Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 Jun

The Definitive Guide to Walking

At first glance, this title probably threw you off. I mean, a guide to walking? Are we moderns really that dysfunctional that we can’t even walk correctly? C’mon, Sisson – you must be out of ideas.

Bear with me, here.

It may seem silly to need a definitive guide to walking, but I think we do. First off, walking is no longer necessary for basic everyday survival. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, the average person reading this blog can get by just fine without walking more than a couple hundred yards each day. Whether via buses, trains, cars, bikes, or delivery services, you’re not going to starve or die of thirst just because you don’t or can’t walk. I’ll argue that walking is an essential human activity that we ignore to our ultimate detriment, but millions of people do exactly that and think nothing of it. Progress? In a wider societal sense, sure. But on an individual level, people still need to walk.

Second, because walking is no longer “necessary,” we – the general, inclusive “we,” not necessarily the Vibram-clad elite – have forgotten how, when, where, and why to walk. Our technique is shot, we lack proper scope (a mile sounds daunting), we don’t even think to make time for regular walking for walking’s sake, and walking is seen as the last resort to be employed only when the tire’s busted, the train isn’t running, or the bus is late. Kids don’t walk home from school anymore (what, with all the lurking pedophiles?), people hop in the car to run down to the corner market.

I don’t always like to pull the “Grok logic” card, because it doesn’t always apply to our current situation. Here, though? Yeah. It makes sense, so pull it I shall. Walking is our birthright. The weird way we humans do it – obligatorily upright, hands free to wield tools and weapons, harsh sunlight coming at us from an angle instead of head on, relatively generous glutes making the whole production go – gives us a survival advantage. Well, it gave us enough of one to help us blanket the globe with funny shaped footprints. And our feet aren’t exclusive to homo sapiens: a 1.5 million-years old homo ergaster footprint preserved in Kenyan mud reveals that hominids have been using essentially the same feet and the same stride for hundreds of thousands of years. That means that before our big complex brains hit the scene, the same feet you enjoy today were stomping mud and carrying our distant ancestors around. These feet are millions of years in the making. I’d say that’s a pretty good track record, and I think it’d be a shame if you didn’t utilize them.

Grok walked a lot. Heck, he walked everywhere. Riding animals didn’t appear until after the agricultural revolution, so unless you buy into the ancient aliens theory, you accept that our paleolithic ancestors relied on self-ambulation to get around. It seems pretty plausible to suggest that we’re probably well-adapted to walking on a regular basis. I’d even go so far as to posit that walking might even be highly beneficial to our health and well-being. Given our extensive history with the activity, you might even say our genes “expect” us to walk.

What does the evidence show? Surprise, surprise: walking is good for you and enacts multiple beneficial changes in our bodies. To name a few:

I could go on but I won’t. Suffice it to say, walking is overall a healthy activity. I don’t think there’s any disputing that. Besides, droning on about the physiological benefits of walking detracts from the real reason I want you to walk so much: it’s an enjoyable way to get out, move, be active, and experience the world.

Despite it being our birthright and really healthy and all that jazz, many of us would be well served with some walking technique tips. Note that I don’t condone the usage of bulky, heel-centric shoes, so all technique tips given assume that you are barefoot or in minimalist shoes with minimal to zero heel drop. Sorry, but that’s just how I roll.

The Leisurely Stroll

This is the everyday walk you use when walking to the farmers’ market, through the mall, or down to the watering hole across relatively flat ground. Lead with the heel, a straight but not locked leg, touch down briefly and lightly before transferring the weight onto the balls of your feet. What you get is a smooth rolling sensation. Check to make sure your glutes are firing by walking with hands on cheeks. You should feel your glutes tense up with each step. In public, this looks suspect, so do the self-assessment from the comfort of your own home. This is not heel-striking, which is a running style characterized by repeatedly slamming one’s heel into the ground to the ultimate detriment of one’s lower extremities. This is heel-touching, and it’s far less abrasive.

The Stalk

When you’re hunting something or making your way across an uneven landscape dotted with rocks, sticks, and (like, maybe, you’re hiking off trail) other bits, use the stalk. Keeping your knees slightly bent at all times, walk by focusing on the balls of your feet. Your heels will touch, but your midfoot lands first. Take shorter steps than you would when heel-touching.

