119 comments

An Amazing New Prescription Medication

footprintsAt a dinner conversation tonight, the topic turned to health and fitness.

The ladies in the group were discussing their various Crossfit successes, while we men congratulated ourselves on improvements caused by switching to lower-carbohydrate diets and better weight training principles. The discussion broadened to the health plight of the Modern Human in general, and how the populations of rich countries are getting heavier and less healthy, even as the world makes progress toward lifting many of the poorest countries out of malnutrition due to poverty.

We wondered why with all the wealth and free information available out there, that most rich-country residents end up doing exactly what is worst for them: eating and drinking concentrated sugar, and remaining in a seated position for most of their waking hours.  And we marveled at some recent conversations we had had with off-duty nurses and doctors, who reported that the medical industry is still focused on medicines and “cures” for symptoms, rather than lifestyle changes that could eliminate the underlying causes of disease much more thoroughly.

As Mr. Money Mustache, you already know I have such an uncompromising stance on things that it is impractical to come to me with complaints. If you have an ache or pain or any other problem, and you’re not already a ripped, active, vegetable-chomping weight-lifting bicycle-sprinting dynamo with no major substance abuse habits, I’ll tell you to start by fixing those glaring health oversights first, then see if any problems remain that need real medical attention. Since most people (including me) don’t fully live up to this standard, there is always something to work on, and thus always hope and optimism that you can fix your own ailments.

But if you don’t believe me, you might want to just start with a simpler prescription, like this one from a well-spoken doctor named Mike Evans:

In this cute little sketchy-marker whiteboard video, he explains the power of a prescription “medicine” that outperforms anything else that has ever been invented. It cuts knee arthritis symptoms by 47%, reduces dementia and Alzheimer’s in older patients by 50%, Diabetes by 58%, Anxiety, Depression, Fatigue in people of all ages, improves longevity and even Sexiness.. just about anything that ails you.

If we could all get our hands on it, our lives would be transformed for the better. And yet it is a medicine entirely in reach for most people. And it’s completely appropriate for Anti Automobile April, because the medicine also functions as a form of transportation.

It is, of course, none other than good, old-fashioned walking. But until you idolize it properly with statistics and warm thoughts like this, most people don’t give much thought to the wonderful activity.

I’ve always been a bit of a walking enthusiast – as a kid I would go for walks far outside of the town’s borders, exploring the riverbanks or walking over the big bypass bridge where nobody else tended to go without their cars. In high school, walking cured the blues of turbulent teen romances as well as getting me to and from my evening shifts at the convenience store on warm summer nights. I still go for long solo walks almost every day as a way to empty the brain and fill up the lungs with better air. In the daytime I walk along the neighborhood streets and creekside paths, but at night when the golf course is closed, I’ll stroll across the fancy greens and admire the wide-open spaces, getting a good look at the black sky and the thousands of stars of Outer Space. Even though I’ll ride a bike whenever I need to be somewhere in a hurry, there is something you get from walking that you can’t get any other way. So if you’ve still got your legs, this is the way to say Thanks*.

Your assignment for today is to walk just a bit more than you normally would, and to think about it and appreciate it just a bit more. Isn’t it amazing how easily that collection of muscles and bones gets you around, just reading your mind and taking you wherever you want to go? How marvelous that you can do it with no license, no traffic laws, and no permission from anyone else. You can go up over the curb, step carefully through the garden, and walk right up to the door. You can stop wherever you like, and even run or fly for brief periods to cross puddles or gaps between the rooftops of highrise buildings.

Ken Ilgunas recently walked from Northern Alberta,  through the entire United States, and ended up at the Gulf of Mexico. 1700 miles, entirely on his own feet, carrying his entire home on his back, one step at a time. If he can do that, then we can definitely crank out at least a mile or two of our own every day, right?

I hope you enjoy your dosage as much as I enjoy mine.

 

 

*And even if you don’t have working legs these days, it is still a fine thing to roll outside by any open-air conveyance available.

  • vern April 10, 2013, 9:45 am

    That’s funny to read this. They used to call me the “Walking Dude” when I lived in Greece back in the day. I remember doing a lot of walking around Athens when I was there.

