Walking does nothing for you

“Walking does nothing for you.” once said an MD (medical doctor) – an oncologist to be more accurate.  When I heard those words uttered to me I was surprised and confused.  How could this be?  I quickly followed up with the speaker of those betraying words and found out that she meant that leisure walking does not help in weight loss.  For example, walking the dog, shopping at the mall, etc.

Okay, I have to say this, some advice – which I avoid because we all need to find our own solution – don’t take weight loss advice from an oncologist.  This walking bashing came from my sister-in-law.  I guess the advice could be extended to include – don’t take advice from family members who don’t have your best interests at heart.

I digress, back to her statement.  As an MD, no doubt, she understands the workings of our body in ways most of can’t.  This understanding, however, does not lend itself to the whole spectrum of life or to you and your body specifically.  MD’s are valuable in aiding our physical health.  They often, not by their innateness but from their education, lack the insight into wholly viewing what constitutes living.

Purposeless walking in Surrey, England (near Mole's Gap)
Purposeless walking in Surrey, England (near Mole’s Gap)

Part of living involves a fair amount of leisure walking – this includes the aforementioned dog walking, shopping, etc.  It is a component of life that not only is necessary but also rewarding.  Leisure walking has more to do with the mind than the body.  Leisure walking, although can serve functional purposes (for the dog, as well), provides us with time to let the mind wander.  To “let it rest” while the body “does the rest.”

Window shopping serves no purpose nor does taking a stroll in a park on a sunny day.  But without these walks life would be meaningless to the fashionista or to the person needing a breathe of fresh air.  It may not raise the heart to full intensity or shed the necessary calories but it sure does give back.

Further reading on Leisure Walking


BBC News: Walking ‘cuts breast cancer risk’

BBC News: The slow death of purposeless walking


Dequoted: Michael J. Fox

A couple of my friends on Facebook have shared this image with these words.

mjfquoteAlthough there are no quote marks and an actual written indication of Fox saying it, one is still lead to believe that he, in fact, did say this.  Many of the comments reflect this.  I did a quick google search to see who said this and there is no evidence he came up with this phrase.  It is accredited to Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada who was a ventriloquist, motivator and educational consultant.  Many sources listed that he is the original person who said this.  There is actually little I could find on him except the fact that he had said this and lived in Texas and passed away in 2010.

Maybe that is why Fox was chosen as the representative.  It makes it more credible than to have a person (not famous) pictured there.  Plus, Fox brings with him a certain level of credibility because he has faced his illness head on and openly with the public.  Whatever the reason for doing this, I think that it is still not justified.

The other element of this quote is in which much of the context.  What is the context?  Is it to insult teachers and the profession?  Is it actively open a discussion about how children are taught because this is the root cause of many problems in educational systems?  I’m open to a discussion about it.

I personally do not agree with this quote from an institutional perspective.  It seems rather harsh and backwards to not agree.  Like I am not open to a child’s struggle to learn.  In fact, children can have difficulty learning – they are learning disabilities.  And if a child has this I do believe that the learning style should be adjusted and the manner in which they learn should be altered.  Outside of having a disability and a lower IQ, what is this quote addressing?  If it were addressing children with disabilities and lower IQs then, I would venture that the quote could have mentioned this.  Maybe Estrada was identifying the fact that children with disabilities can not go through the main stream educational system?

Let’s say he wasn’t.  Let’s say he was addressing children with no learning disabilities and IQs that allow them to learn.  Was he saying that the main stream educational system in the USA needs to be altered?  Maybe or maybe not.

I think the context of this quote is from a more broader scale.  It is the teaching, education our children receive all around.  Whether that is within the classroom or at home.  A child’s style of learning should be considered in all aspects of their life – not just in the classroom.  Children learn not only from school or from their teachers but mostly from their parents or primary caregivers.  Maybe we, as parents, need to think about how our children learn from us.  Have we adopted or altered our form of teaching at home?  Do as I say not as I do, sound familiar?  Do parents adjust their styles to each child so the child learns better?

I struggle with this quote when it is used to attack a profession that is so important yet so disrespected.  Teachers, schools get blamed for their children’s grades, their behaviours, their eating habits.  The educational institution, no doubt, should evolve and look at new tools to aid our children’s basic education skills and yet, so should we.

What are your thoughts?