To Walk or Not to Walk

July 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm 11 comments


 
Walking is one of man’s greatest pleasures. It defines him. It’s what makes him a man. Back in the old days, cavemen didn’t hesitate to venture out. They took advantage of walking to get away from household chores. Walking was also the precursor to running which they learned as they evolved into both hunters and hunted. They ran to get to their prey quickly and to escape from predators eager to eat them alive.

Throughout history, men had engaged in this activity for better or worse. Sure, it won’t appear as “walking” in the history books. As humanity became more and more sophisticated, it came up with different words to say the same thing. You may read about the Exodus where Moses and the chosen people “wandered” in the desert for 40 years. You may read about Christian kings and nobles, mounted on horse backs, ordering their subjects to “march” to Jerusalem and rescue it from the moors. You may read about a “parade” or “procession” on such and such an historic occasion. But don’t be fooled. To borrow from Shakespeare, walking called by any other name is still walking.

Fast forward to modern times. We find walking has become more popular than ever with women joining the fray emboldened by the feminist movement to wear pants in and out of the house. In fact, it must have been the feminine mystique that caused walking to be celebrated in the movies with titles like Walk the Line, A Walk to Remember, and A Walk Among the Clouds.

Walking provides us with the opportunity to get out of the closet, step out of the shadow, or go outside the box depending on your state of mind. It enables us to commune with nature which relaxes the spirit and replenishes the soul. It also offers us a chance to give back to society by supporting worthy causes such as the AIDS walk and the Avon walk for cancer.

Walking has been lauded for its health benefits, too. It helps us get in shape. More importantly, it exposes us to the sun which is our primary source of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is generally known for building strong bones and teeth. But this nutrient is also important for the maintenance of our overall health.

“We all recognize that vitamin D is critical for bone health, but we have not appreciated, although we have known for at least 20 years, that almost every cell in the human body has receptors for activated vitamin D,” says Michael Holick, MD, PhD, director of the Vitamin D Research Lab at Boston University Medical Center and considered by many to be the nation’s leading authority on vitamin D. “We need adequate amounts to keep cell growth in check.”

Dr. Holick added that without enough vitamin D, cells can multiply too quickly and promote cancerous tumors.

According to the Vitamin D Council, current research has implicated sunlight and Vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and much more.

But walking under the sun is not all light and dandy. It has a dark side as well. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays hastens the aging process and runs the risk of getting skin cancer. Sunscreens can help but they also prevent us from getting the much-needed Vitamin D. For those who believe that sunscreens don’t work as advertised, the treadmill provide them with the ability to walk the walk without going anywhere inside the home or gym.

To walk or not to walk. That is the question that we have to contend with as we weigh in the risks and the benefits of walking. I envy the cavemen who didn’t have to worry about this kind of stuff. They just did it. Nike would have been so proud.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. General Debility | Find Me A Cure  |  July 20, 2011 at 7:34 am

    […] to walk or not to walk (plaridel.wordpress.com) […]

    Reply
  • 2. ladynimue  |  July 20, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I so much enjoy your articles .. Informative with a dash of humor .. likey !!!

    Thansk for the visit to my page 🙂

    Reply
    • 3. plaridel  |  July 20, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      ladynimue:

      i’m glad you liked it. so, what’s the verdict? to walk or not to walk? 🙂

      Reply
  • 4. ladynimue  |  July 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

    i love to walk any day 🙂

    Reply
  • 5. AC  |  July 23, 2011 at 4:59 am

    I began to appreciate walking when I went here coz if I keep riding a cab to and from work, my wallet would cry a river. Haha. (Walking + bus/mrt = cheaper + healthier). 😀

    Reply
    • 6. plaridel  |  July 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

      ac:

      one thing i can point about cab drivers in singapore is that they’re honest. i never felt threatened nor ripped off when i was there last february. 🙂

      Reply
      • 7. AC  |  July 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm

        Yep. Very disciplined people. One of the safest places to live in. 🙂

        Reply
  • 8. newepicauthor  |  August 7, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    You can lose more calories by running than walking but running puts more stress on your joints and bones.

    Reply
    • 9. plaridel  |  August 8, 2017 at 9:09 am

      jim:

      i totally agree.

      Reply
  • 10. fearlessinjesuschrist  |  August 7, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    And multiple sclerosis. Above a certain latitude around the earth, where the sun is less strong, there is a higher prevalence of multiple sclerosis.

    Reply
    • 11. plaridel  |  August 8, 2017 at 9:08 am

      fearlessinjesuschrist:

      hmmm… i’m not aware of that. i appreciate the info.

      Reply

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