    If there was a bus strike I’d just walk instead of taking a cab.

    I don’t do as much as I used to, but I still try to use my feet to get around whenever possible.

    Reply
    • GregK April 10, 2013, 11:07 am

      Heh bus strikes in Europe are fantastic walking opportunities, and you will be much happier if you see them as such!

      When I lived in Paris, there were bus and metro strikes now and again. Some Parisians would joke that the local transit authority, RATP, stood for “Rentre Avec Tes Pieds”, or “Get home With Your Feet”.

      Meanwhile, my grandmother who lives in Paris walks everywhere, and is still ticking at 99 years old. Walking is indeed marvelous medicine.

      Reply
      • Jacob@CashCowCouple April 10, 2013, 11:20 am

        99 years and walking strong. Now that’s awesome and motivating. How far does she walk each day?

        Reply
        • GregK April 10, 2013, 2:19 pm

          She’s an amazing woman. She never walks less than a quarter mile (she has to go to the grocery store to get her veggies and red wine every day!), often walks a half mile. Occasionally she’ll walk more than that. She used to walk more, as is pretty much required of a Paris resident, but of course, she’s 99! She’s put in her miles, and her longevity is a tribute to them.

          We went on vacation with her this past summer, and she climbs and descends the boardwalks over the rather large sand dunes on the coast of France without too much trouble; she goes slow, and has to stop occasionally to catch her breath, but I’m still impressed!

          Here’s a pic from the top of the dunes: http://www.chalet-maubuisson.fr/046AA566.jpg

          Reply
          • Marcia April 10, 2013, 4:22 pm

            That is really impressive! I read somewhere recently that there’s a strong correlation between how fast you can walk a mile and how much longer you have to live. It works across many ages. So if you are 60, and can walk a mile in <20 minutes, you'll live at least 10 more years. But if it takes you an hour…can't remember exactly.

            Reply
          • Erica / Northwest Edible Life April 11, 2013, 12:52 am

            That’s so great! A magazine I read had an article that featured women who had lived to be 100 being interviewed, and asked their secrets and advice. One woman said, “Walk every day. When you are old and most of your friends can’t anymore you’ll be so grateful you can.”

            Reply
          • Marla April 11, 2013, 8:14 am

            Magnifique! Your post reminded me of my late grandfather who passed away at 98. He walked at least a half hour a day even after he lost his eyesight at 90. He just kept going all by hiself slowly and carefully with his white cane – even over Mexican cobblestones. I remember interviewing him for a Gerontology course asking him for advice for longevity – he not only emphasized exercise, but sagely suggested that we should all develop an interest in sports and activities you can do for your whole life.

            Reply
          • 205guy April 12, 2013, 3:17 am

            On one of my trips to Mt Whitney (highest point in the “lower 48″ at 14,505′ (4,421 m)–sorry Colorado), I met a lady who was hiking up it to celebrate her 80th birthday. She was already at trail camp, and I was on my way down. She had stopped to wait for her 60-year-old daughter who was lagging behind her. She said it was her 20th time climbing the mountain (it’s not technical, just a very long and exhausting trail at altitude). I don’t know her at all, not even her name, but she’s my secret hero.

            Reply
      • Annamal April 10, 2013, 9:33 pm

        Not nearly as impressive as 99 but my grandmother just celebrated her 80th birthday by walking the grueling 19k Tongariro crossing (an ascent and descent of a volcanic plain).

        She and and my grandfather are determined hikers and I believe it’s made a huge difference to their quality of life

        Reply
  • Johnny Moneyseed April 10, 2013, 9:47 am

    At my old place of employment in North Carolina (still the Marine Corps) our unit occupied 2 separate buildings that were adjacent to each other. I had a pretty sweet position, and I also was the dude that answered the phone for the entire office. If you were to call my phone and you were located in either of the two buildings I’d hang up on you after saying “walk your ass over here”.

