Walking better than Running?

There is Good News for unfit residents of the Hot and Humid City of Dar es Salaam and for anybody living in a climate where the discipline required to leave the airconditioned room and sedentary life of comfort for grueling running exercise in the heat, seems just too irrealistic! Recent research findings cast doubt on the health benefits of running, especially strenuous jogging and suggest that "brisk walking" is better than running. You have no more excuse to change clothes and start walking TODAY!

In colder climates where running may be a natural response when leaving the heated house and shivering in your running outfit in front of your door, this extra stimulus is missing on a hot and humid day in Dar. Even more difficult for people who live a sedentary life in airconditioned rooms and for whom running away into the sticking heat may seem irresponsibe.

Like with any scientific subject conflicting conclusions can be found and it is up to the person trying to support a statement, which conclusions will be highlighted. For the case of healt benefits from Running versus Walking, a range of conclusions are listed here.

Comparing the energy expenditure between (brisk) walking and running learns that at a walking pace of 4km/hr a person with 68kg needs to keep on walking for 90min. to achieve the same energy expenditure as runner of the same weight running 27min. with a speed of 10km/hr (see calculator). Brisk walking becomes increasingly effective and even more effective in calorie burning than running around a walking speed of 9 to 10km/hr (compared to the same running speed). For comparison the world speed record for race walking is around 16km/hr (20km race walk).

The diagram compares oxygen uptake which becomes more with walking against running at the speed of 8km/hr.

 

With walking as a healthy alternative a massive opportunity is offered for everybody who is aware of the fact that he/she is experiencing health problems because of their unnatural way of dealing with their body and life in general. Any reader of this article can start walking and gradually increase distance and speed. Not only is this healthier walking option lowering the treshold for starting fitness for every unfit person it also is a responsible way to start challenging your body without the risk of injuries or other negative health effects on a body which has missed basic physical exercise for too long.

It is also good news for recreational exercise in the Pugu Forest which is the perfect outdoor gym with its heat and humidity and eventually steep slopes and option of long walks - and if protected properly under the canopy ( of the reviving Pugu Forest) out of the burning sun - waiting for the Dar residents to come and burn their calories for a healthy long life.

Regular Walking in Pugu Forest Cuts Risks of Cardiovasculair Disease

A recent 12-year study at the University of Cambridge (UK) concludes "inactivity" is killing twice as many people than obesity. Which does not mean that obesity should not be reduced. During the 12 year study in Europe 7.5% more death were counted among the inactive group compared to 3.6% of the obesity group as compared to the control group.

Read more: Regular Walking in Pugu Forest Cuts Risks of Cardiovasculair Disease

Do I benefit more from outdoor exercise?

Real-Jungle-Gym

An immigration officer advised me the other day, after learning that Pugu Hills Nature Centre also stimulates its guests to get involved in physical exercise either through hiking, swimming or even running, that in that case we would need a Hall for fitness equipment and exercise. Because the man looked quite fit and most probably not planning to visit a Gym soon, I decided not to go into a discussion regarding the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor fitness exercises in Dar es Salaam.

The advice of the officer may reflect a general believe that the sophisticated fitness equipment in the fitness Gym have added value and may even make your body healthier than healthy. Impulsively I favour outdoor exercise in Nature and assume it is by far superior to the fitness regime in an air-conditioned Gym. The question is: can I prove it?

Read more: Do I benefit more from outdoor exercise?

Sedentary Life

Pugu Hills Closed but that does not mean we stop with fitness

Indoor or outdoor fitness in Dar es Salaam? read our article Do I benefit more from outdoor exercise?

 
 

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Nature and Health

The human body thrives best in the environment it is made for and being active in the way it has been build for during a long selection process of more than 200,000 years. It is only the last 10,000 years we have started to change our lifestyle away from our natural lifestyle that of a hunter and gatherer.

In Tanzania the majority of people still live a natural, active life especially in rural areas and many elderly villagers are extremely fit compared with the growing urbanised middle class. The daily chores of the shamba, the distances to be covered by foot for collecting water, firewood and other basic needs, are a burden but with adequate nutritious food the healthy body is capable of providing incredible energy and also able to protect against many diseases common in more urbanised areas.

outdoor-children-pugu Fitness and sports are not only physical necessities in an urban environment also the mind seems to benefit from a physically healthy body. The need for outdoor activities especially for children to grow healthy minds and bodies is an even more urgent necessity in the Age of Facebook, videogames and Television which can become a daily routine of the children and a lifestyle where the human body is not made for.

Under the heading "Nature and Health" relevant articles on the subject will be selected for proving our case that Nature, fitness, health and an active mind are all basic ingredients of human well-being.