Walking Uphill

Land fore/midfoot first. Touch down with the heel and engage your glutes to propel you upward. Repeat with other foot.

Walking Downhill

I like landing with my entire foot. Maybe the heel hits first, but I try to land with my whole foot. Walking downhill is an exercise in stopping yourself from hurtling downward, so this can get tough. Absorb the impact with your hips by keeping the weight on your heels, rather than your toes.

Whichever method of walking you use, always keep your torso on top of your hips. Stay upright (you’re a biped, so act like it!). A floppy torso that bends and sways throws off your balance and wastes valuable energy. Stay tall.

In my experience, it’s the easy, seemingly inconsequential stuff that’s the hardest sell. The crazier, more unconventional stuff gets all the attention. Tons of people get out there and do heavy squats, order grass-fed cows, buy the latest Vibram model, learn to love liver, and proudly stride barefoot into the grocery store – but they drove to get there. It’s the easy things, like walking regularly and often, that are somehow the hardest to do. They’re the easiest to ignore. Walking? Yeah, it’s nice, it’s relaxing, but it won’t put on the mass and elicit the hormonal response of a set of heavy deadlifts. It isn’t sexy.

Walking matters, folks. Big time. If we stop moving, even if we’re standing at our desks and hitting the gym every other day, we’re dying. We’re telling our bodies that we’ve given up, that it’s okay to shut down, that all those millions of years of daily, constant walking were an aberration, a mistake, a fluke. That’s folly. I think you know it, but I don’t know if you know it.

So get moving – starting tomorrow. Wake up ten minutes early tomorrow and use that extra time to walk around the block. Practice the different walking techniques. Go barefoot. Feel the ground beneath you. Enjoy the still dewy blades of grass slipping between your toes. Feel the serrated edges stimulate those long-dormant nerves. Ignore the mythical broken glass, infected syringes, and rusty nails littering the ground and welcome the occasional uncomfortable rock digging into your sole. It happens, but that’s life, and it’s okay. Just keep it moving and leave it all behind.

Do you take time out of your schedule to walk? Should you? Do you have better things to do? Let us know how you incorporate walking into a world where walking is a leisure activity!

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. G’day from Brisbane, Australia! I usually go for a walk on my lunch break, but as of today, I’m going to get off the train 1 station early, so I can walk more. Here in the city, there’s two stations. Also, I’m pretty keen about looking at these vibram shoes that I keep hearing about on this site. I originally thought they looked a lil silly, but now I understand their purpose.

    Ebony wrote on June 8th, 2011
  2. Love the post. I live in New York City, and unless you’re leaving your home borough (Manhattan)walking is absolutely the best form of transit. For 20+ years I’ve been making a 3-mile trek to work every day and feel all the better for it. And I enjoy it. Not the barefoot thing though. It’s in the 90s here and baked concrete isn’t so foot friendly. In the winter… well it’s winter. Best, SL

    Steve L wrote on June 8th, 2011
  3. Walking is one of the single least appreciated physical activities that is accessible to virtually everyone. We definitely need more walking in our daily lives. I try to get out for a walk each day, and I bring my family on a hike once a week.

    John Sifferman wrote on June 8th, 2011
  4. I have a pedometer in my pocket at all times. It seems the constant reminder … and the goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day … is all the motivation I need.

    Chuck wrote on June 8th, 2011
  5. solvitur ambulando:
    walking solves everything
    it is solved by walking

    I’m 60 & had a barefoot childhood – mostly barefoot during k-8, enforced footwear years 9-12. I am barefoot as often as I can be. I have tough soles.

    minh mcCloy wrote on June 8th, 2011
  6. My grandfather walked every day…and I know why. Having 2 dogs I have a great reason to walk them as well.

    In the book the 4 Hour Body, TF mentions a world class sprinting coach having his sprinters walk briskly for 15 min for base conditioning…that should tell you something!

    George Mounce wrote on June 8th, 2011
  7. Wow, at first I thought this article was an utter waste of time. Then I realized that there are probably people out there who either don’t walk or don’t know how to walk. I’m fortunate enough to live in a pedestrian friendly city and walk or bike everywhere. Not having a car certainly helps too!

