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