Walking...we do it everyday. It's a good thing. It's been taunted as being the health staple that can boost everything from cutting down on breast-cancer risks to helping you sleep.
What if we could harness all this goodness to power the world?
When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
First, let's recap the not too shabby health victories of walking:
According to CNN, if each American walked for a half hour a day (the recommended minimum for good health) instead of driving, we would save the planet 64 million tons of carbon dioxide, 6.5 million gallons of gas, and incidentally lose 13 pounds a year.
8 Reasons to Keep on Walking
1. It's Great For The Heart
In a recent study conducted at Duke University Medical Center, researchers found that walking briskly for 30 minutes every day lowers your odds of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
2. It Cuts Breast-Cancer Risks
Walking, even for a few hours a week, significantly reduces breast-cancer risk, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The thinking is that walking helps reduce levels of body fat, a source of estrogen.
3. It Helps You Sleep
A brisk walk in the afternoon will help you get a better night's sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Experts say that walking may boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin, which relaxes you.
4. It Makes You Happy
Walking can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress. Just one 30-minute walk may make you feel better when you're down, University of Texas researchers found.
5. It Keeps You Slimmer
Walking for 30 minutes a day can prevent weight gain in most people who are physically inactive, according to another Duke study. And researchers from Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh showed that women who walked for an hour five days a week and consumed 1,500 calories a day lost and kept off 25 pounds over the course of a year.
6. It Staves Off Senior Moments
Several studies in older people suggest that walking -- even for as little as 45 minutes a week -- helps ward off Alzheimer's disease. Regular strolls are also linked to mental sharpness in seniors.
7. It Protects Your Bones
Just 30 minutes of walking three times a week does wonders to prevent and treat thinning bones. This kind of exercise, which uses 95 percent of your muscles, actually pushes your bones to get stronger so they can handle the load.
8. It Can Generate Energy
That's right. There are now sidewalk slabs that can generate energy with footstps. When Pavegen slabs are inserted among regular sidewalk sections to capture the kinetic energy people spend just walking.
Read on: Generate Energy From Walking When each rubber slab from UK-based Pavegen Systems (discovered on Springwise) gets depressed, each time it converts the kinetic energy used into electricity. This is then stored in the slab. Specifically, 5 percent of the energy harvested is used to make the slab's LED glow, making it clear to users that their energy has been captured. The rest can be used to power pedestrian lighting, information displays and many other applications. Seems like a forward-thinking green idea. I wonder if walking your dog generates double or triple (6 legs) the amount of power? What do you think?