    Andy wrote on June 8th, 2011
  8. ya gotta love those who wait with their turn signals on for a parking spot while you park across the lot and pass them still waiting on your way into the store. I roll on the ground laughing.

    Dasbutch wrote on June 8th, 2011
  9. I live in a small town in Japan which, unlike the rest of the country, is not really conductive to walking (I have to drive to the grocery store.) However, I still get out and walk around for the fun of it. Glad it sounds like I’m on the right track!

    However, there’s no way I’m giving up shoes. I love my Red Wing boots to death and they’re staying my shoes of choice until they’re busted to hell and back!

    Kyle wrote on June 8th, 2011
  10. Great post! I help run the GCC a pedometer based programme that encourages people from all around the world to walk more! This year we have 130,000 people involved in teams of 7 doing over 11,000 steps every day. Considering the research shows that the average corporate worker only does 3,000 a day this is pretty impressive numbers! I love the stories that we get through about people that didn’t realise how much they would love walking and they hadn’t realised that the shops they usually drive to are actually easier to walk to (no parking issues)! The fact that the GCC gives people a competitive reason to walk (or cycle or swim) too allows people that would usually say ‘walking’s a waste of time’ to discover the joy of it while having some friendly rivalry with their friends or work mates. Walking Rocks!

    Olly wrote on June 8th, 2011
  11. Wow! I got a score of “0”!! I understand because I do live in the country. But the upside is I have a great place to just walk for enjoyment! I just got to worry about the critters! lol! :)

    Claudine wrote on June 8th, 2011
  12. One trick to squeezing in a long walk is to save a “to-do” item for the weekend and use it as a reason to walk to the store. Spend four hours walking. It’s fine. I’m only 30, but my legs still do what they did when I was 12. Don’t let them rot!

    Otherwise, just go look for bugs in puddles and such. It’s amazing what can live in a lush seasonal puddle…

    knifegill wrote on June 8th, 2011
  13. I just bought my Vibram KomodoSport’s today. I have them on right now. My wife is getting a pair tomorrow….they are awesome. Mark, you should buy stock in Vibrams, alot of folks are buying them b/c of you. The KomodoSports are good for your first pair…their bottoms are little bit thicker than the Sprints or others. I am pumped..start primal living when my book comes in tomorrow…all this just makes sense.

    Bubbe wrote on June 8th, 2011
  14. “Whether via buses, trains, cars…”
    I had a private chuckle, down here in San Antonio the bus company name is ‘Via’

    john wrote on June 8th, 2011
  15. I love walking, and I love evolution. Sometimes I wonder what Grok’s pace was like, how purposeful his/her walking was, and how rough his terrain was that he/she had to walk on. Certaintly there wasn’t perfectly mowed grass!

    erica wrote on June 8th, 2011
  16. I remember when I studied in the US that what I thought was most depressing about the experience (even though it on the whole was awesome) was how unsuited it was to walking. Roads lacking pavements, aggressive drivers, even the stop signal to let pedestrians cross felt aggressive compared to what I was used to.

    Nothing was scaled to walking, everything was scaled to cars, the entire society seemed to accommodate cars rather than people.

    Being back home, I do a lot of walking. I walk to the train to get to work, I walk to and from the store, I walk in the park on my lunch break, I walk to my garden plot. Now that it’s summer I’ll take a leisurely stroll in the evening with the boyfriend.

    Malin wrote on June 9th, 2011
  17. Ha! I got an 8! They must not consider the one mile walk on the beach to connect to the bike path to Paia walkable….I think it is divine!

    Gina wrote on June 9th, 2011
  18. As a clinical exercise physiologist in cardiac and pulmonary rehab, I read this post with mixed emotions. I applaud the encouragement for folks to get up and move, but thanks to the lack of activity in our modern society, my business just keeps getting brisker all the time. Oh, and a special thank you to the tobacco companies! Seriously, though, I wish everyone would walk as far as possible as often as possible, take the stairs, stand during the workday as much as possible, whatever they can do.

    It never ceases to amuse me when patients come in to rehab complaining about how far they had to walk from the parking lot. “And you’re here to do what?”

