Welcome to the first post of Thirsty for Knowledge Thursdays.
Being that I am a tattoo/visual artist and sit for a majority of my days, I decided that maybe I should think a little bit more about walking. Walking is something I do everyday but I have recently been wondering how important it is and if I do it enough.
What I found out is that our bodies are designed to walk. Walking puts less stress on our joints than sitting, running, or even standing. Sitting too long causes edema, and extended or improper running can cause arthritis. Walking, when done correctly, tends to be more therapeutic than anything. Most believe it has to do with the design of our pelvis. Back when humans evolved to walk upright, we developed the pelvis structure which makes walking the most comfortable thing our bodies do. In essence, to walk is to be human.
There are many benefits to be gained from walking on a regular basis. Walking has been found to help your body use insulin more efficiently. This basically means that walking helps regulate your blood sugar. Walking any time through out your day is found to be healthy, but taking a short walk after a meal can go a long way to keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level.
Many studies have found that walking just 40 minutes a day can help lower your blood pressure. Whether you walk the dog, hike a nature trail, or stroll around the mall for an hour your heart will thank you for the exercise.
I would have to say one of the most interesting things I found out about walking is that it can help improve brain functions. A small amount of walking each day can help improve memory, ward off diseases like Alzheimer’s, and assist in lifting depression. Sounds good to me!
So I see why walking is good for you. Though, I’m wondering, is there a correct way to walk?
Maybe there’s no perfect way to walk but apparently there is a more efficient way to walk that is easier on your joints. Have you ever watched a child learning to walk? If you have, you may have noticed that they push their bellies out and their feet are constantly trying to catch up. It’s not until later in life that people (of certain cultures) learn to walk in a more hunched over style.
Pavel Tsatsouline, a Russian kettlebell instructor says that Americans tend to fall and catch themselves with their feet. Which is terrible for our knees. On the other hand Pavel says Russians tend to walk by tucking the butt muscles in, pulling their shoulders back, leading with their bellies, and causing their feet to follow.
Remember Michael Johnson the Olympic sprinter? He was fastest human in the world and he ran upright, leading with his belly. It looked odd but, hey, it worked!
So, do yourselves a favor, get out there and walk! I know I’m going to.