    If I had to talk to any of my subordinates I wouldn’t call them into my office, I would go find them. Just getting off my ass for 5 minutes to walk around felt amazing. People probably hated me for making them walk around, but I don’t really care about that. How lazy can you be? I remember one time that somebody called me from the office right next door. I could hear their voice in the distance as well as through the ear piece. It drove me crazy.

    Reply
    • Mike @ UB April 12, 2013, 6:36 am

      My wife’s computer desk is < 10' from my office. I'll still email her. Sometimes we'll even use Skype. OMG, I've got to get a life.

      Reply
  • MrMoneyMotivator April 10, 2013, 9:47 am

    Damn good post.

    A rather large friend of mine has lost a ton of weight over the last 12 months by walking a couple of hours 5 times a week. He was starting to lose motivation after the first few weeks, complaining of boredom, so I introduced him to audio books on his mp3 player.

    Soon he was actually walking straight past his house and doing another loop, just to be able to listen to the end of the chapter, so that was pretty damn awesome!

    For a moustachian way of getting hold of audiobooks, you can find them on CD at your local library! (well, you can in sunny blighty anyway)

    Reply
    • Mary Ellen April 10, 2013, 8:41 pm

      I love audiobooks! And these days most libraries subscribe to digital audiobook services with thousands of titles. Just download onto an mp3 player and you are set to go. For a while they didn’t work on iPods, but that is fixed now too with most of the titles. Check out your local library’s website. I’m in Seattle, and the subscription that our library has is called ‘Overdrive’.

      Reply
      • Geek April 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

        I’ve been thinking about trying the SPL overdrive audiobooks… I usually watch TED talks whilst crocheting but I’d like to have more book time.

        Reply
  • Tanner April 10, 2013, 9:49 am

    Good Stuff!

    Reply
  • Joe April 10, 2013, 9:56 am

    I go for a walk with our two years old for 1-2 hours everyday. He gets a ton of walking and running everyday and it’s great for him. As he grows, I’ll get more exercise too. He is not covering much distance now because he gets distracted by so many things.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 10, 2013, 10:29 am

      That is a great way to make quick work of your day as a stay-at-home-dad too, isn’t it? When you are outside walking, time flies and everyone has fun. Inside, the minutes crawl by if you can’t think of enough things to entertain the kids, and people get cranky, or start having to resort to other activities like driving around town to stay entertained.Thank goodness for sidewalks and parks.

      Reply
      • Tiny Victories April 10, 2013, 7:37 pm

        This is wholesome, incredibly priceless advice for parents of young children. Everyone benefits exponentially.

        When my son was about five he begged me to walk around the block with our lawn mowers. His was a toy, mine of course was not. One side of the block is always very busy with traffic. At the time I kind of cringed at the idea but we did it and now, 10 years later, I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s a great memory. We have great laughs about it too!

        Excellent, excellent content in this blog. So happy I found it. Cheers!

        Reply
  • Tara April 10, 2013, 10:06 am

    I love being a pedestrian! This is one of the things I love so much about Paris and Montreal, they are great walking cities. You get to smell and see and hear so much that you miss any other way (except possibly on a bike). I feel great moving under my own power and it makes me feel and sleep so much better.

    Reply
  • 25 Hour Human April 10, 2013, 10:07 am

    It’s really interesting how how study after study is showing that no amount of exercise is really an adequate substitute for walking. I read an article recently in Runner’s World about how urban runners, whose non-running lifestyle includes a great deal of walking, often outperform their car-bound, suburban counterparts.

    Reply
  • Pretired Nick April 10, 2013, 10:13 am

    Which is why we need to start gearing up the cities in America to be more walkable (and bikeable) communities. Grade-separated paths, integration with mass transit, lighting, security, etc., all come into play in developing our towns. But they all get presented as expensive luxuries when proposed. But really they are investments in our own health and quality of life.

    Reply
    • CL April 10, 2013, 10:19 am

      I agree. Indianapolis is trying to implement IndyConnect, which is mass transit + better pedestrian experiences. It’s being blocked as expensive, but it IS an investment not only in health and quality of life, but future potential. Gen Y checks walkability when they decide to move somewhere, because so many of us don’t want to have to use a car all the time. City planners and public officials really need to pay attention to where the future is going. It’s just rational to let everyone walk and bike if they want to. It leads to better outcomes (like battling the childhood obesity epidemic).