    Manny wrote on June 9th, 2011
  19. I love to walk (and sometimes jog), but for years could not do so for very long without getting horrible cramps in my feet later that day/evening. I was told I have high arches, so now have orthotics in my sneakers. They feel great and I no longer get cramps. (unless I am walking barefoot on an uneven ground such as the beach)

    Based on this info, am I out of luck when it comes to all this barefoot walking you guys are talking about?

    Thanks for any insight.

    Leigh wrote on June 9th, 2011
  20. I’ve always adored walking, and have done so on a fairly regular basis since childhood. I invested in some Vibrams a few weeks back and have to say I’m in love – being used to padding around at home and in the garden barefoot meant it wasn’t too major a transition, but the problem I have now is that, not being allowed to wear them for work and doing a job which involves being on my feet 7 hours + per working day, I now have to switch between conventional and barefoot shoes, and boy do I notice the difference! Despite my work shoes being well-fitted and “comfortable”, I always end up with aches and pains in my arches, Achilles’s, ankles, calves, knees, hamstrings, hips and back, without fail. When I’d got used to my new Vibrams I decided to wear them to work and the difference was HUGE – just a small twinge in my arches, minimal pain in my dodgy knee, and minimal pain in my upper back – which for the length of time I’m on my feet is understandable, and a fantastic improvement. Then my boss insisted that I don’t wear them :( But I make sure I get out for barefoot walks on my days off, and have absolutely no aches and pains, and I’m trying to find a way to be able to wear Vibrams to work.

    I’ve also noticed a change in my gait, striking with the mid-section of the heel, rolling along the outside edge and then across the ball of the foot, so that each toe comes down one after the other, with big toe landing last as I move forward and push off. It feels much more comfortable and natural, and I’d noticed I was doing this before reading this post, so good to know that my body is adapting correctly all by itself! I’ve also noticed that the ‘big toe last’ thing is helping my dodgy knee. OK so the knee cap is damaged, not a lot can change that, but all the inside edge tendons, ligaments and muscles are weakened. My worry when I first went barefoot was that I might aggravate the injury if I trod on unexpected uneven surface (eg stones) which would cause the foot and therefore leg to twist (which is what happens in shoes). But the change in my gait is actually strengthening the knee, so that when those uneven surfaces crop up, sure everything twists, but it’s a “good” twist that is painless and working everything involved in the motion, not a “bad” twist that causes damage.

    So, if I can just figure a way to be allowed to wear Vibrams to work, I’ll be pain-free as well as doing plenty of walking! 😉

    Jo wrote on June 9th, 2011
  21. I don’t always go walking (though I do walk often), but I ride my bike almost daily. With gas prices on the rise once again, I find it hard for a college kid like myself to afford a tank of gas, while worrying about all the other costs of living and school.
    To relieve this stress, I use my old road bike as my primary form of transport around town. School is about 5 miles away, work is a 1.5 miles, grocery store about 2 miles.
    I also work at a garden center nursery, where I am constantly standing, squatting, lifting and moving plants and heavy pots, etc… I feel my movement bug gets satisfied pretty well.
    If I could only satisfy my wanderlust…

    Garrett wrote on June 9th, 2011
  22. Great article, walking works wonders for your health. it gets the blood pumping around the body and oxygen flowing.

    Drink plenty water to flush the system out as you walk.

    I think it must be the only free thing in life that we have left so go to it.

    Ian G Henderson wrote on June 9th, 2011
  23. I walk every day for at least a half hour once, twice, or three times, depending. I’ve always walked to get from a to b mostly because I was broke, but now that I’m old and make enough money to drive, I walk just to walk.
    I like to walk because you can see the sights. I like to look at buildings and people and catch glimpses of all sorts of interesting facts of life. I like to smell the smells, feel the breezes, the rain, the sun, see the changes of the seasons. Walking is nice for talking, and it’s especially nice for thinking. Walking is the rhythm and roll of cogitation and invention and thought experiments and memories and revelations. Sometimes it’s tiresome and wearying, if you’ve got a lot to carry and a long way to go, or if you’re in a big fat hurry and it’s super hot, but mostly it’s a great benefit. I’m not sure minimal shoes are the way to go on sidewalks and hot asphalt, but heels do mess up your gait.

    donna wrote on June 9th, 2011
  24. I use my tread desk. I get between 100 and 150 miles per month while working. If you are thinking about a standing desk, look into adding the treadmill under it. Takes some getting used to but once you do you can walk for hours and work doesn’t feel as draining.

