don’t get me wrong, I love my truck and I love the ability to get to work in less than 10 minutes and the mountains in 2 hours. It would absolutely suck if I had to do all that on foot. However, all those luxuries mean is that we now have to intentionally walk instead of needing to walk to get through daily life.

I am sure that you have all heard that 10,000 steps per day is the goal. With the invention of smart watches and fitness trackers; just about all of us can total up our daily steps.

How many steps do you get in a day? 3,000? 5,000? 10,000? More?

I think that we have a gross underappreciation for how many steps 10,000 really is. I have a very active job that requires me to be on my feet all day, and I still have to actively try to hit that 10,000 step mark. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it is if I were to have a desk job.

Not to blow up her spot, but when Kate was working from home; it was not unusual for her to get 1,000-2,000 steps per day. She didn't have to walk anywhere, and she was super busy with work, so she just didn’t.

This brings me to my point. We HAVE to force ourselves to walk. Our body is craving it. You will feel better, be happier, and be healthier. And that is not just me saying that. The research coming out on this is remarkable.

In a recent meta analysis (an analysis of over 45 articles written on the subject) had some prett remarkable findings.

The premise of all of the studies was that in 2009, physical inactivity was the 4th leading cause of global mortality. No how freaking crazy that is. How far we have come as a society where our lives have become so convenient that our inactivity is now the thing that is killing us. Absolutely wild, and probably a soapbox for another day…

Anyway, because of that fact, many people started looking into the effectiveness of walking. They used walking because it is something almost all of us can do, and there is not barrier to entry. You can just go outside and walk.

All of the studies used in the analysis took place over a 4 week period or more. There findings were remarkable.

VO2 Max is a marker of cardiovascular endurance. It is also a really good marker of aging and longevity. As we age and become less active our VO2 goes down. This is correlated with a lower life expectancy and other risk factors.

This showed that walking 10,000 steps per day actually INCREASED VO2 by over 3 units on average. I mean thats nuts!

The study also showed that blood pressure is reduced with walking. Systolic blood pressure (the higher number) DECREASED by 3.5 units on average. And Diastolic blood pressure (the smaller number) DECREASED by 1.5 units on average.

Waist circumference DECREASES by 1.5cm. And body fat % DECREASED by over 1%. And Weight DECREASED by 1.3kg.


This is with no dietary interventions of exercise outside of walking.

Even if walking wasn’t going to make you feel better, and improve your mood; the health benefits alone are staggering.

Get outside and go walk! 

Need more motivation and accountability? Join our Walking Challenge! Our 6 month VIRTUAL Race Through The Carolina Thread Trail starts soon!

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We are helping raise money for the Catawba Land Conservancy which manages and maintains the Carolina Thread Trail.

Yours In Strength


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