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Walking on Sunshine

Lower your blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight, and feel less stressed by taking a daily walk.

For centuries, walking has been associated with a way of being. A person “walking on sunshine” is in a state of euphoria. On the other hand, “a walking disaster” is someone who cannot get life organized. And then there’s the famous idiom about “walking in someone else’s shoes” as a way to understand the way someone else lives. The English language captures the idea that to walk a certain way is to be a certain way. But what does walking actually do for us? New data suggests people who take more steps every day are less likely to die from any cause of death. To walk is to live!

Although watches and wearable pedometers have been popular for some time, manufacturers sold the products based on the principle that physical activity has positive health benefits. However, researchers wanted evidence that more steps meant better health. In order to answer these questions, they gathered a number of published and unpublished studies on daily step counting. Then, researchers combined and analyzed the results. They also paid attention to how walking might affect people differently by age or sex.

Adults 60 years old and older saw a lower risk of death at around 6,000–8,000 steps per day. But after about 8,000 steps, older adults’ risk of death did not continue to decline. In contrast, adults under 60 years of age did not see lower risk of death beginning until around 8,000–10,000 steps per day. Researchers also mentioned the study found no evidence that the intensity of a walk mattered. Whether the walk was brisk mattered less than how many steps a person took.

Are you “walking a thin line” with your health? Would “walking the talk” help you get healthier? If so, brainstorm some ways to add walking into your day. If possible, encourage holding “walking meetings” rather than sitting at a table. Or rather than making a lunch or coffee date, try scheduling a walk with a friend. Take the stairs rather than the elevator or park your car further away when you arrive at your destination. Or maybe it’s as simple as packing comfortable shoes for your lunch break. Wearable devices can also be a fun way to set goals or compete for steps with a friend. Having an awareness of how many steps you take can also push you to make changes. This week, we’re challenging you to get in step with healthy living.

Want more healthy living tips? Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest research here: https://alykahealth.com/learnings/

Resources

Daily steps and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of 15 international cohorts 

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