    IcarianVX wrote on June 9th, 2011
  25. Thanks for this. I got an undiagnosed knee injury some odd years ago and never have been able to walk the same since, and my left leg circumducts slightly when I walk (hooks around in a small semi-circle before it lands, instead of lifting up and swinging straight forward). My knee is also starting to bother me while I’m walking and it seems to be getting worse. Walking has become very stressful for me because it’s psychologically distressing and physically very annoying and frustrating so I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to.

    P.S. I am pretty sure part of the injury was from doing Hindu squats. I can no longer do the ‘Western’ style squat at all and had to learn how to do the ‘Asian squat.’ Just throwing that out there because I don’t want anyone else doing the Hindu squats and hurting themselves. For my money, I’d avoid that exercise completely and stick to the heels-down squat. As far as I’ve observed it’s superior in every way and it’s also much safer.

    Anyway, my knee(s) got pretty messed up, but doing heels-down squats and modifying my gait has helped. Sleep posture too – the little things all add up and can make a big difference.

    It’s good to see another post dealing with these things. This really is valuable information – even though I no longer follow the Primal Blueprint I really appreciate a lot of the posts here and find it pretty exciting to see what’s coming up next. Thanks again for sharing.

    Jib wrote on June 9th, 2011
  26. You know Mark – we do need to learn to walk again. Just as paleo/primal nutrition allows our bodies to feed naturally and as intended, walking is so very important … and walking properly, and naturally is crucial to a fulfilling life.

    I came in the other way – I came in through minimalist footwear and found paleo/primal nutritional approaches. I have huaraches (Steven Sashen’s Invisible Shoes and a couple of my own sourced rubber and tops) and VFF Treksports. Yes, I’m one of the Vibram Elites :)

    I love walking. I’m too big and too out of shape to run (at the moment), but I can walk and I can walk with some speed and conviction. I have paid careful attention to good form and walking correctly in minimalist footwear and I feel absolutely fantastic for doing so! It prompted me to re-consider my diet, which is very VERY good BTW, but just refine a couple of points.

    I am sure you are aware of J Stanton’s blog, but he has a particularly important point to make: it’s ACTIVITY! not exercise. Exercise is for prey! Activity is for people who are alive! Semantics, but an important point. Each evening after a day in at the office, I spend 60-90 minutes in open countryside enjoying activity, the view, the wildlife and the weather (whatever it’s doing).

    I feel alive … possibly for the first time in my life since I was a playful child.

    Walking is the key, and this article is so important in compounding just how to do that … and do that right. Many thanks.

    Paul Halliday wrote on June 9th, 2011
  27. Can’t afford Vibrams (not at £120 a pair, and they DO NOT come in half-sizes, which is an orthopaedic necessity for me (I was born with a condition known as hemihypertrophy (only learnt it had a name about a month ago!) this means that one whole half of my body (in my case, the right) is bigger/larger/fatter (whatever word you want to use) than my left. My right quad is 3″ larger than the left (yep, THREE WHOLE INCHES, I’ve measured it!) same with my thigh. My arms aren’t so noticeable, but my right bicep is about 1.5″ bigger than the left, and this carries on down the whole of the right side of my body (makes buying bras a nightmare – most women only have to cope with 1 breast being bigger than the other – I have to cope with one side of me (the one opposite the side with the bigger boob, obviously – ya don’t think whoever made me was gonna let me off easy, do ya…?!) so, whereas my left side would be happy as a 28B, my right wants to be a 30C.

    I can’t wear jeans, trousers, pants, slacks, shorts, capris, etc., because I also suffer from lateral hip dysplasia (my right hip is about 2.5″ higher than the left, and slightly further back, meaning that one inside leg is 29″, the other 26.5″!) I must live in either jog pants, or leggings (and even jog pants are difficult; at least with leggings, I can pull the right leg up a couple of inches to make it possible for me to bend my knee!)

    I sometimes feel as though I was assembled from whatever bits they had,left over at the people factory at the end of a VERY hard day!

    I have to have the right kind of footwear, otherwise I’ll suffer greatly for it in my dotage. I already have to wear a hefty knee support on my right knee, to counteract the fact that my LEFT knee points inwards (think of a reversed capital ‘K’) when I sprint, my left leg kicks out at about 45-degrees.

