When you consider how far you’ll walk in your lifetime, getting off the bus a stop or two early to get some easy exercise doesn’t seem like a big deal. But it is a big deal. Why? Because of what walking does for you.
Based on current life-expectancy figures, the average Canadian man will walk about 140,000 kilometres in his lifetime, which is more than three times around the world. This means most adults have made it around the globe at least once already, and if you’re middle-aged, it’s two times around. So the next time someone asks you what you’ve done with your life, “I’ve walked around the world!” makes a sweet, and accurate, comeback.
That early exit from the bus isn’t quite as exciting as the bullet-dodging stroll in the video above, but walking anywhere delivers big benefits to your health. Can walking make you fit? Can walking tone your body? Can walking burn belly fat? The answer to all three questions is a resounding yes!
You do you
You’ll soon see how walking changes your body by hoofing it for half an hour a few times a week. Best of all, you can do this by adding a walk to things you’re already doing. For instance:
- Walk your kids to school instead of driving. It’ll set a good example for the brood, do them some good as well, and give you all some extra time together.
- Walk to work from a more distant parking lot than the one you usually use. And if it’s a cheaper lot, you win again!
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Hoofing it up stairs burns a third more calories than regular walking, and there’s no awkward waiting with strangers in a tiny windowless room.
Mix it up
Walking is so natural and effortless that it’s easy to combine it with other pleasurable pursuits. Slap on some headphones and listen to your favourite tunes while you stroll. Or take a route through a leafy park or up a hill with a view. Or do both! Pretty soon, the good times you’re having will make you look forward to your daily strolls.
And if you want to slap on some antlers, well, so be it, but we’d rather have you download the Men’s Maintenance Guide, preferably when you’re not walking. It’s free, and it’s packed with things guys need to know about staying on top of their health.
Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two. His award-winning stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines like Explore, Reader’s Digest, International Traveller and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN, MSN Canada, and DontChangeMuch.ca. Visit Adam’s website for more details on his award winning work.