      Reply
      • Mr. Money Mustache April 10, 2013, 10:34 am

        Isn’t that funny? We should be thinking of ROADS as the expensive luxury, with sidewalks and bike paths being the first thing we spend on.

        Once we have plenty of those critical things, and if we still have loads of money left over with no budget deficits, THEN we can consider the bizarre 50-foot-wide asphalt paths that allow people to sit on air-conditioned leather couches while they magically float their way to within a few hundred feet of any building in town. Which, ironically, cause the town to sprawl out to such a size that you need thousands of times more asphalt to make more of the Leather Couchways.

        Reply
        • Use it up, wear it out... April 11, 2013, 8:59 am

          I was having the same conversation with my son yesterday when we were riding to the library and he asked, “Papa, why did they put this big highway here next to the bike path…?”

          Reply
      • Hill April 12, 2013, 8:56 am

        CL – You’re so right. I live around Indy as well, and it’s amazing how truly awful much of it is for just being able to walk to anywhere. We are selling our house to move closer to our jobs and to live in a much more bike- and walking-friendly area. My husband teaches in a fantastic school district, with thousands of energetic and bright kids who cannot walk or bike to school even if they live literally right across the street, because there is not a single sidewalk in the whole suburb, just lots of narrow, busy roads filled with cars. The very next town over (where we’re moving) has sidewalks and an extensive trail system. Can’t wait to be able to take advantage of it!

        Reply
  • David C. April 10, 2013, 10:24 am

    Excellent article. Recently, I have had to put my 15 year old Toyota in the shop for work. My family gets upset that I chose to walk to and from the shop. I tell them “It’s only two miles” and they look at me as if I have lost my mind. Yeah, it takes longer, but the fresh air, sights, sounds and smells of the world (as well as the exercise) make up for it. I am hoping to snag a bike off Craigslist in the next month or so. That should increase my range a bit.

    Reply
  • Yeo Kian Hwee April 10, 2013, 10:28 am

    My daily journey to work involved maybe 5 minutes of walking one way, and I run 2 times a week, play basketball once a week. What I don’t realize is walking can do so much to our health. I think after watching this video, I will allocate more time to spend on walking, maybe alight one stop earlier when I am heading home.

    For the TV part, that is not much an issue for me, I don’t watch much TV because I spend most of my after work time working on my blog and reading any interesting book I picked from library. So I think I am safe in that zone. ^^

    Reply
    • Rob aka Captian and Mrs Slow April 11, 2013, 2:56 pm

      Not o quibble but walking TV or reading a book or typing on your computer from a fitness point of view is all the same, your sill sitting on your butt.

      Reply
      • Sister X April 15, 2013, 12:22 pm

        Actually, there is a lot of evidence that reading is, in almost every way, more active than watching TV. People are more likely to fidget while reading and since you’re cognitively far more active your body is working a lot harder than it is while passively watching TV. Even playing video games or surfing the internet is better for you because they’re less passive than the TV watching. A number of recent studies have shown that TV watching, above and beyond any other sedentary activity, is the biggest single marker of future heart disease.
        Read on. :)

        Reply
  • Sara T. April 10, 2013, 10:49 am

    Well written. Thank you for sharing that. So many individuals turn to medicine too quickly, before, as you stated, addressing life style changes that need to be made. Thank you for this blog – it’s one of my daily reads!!

    Reply
    • Stephen at Simple Economist April 10, 2013, 12:05 pm

      I agree completely! Many Americans are looking for a pill to fix themselves. I find I get this comment a lot when I start talking to people about health insurance and early retirement. They always ask about medicine and the expense of medical treatment. I think for me the first line of defense against any of that is to make my body and physically active and healthy as I can. I’ll still carry at HD HSA plan but I find taking care of my body is much better than most expensive treatments or medicines!