    I’m always up before sunrise, but it’s usually because I have to go bathroom, like really GO, like NOW, and I’d love to do a couple of laps of the camp before anyone else is up, but I have a condition which means that I could be in the bathroom for at least a good couple of hours, if not longer (I have an appt to see a gut doc at some point, the letter’s not arrived yet; my GP told me it could take a couple of months – I damned sodding well hope not, it’s taking over my life! It’s getting to the point where I’ve ended up being locked in supermarkets because I’ve gone in there to use the loo at 6pm (2 hours before closing) and ended up being compelled to remain in there until 9!)

    There’s also the small matter of what I can get into in the mornings; usually I’m a US size 2 (when fully deflated) but, since this as become so acute, I can wake up any size between a 2 and 10! (6-14 to the rest of you Brits!) I can even go out one size, and come home at the end of the day 2 sizes bigger than when I left the house! This is why I have a 50 litre North Face rucksack weighing me down all the time – I need it for all the crud I must carry around with me (I won’t go into details, as it’s not pleasant, but it does include at least 2 changes of clothes; so, if I leave the house a US 2, I need to carry a 4 and a 6 with me – and I’ve not been able to wear a bra for about 2 months now (thank the gods I’m not that big!)

    Suffice it to say, it can take me, on average, at least 2 hours to get dressed of a morning. So, if I wake around, 4-ish (sun up here’s around 4:50), 2 hours at least in the bathroom, 2 hours at least getting dressed, the earliest I’m out the door is 9 (or later if I’m not fasting and I need to eat brekkie!)

    Think I’ll end this now, before I get into TMI territory!

    Sarah wrote on June 9th, 2011
    • As the previous poster I feel compelled to reply Sarah, especially to a fellow Brit. I have no idea … no comprehension of what you are experiencing in your life.

      I will keep it as simple and as naive as I can – have you tried Invisible Shoes?

      Literally, a sole strapped to your foot with a lace? Okay VFFs are out of your price range and minimalist footwear might well be out of your physical range for everyday, but huaraches cut from flat rubber sole to promote good gait and natural stance feels great … okay, to someone who is anatomically “normal” (I’m not going to beat about the bush).

      You can wear them at home … you can wear them out. Drop into them gradually by wearing them around the house and garden if you’re used to supportive footwear. Natural gait and an almost child-like playfulness over familiar territory can help so much in developing prioperception in the muscles that can be so liberating.

      I’ll take a step back – I’m a self-induced fatty who is starting to appreciate just now much activity and natural acitivity can be so much fun.

      Fun is the key … not exercise.

      No doubt you’ve posted here because you’re seeking to improve your lot. Well, primal/paleo diets work well alongside activity – keep moving. It’s excess carbs that give us problems.

      Good luck. I don’t mean to sound patronising, but I don’t want to skip around either.

      Small acorns … big oaks.

      Paul Halliday wrote on June 9th, 2011
  28. The annual Global Corporate Challenge is on now and we are participating in it for the 4th straight year. Currently on 14,000 steps per day.


    Marcus wrote on June 9th, 2011
  29. I cycle or walk. Well, actually it’s more of an undisciplined, loose-limbed amble. I choose not to have a car as I love the simplicity of my pace of life without one. After a shift at work as a nurse, having to attend to everyone else, I always wind down with a 1.5 hour walk through the vineyards and along the river. It costs me nothing and adds so much to my physical and mental state. Bottom line, I don’t think we were built to block in a bit of time at a gym or spend a huge amount of money on DVDs or exercise equipment, I think we should just move throughout the day as a natural part of life. Ultimate De-Stresser? Pack a tent, lace-up your boots and go hike away from roads and towns for a week.

    Caro wrote on June 9th, 2011
  30. Does anyone know how barefoot walking helps/hinders those with an over-pronation problem?

    invis wrote on June 9th, 2011
  31. I am lucky, my job involves a lot of walking as I look after buildings.

    I did notice in America that walking is not the norm and when we triend to walk in Las Vegas from our hotel off the strip to the strip we got funny looks – even though it was only a couple of miles. I also notice that the sidewalks dissapear! giving cars ultimate priority.

