This just in via Andrew Sullivan: The average American walks 5,117 steps per day, which ranks them way below (among others) the Swiss and the Aussies, who log about 9,600 steps daily on average, AND the Japanese, who are at 7,100 steps per day.
Slackers! Sullivan links to a nice summary of recent walking research by Wayne Curtis. Turns out we're historically slothful. Writes Curtis: "In 1906, just as cars were coming into vogue, the nation was afflicted by a small outbreak of long-distance walking — multi-day walking races and long-distance walkers seemed to be tromping everywhere."
How far would the average 19th Century American walk in a day? To sort that out, researchers apparently visited the Old Order of Amish in Canada, and equipped those folks with pedometers. This, it seemed, a reasonable simulation of normal 19th Century life. Turns out the average non-motorized Amish male logs 18,425 steps per day, or roughly nine miles.
Walking does awesome stuff to your brain, a new study shows. In particular, it increases the connections in your brain networks. Researchers used fMRIs to scan the brains of adults who were sedentary before the study but then started a walking program. A year after starting their 40-minutes three-times-a-week walking regimen, the study participants did significantly better on cognitive tests. They also showed significantly elevated connectivity in their "default mode network" (DMN is the network that dominates when you're passively observing or day dreaming) as well as in their fronto-executive network (that's the network that engages for complex tasks). In sum, walking: Good for you legs, heart, brain...pretty much everything.
2.5 hours walking yesterday: 1 hour at lunch and 1.5 hours in search for wild parrots on the Hudson River Greenway with a friend of mine. She'd spotted the nest the day before and wanted to show somebody just to prove she wasn't seeing things. She said it was a big nest; she wasn't kidding. Turns it's not just a bird or two; it's a colony. We found a video about it this
Guess I was a little bored with this one, I haven't updated in a while. But..since it is still here..I made a goal this week of 60 minutes each day so I've updated this week through today.
M: 20 weights-upper (dvd); 40 minute walk
T: 60 walk/run
W: 20 weights-lower (dvd): 20 minute walk; 15 minute swim
Th: 60 bike ride
Remember that study we mentioned a few days ago about biking and walking even in small increments being marvelously effective at keeping your weight in check? It's in the news again today, if only because USA Today would like to accentuate the negative, the negative being that the average woman in the 18,000 woman study gained 20 pounds in 16 years. But again, we remind you, it doesn't have to be that way. Focus again on the biking and walking healthy magic part!
Ups and downs today.
I went in this morning to see another doctor. My blood pressure was up, as was my RHR at 67 bpm...good results. We talked about the results from when I had the heart rate monitor strapped to me for 24 hours. Everything checked out okay.
"Have you been under any stress lately?"
Yes, I have, in fact.More...