Take a walk

Photo: Tankesopp CC-By-2.0

Photo: Tankesopp CC-By-2.0

I recently had an interesting conversation with a coworker. I had just returned from lunch, when I usually take a walk. He has traveled extensively, mainly throughout Europe and Mexico. Comparing thoughts one day, we came to the conclusion that there may be a connection between a lack of walking and the obesity epidemic in the United States.

  • The hunter stalks his pray for food. Tracking over rough terrain. Across streams and through forest. He follows the beast for miles before moving in for the final blow.
  • A lone shepherd watching over his flock, driving the animals from one field to the next. Searching for grass to graze upon. From the valley below to the side of a mountain. Always vigilant of predators. Constantly on the move.
  • Working around the farm – feeding and caring for the animals. Tending to the land. The farmer begins his day at the crowing of the rooster. Ending the day when the sun fades away.

These three examples could go back thousands of years. In the U.S., walking began to wane as a way of getting around in the early to mid twentieth century, as transportation just became too easily accessible due to the automobile.

Today we drive just about everywhere that we want or need to go. With the exception of taking a walk in some small towns, our cities, unlike many in Europe and other parts of the world, are spread out. This puts typical destinations out of reach for the average pedestrian.

I also contend  that going to the big box stores, and department stores make it so that we have to travel farther distances in order to obtain goods and services. This may vary for some, perhaps they live in a sweet spot in town with a grocery store, and other amenities close enough to make taking a walk doable.

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.  ~Raymond Inmon

The overwhelming majority of American citizens do not fall into this category however. So, we get in our cars, or take public transportation, and drive wherever it is that we have to go, neglecting ourselves of very basic exercise.

Our modern society just is not built around walking anymore. Yet, the scale in the average American bathroom keeps going up. This isn’t totally due to a lack of walking. We know that our western diet is just as guilty. Overeating is the top reason. But it is certainly feasible that by not walking more, we are denying some easy exercise.

There really is no going back as far as the layout of our cities and towns are concerned. I know of some developments that have been erected in the recent past have included walking paths. That may be as good as it gets. Other than that, we may be relegated to doing the majority of walking and running on a treadmill indoors.

See also: 30 Reasons to walk, Food facts

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2 Responses to “Take a walk”

  1. No question that the conveniences of technology and industry contribute the lion’s share of obesity in our culture.

  2. ish says:

    Stopping by to say Happy and Healthy 2010 to you and Your family. God bless us all.

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