    Interesting article I received today which just underlines the benefits of walking …..

    In a press release, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Cyrus Raji, described the results: “We found that walking five miles per week protects the brain structure over 10 years in people with Alzheimer’s and MCI, especially in areas of the brain’s key memory and learning centres.”

    Abigail wrote on June 10th, 2011
  32. I totally love walking! Lost 90 pounds in less than 6 months just from walking and eating healthier. I went from basically not doing much of anything to walking 6 miles a day and some people thought I had had bariatric surgery! lol, NO I love food much to much to do that to my body and I’m a cook at work so that was never an option for me. Walking and eating more natural is what did it for me. I have since gained about 5 pounds but my weight has stabalized for over a year at this weight, on the days I don’t do 6 miles which is about 3 days a week except in winter cuase of the snow (treadmill is super boring but I get at least an hour on that) other days I do about 3 when I go to the gym and then walk to work.

    Walking is so important to health that last week I had major surgery and the one thing the staff kept pushing is walking as much as I can with rest periods cause when you walk you have a much less chance of developing a blood clot or pneumonia. So daily I have done about a mile and hopefully within a month I will be back to my old routine, my doc says it’s my health that is responsible for how good I am doing during recovery. Although I think he’s the best doc in the world I do agree if this had been 2 years ago I would not be doing as well.

    Liz wrote on June 10th, 2011
  33. Great stuff. Really enjoy your articles! keep them coming…

    31minutefitness wrote on June 10th, 2011
  34. I’ve got an 8 month old baby who hates naps, so I’ve been walking a lot more… it truly does help ‘fix’ me on a day when I’ve got more anxiety, etc. It’s quite the workout to strap a 20lb kid to you and do the local hills as well. Having her on my person forces me to be more aware of how I walk as well.

    However, I’ve got such tiny shrimp toes that there is no way I can use Vibrams… I can’t even wear Smartwool ‘toe’ socks, they’ve got like 1″ of extra material at the end LOL…. I have a pair of Nike Frees that I removed the insoles from, those seem to work well. I’m going to get some neoprene booties for walking on the beach I think, too many bees down there this time of year and I don’t want to run the risk of an allergic reaction (instant-grapefruit-sized-foot).

    Great post though. I wish I could get my late 60s parents to walk more. Grr…

    Kristina wrote on June 10th, 2011
  35. I thought my Doctor was nuts when he told me to start walking to get into shape. I know he’s low carb but I’m wondering if he might not also be primal!! He said we are made to walk. I’d rather walk than do an elliptical any day of the week!!

    Kaylakala wrote on June 10th, 2011
  36. Thoreau has an essay on walking which I recently came across. Walking for him was a way of preserving his sanity and my favourite quote from his essay is this:

    “Moreover, you must walk like a camel which is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking. When a traveller asked Wordsworth’s (10) servant to show him her master’s study, she answered ‘Here is his library, but his study is out of doors.’ ”

    So, while we all go walking like Grok, perhaps we can also walk like camels:)

    Mary Hui wrote on June 12th, 2011
  37. Suggestion to make the definitive guide yet mor definitive: walking under load; back pack, sand bag on shoulder, heavy grocery bags, carrying odd objects, and doing all those things at various speeds.

    MIchael wrote on June 12th, 2011
  38. Hello Mark, It’s me again I would like to say something about walking. My granddaughter goes to Kindergardten and from time to time we choose to walk the distance from the house to her school which covers aside from half the neighborhood,a High school and a big kiddie park to which we have to go through and then walk about 7 to 8 blocks before we actually get to school. all this in a time crunch sort of. So, what do you think? Is it this a good walking practice? Thank you for all your awesome advise and comments you are the MAN. Sincerely, you avid reader Coral.

    Coral wrote on June 13th, 2011
  39. I’m interested in trying Vibrams, but my feet and toes always get blisters from any sandals (covered not flip flops), boat, casual, and any other non sock shoe that i try. If anyone can provide suggestions, that would be awesome. Thank you!

    Roman wrote on June 19th, 2011
    • Not to worry…the blisters come from the friction of your foot rubbing against non-sock shoes. The Vibrams (properly sized, to be sure) fit my feet like gloves and so there’s no rubbing back and forth against the shoe.

      Manny wrote on June 19th, 2011

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!