Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
One of the best things about running is that no special equipment is required. You don’t need fancy clothes or shoes, a gym membership, or a big expensive treadmill. Just get up and go from wherever you are. For some people, though, there’s just one problem.
Running is pure drudgery!
If you can’t stomach the idea of running (or if your knees aren’t able to take the impact), then you still have options for free and convenient exercise: walking. There have been many studies that compare the health benefits of walking to those of running. Time and time again, a similar conclusion is drawn: walking is just as good as running.
Your Body on Walking
An infographic from Prevention.com shares some fascinating statistics about what happens to your body when you walk. (The full infographic is reposted below.)
- Walking two hours per week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.
- Walking for 40 minutes three times a week protects the brain region associated with planning and memory.
- Walking for 30 minutes a day can reduce symptoms of depression by 36%.
- When you walk 3,500 steps a day, your risk of diabetes lowers by 29%.
- Just 75 minutes of brisk walking per week can add almost two years to your life.
- A daily one-hour walk can cut your risk of obesity in half.
- Thirty to 60 minutes of walking most days of the week can drastically lower your risk of heart disease.
- Walking four hours a week can reduce your risk of hip fractures by up to 43%.
Best Places to Walk In Houston
While you can likely walk in your own neighborhood or local mall (to avoid this summer heat!), you might enjoy getting out and exploring our city while getting your exercise. Though it hasn’t been updated recently, the Houston Walks blog is a great resource for discovering paths and walking trails in Houston. Many of the routes on this blog show pictures, interactive maps via Google Maps, and information about parking and access. We’re fortunate to live in a city with many opportunities for outdoor walking. Get out and improve your health while enjoying Houston’s most beautiful public spaces!
Learn More From Your Houston Sports Medicine Doctor
Want to learn more about how you can use a physician-guided walking or running routine to meet your health goals? Schedule an appointment online or by calling Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics at (713) 756-5546. Your Houston sports medicine doctor will work with you to develop a custom plan that works.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.