There was another thread on this topic but my situation is a bit different.. because i'm walking almost all of the time taking breaks here and there to look at something on the computer for a bit. I only work two hours a day too so even though i don't have a treadmill desk or anything it isn't that big of a deal. And I get up and walk around for a bit every 30 minutes or so when i'm there which is the healthy thing to do if you're sitting a lot. Is sitting the new smoking? haha
So as you might have guessed a lot of the walking I do is inside the house :)... but I do it at a pretty good pace unlike other pacers i've met. I also go for lots of walks outside nowadays since it's warm though. So I'll sometimes be reading a book when walking in the house or maybe listening to something sometimes. I have long conversations too while everyone else is just sitting. Some might think it's weird but whatever...
Another thing: I know some people walk around the house a lot because of mental health issues but that's not the case for me. It's just pleasantness for me.
So anyways I just wonder how much additional health benefit i'm getting from doing more vigorous exercise like what I usually have been doing... running. I never feel any better with running like I do with walking. I also get really bad stomach cramps from running. Just all around unpleasant.
The only thing i've heard about that might make running worthwhile in my situation is the neurogenesis or whatever.. improving your memory and so forth that's only possible with running. But I don't really know much more. I haven't gotten around to researching it much. So maybe somebody can offer some feedback. And btw i'm on a PHD/Paleo diet
asked byandrewlang16 (48)
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on June 25, 2013
at 01:53 PM
You are likely over-estimating your inside walking. When people say they walk alot they are typically talking 3-5 miles per day. Unless you live in Neverland Ranch it's unlikely you are getting that type of mileage.
As for running. It is always a good idea to exercise the heart and do something that gets your heart into zone 4. whether you do that with running, intervals, resistance training, etc -- there is significant benefit to getting the heart moving.
on June 25, 2013
at 01:48 PM
I've seen conflicting data on the issue of which is better, walking or running. However something that does seem pretty consistent is that sedentary behavior has a negative impact on your health and that this negative impact is positively correlated with the duration of sedentary behavior. That being said, listen to your gut, it'll give you better advice than most people here. If you feel like you should be running, just run, today, if you like it do it again, if you don't then don't.
Another thing: I know some people walk around the house a lot because of mental health issues but that's not the case for me.
That's exactly what someone with mental health issues would say.
on June 25, 2013
at 03:22 PM
I've always called myself a desk jockey (graphic artist for 17 years). I got a Fitbit One (which I love; it's a very fancy pedometer that also measures stairs, distance and sleep quality -- there are other models to choose from).
Some friends got them, too. One, for example, works in IT and always said she's rarely at her desk (always walking around).
Without trying to add steps, I put in about 3 miles a day. She didn't even get ONE. It's super easy to be wrong! I was wrong saying that I hardly walked and she was wrong saying she walked a lot.
First, you may want to try a cheap pedometer. If you do a lot of stairs, I recommend the Fitbit because it also does sleep quality, which is important to health but at least try a crappy pedometer to get real data.
I ran for almost 30 years. I can't do it due to spine injuries now but I ran about a 5k three times a week and sometimes a 10k once or twice a week. This wasn't competitive, it's because it was habit from when my brother was in the Army and wanted a running partner on leave. It wasn't fancy, just one foot in front of the other, which I enjoyed and that's the point!
Have you tried going out and running? Was it fun? If not, maybe give that a pass. If so, enjoy it!
In general, you'll do better performing bodyweight exercises (I'm a big fan of YAYOG You Are Your Own Gym) because you do it was basically a towel or furniture in your house) or if you have weights, slinging them around for functional fitness. Really. Humans lose lean mass as they age, so we have to work on avoiding that.
The walking or running is grand but slinging weights has far improved my health since 2009 (I'm in my 40s now).
on July 03, 2013
at 03:25 AM
If you don't have problems with your knees or heart you can running. If running causes stomach cramps you should run not so fast. You feel pain because your organs cannot get much oxygen. Of course you can change running by walking. Anyway, it's much better than to do nothing.
on June 25, 2013
at 03:38 PM
From a non-scientifically-researched point of view, if you have a weak body (weak back muscles, or weak trunk/torso/hips/spine structure, or (quite potentially worse and most important) weak organs, some sort of intense bodily movement ("exercise", heavy weight-bearing) which also trains a good structure can help tremendously with your overall bodily health.
