WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN WE WALK? – The Age-Well Project

I like walking. No, I love walking. I have good ideas while walking. I work while I am walking – listening to mixes for a new album, for example. Today I walked 7.5 miles and it’s only 5PM. I have done about 20 miles in a day a number of times. The article I linked to has a whole lot of reasons why we should walk more. Here is a short excerpt but do click on the link and read the whole piece.

When we walk, our biggest muscles – those in our legs, glutes and back – produce a lipase that breaks down triglycerides. Why does this matter? Because high levels of circulating triglycerides harden our arteries and thicken our artery walls, a condition known as arteriosclerosis, which raises our risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. It’s one of the conditions that killed my father.

A body that doesn’t break down triglycerides is also less likely to process glucose – leading to type 2 diabetes. You see, movement also improves the body’s response to insulin. When we lie on the sofa excess glucose lingers in our blood. But when we walk, our muscles take that floating glucose and make use of it – so no blood sugar spike. Which is why I try and take a short walk after a large meal, even though lying on the sofa might feel a more obvious choice!

and

When we don’t move enough, our bones weaken, increasing our chances of osteoporosis. But now it appears that weak bones might mean more than a future of hip fractures and hospital stays. A study arrived on my desk last week linking hearing loss to low bone density. When researchers analysed data from 144,000 women over 34 years, they found that the risk of hearing loss was up to 40 percent higher in women with low bone density or with osteoporosis.