Having lung capacity, and a strong heart, is quite important to overall health. If you have normal to above-average lung capacity, running might stress them gently to the point that they become large and running less painful.
That said. I (and potentially another) had run 1-2km, or sprinted intensely for awhile for various reasons for some years and often suspect several elements which were/are uncomfortable:
Intense running strains the body's energy reserves, which can lead to things like nausea, stomach aches/cramps, etc. Much like lifting weights very intensely to failure.
Lack of overall organ and bodily health (such as improper spine--very, very, very, very common) causes a big strain on the body when running; the body impacts and pushes against the ground(bodyweight resistance) fairly strongly, much like trying to lift a weight over and over again with bad form, or trying to lift that weight when some muscles involved are not really strong enough for the load.
A weak heart/lung strength/lung capacity (linked) will lead to severe cardiac stress and stress from repeated attempts at obtaining enough oxygen. Arguably, a strong body might still hurt from these stresses, but the quality should be different and have more of a tolerance than being somewhat frail.
Overall weakness in the structure of the body, especially in the back, lower back, pelvis, and spine affects the body very strongly when running, as compared to even fast walking.
Stress or worry (even small amounts, such as tightening from discomfort) while running, as with all exercise, can make the body vastly more uncomfortable, especially if it is already weak and cannot handle much total stress.
Through just running/sprinting, we had low lung capacity and heart strength and persistent pain when running. But, partially through training the body's structure through various forms and largely through carrying progressively heavier items (anything in largish amounts from the local market) and walking 1-2km, our lung capacity and heart strength expanded. Exponentially. Muscle and lung usage began to feel alive and good, even for extended periods, whereas before, there was very often or always some sort of pain.
So, walking actually very quickly (so quickly there's a fair to strong urge each step to run)--which also helps with some overall body strength and is far less impacting than running; and is natural to both people mentioned when healthy--training good body structure, and moderate to heavy weight-bearing with good structure seem actually far more effective in making one a better runner than training, say, running.
Which might mean that many or all of the benefits of running can be achieved through those 3 (or 2 if the last 2 are somehow combined properly).
Timothy Ferriss (4-Hour Body; researches most efficient ways to achieve a wide variety of goals) mentions something similar: some of the best runners (at least short- to medium-distance) train walking short distances very quickly--walking strongly enough that one has a persistent, strong urge to run("inefficient" walking). They also train weight-bearing strength-gaining (not aimed at maximum muscle gain but rather maximum strength gain per unit of muscle). They might also train very, very short sprints (~33m) And, that's it. No long distances or prolonged running/sprinting.
Also, as mentioned, sedentary behavior and the duration of sedentariness does seem to strongly correlate inversely with overall health, and I personally find that when healthy, my inclination is to remain standing or moving while indoors. I feel much better for it, too.
Actually, weight-bearing exercise seems to be correlated in these ways to overall health, too. I haven't researched it extensively, but I encounter many recommendations for all peoples of all ages (young, old, overweight, frail, arthritic, bad digestion...) to perform weight-bearing exercises as part of overall health.
If sedentariness is an issue at all, one can also consider a low desk for squatting (on balls/toes of feet is especially interesting) or a standing desk for extended periods at a computer.
Also, another thought about walking/pacing indoors, apart from the speed: It is quite possible that, if the distances are short or there is a lot of stopping and turning around, that the effects are not the same as walking forwards 1-5km outdoors in a city or field. The flatness of indoor floors, which is technically unnatural to hunter-gather peoples, and likely affects foot structure, and thus overall body structure, might also be a concern.
Stride length may also change if indoors and be shortened, and stride length does seem to affect the benefits of walking on health quite strongly.
It could also be good if stride length is large and turning and speed are fairly persistent and provide plenty of good-resistance walking. Unsure. (There is still the matter of the flatness.)
Actually, walking barefoot in a lumpy field seems best for walking practices in some regards because of many things and coordinations required to do so, and potentially because it can also revitalize the feet if city-walking (flat) is common.
There are a great many causes for running being strongly uncomfortable. If stomach cramps, it seems like too much pushing (whether because trying to run too much or having a weak body) and bad body alignment(really, really crucial to overall health--can probably fix organ health lots just through proper structure not kinking the body) are very likely.
Fixing alignment and moving the body moderately to intensely in other ways will likely make running more comfortable, and less of a painful choice, if you do decide to run then.