      Reply
  • Gerard April 10, 2013, 10:50 am

    There are some little things we can all do to improve our cities’ walkability:
    * Walk! People will see you and realize it’s not weird.
    * When you rent or sell residential property, include the walkability score of the property, and list the amenities that people can walk to (“a three minute walk from the museum”, etc.). This might even help you attract better tenants!
    * When looking for a home, ask the landlord/realtor for the walkability score.
    * Invite a friend for a walk instead of a drink. Or both. Hint: walk first.
    *Take your family or sweetie on a grazing dinner date. Walk a route with food trucks, snack stands, etc., getting something to eat at each stop. (Awesome routes: Boul St-Laurent in Montreal, Chinatown and Kensington Market in Toronto.)
    * Try walking somewhere that you usually think of as un-walkably far (I started walking to/from the airport last year). Tell people what you did.
    * Do this:
    http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/one-mans-guerrilla-campaign-makes-city-more-walkable.html

    Reply
    • Marcia April 10, 2013, 4:27 pm

      These are great ideas! I have done three Breast Cancer 3 day walks (last one was 2005 though). Whenever we drive to LAX via Route 1, I think “man, I walked 60 miles along this road!)

      Reply
    • CALL 911 April 14, 2013, 11:27 am

      “Unwalkably far”. Ha! I once walked from The Flamingo on the Vegas strip to the airport. In summer. It may have been the “longest” walk of my life. Was I too cheap to pay $10 to a cabbie to take me 4 air conditioned miles, or did I lose my last budgeted $10 for the trip at the craps table? You decide!

      Reply
    • stutter-k May 2, 2013, 12:20 pm

      For your invite a friend suggestion: how about a drink-walk? Hip flasks, or more covertly, travel mugs.

      Reply
  • Truelove April 10, 2013, 10:51 am

    My wife and I (and our loveable pooch) go for a minimum 40 minute walk every night. The thing that always blows my mind is one of our neighbours (while driving) sees us and later comments about what a long walk we are on. We just smile and nod but always laugh to ourselves afterwards about how we weren’t far and in our books this one of our short walks.

    MMM, being a Hamilton native, have you hiked or biked on the Bruce Trail? In our opinion, it is one of the greatest attractions in Ontario and by far the most under used.

    Reply
    • Lisa April 12, 2013, 7:55 pm

      Is he a Hamilton native? I was thinking Cayuga or Caledonia or maybe Dunnville. But it sounds like he went to university in Hamilton. I do agree that we have some fabulous bike trails in Hamilton and I love riding up the one rail trail that starts in Corktown and comes out near Upper Kenilworth and the brow. Best way to get up the escarpment on a bike. People who only know Hamilton from the QEW don’t know what they are missing.

      Reply
  • cj April 10, 2013, 10:58 am

    Yay for walking!!!! We call ourselves the Walkers, although we are really the Jollyhoos! Simple, free and incredibly effective! Nothin’ like it, man. Great post, and superbly written.

    Reply
    • Jacob@CashCowCouple April 10, 2013, 11:17 am

      The Jollyhoos have got that walking down pat. The Cash Cow Couple…well we’re trying! It really is the cure.

      Reply
  • ap April 10, 2013, 11:04 am

    Your remark about not needing a license made me think of this gem by Ray Bradbury:
    http://englischlehrer.de/texts/pedestrian.php

    Reply
  • Johnny @ Our Freaking Budget April 10, 2013, 11:14 am

    We are walk-aholics. Probably the biggest reason our budget not only survived, but thrived when we lived in NYC and Boston was walking. It was our primary form of transportation, entertainment, exercise, etc. Almost every night, we would take hour-long walks around the city, exploring different neighborhoods and sections of Central Park. We’d talk about our lives, our careers, our plans. We would opt for a 50-block walk to Midtown instead of taking the train just to be out and about and putting mileage on our legs.

    Our current city in North Carolina isn’t nearly as walkable, but we’re making a habit to do a mile loop every night with our new baby to stimulate her senses every day. It sure beats sitting on the floor looking up at a fan.

    Reply
  • Early Retirement Journey April 10, 2013, 11:29 am

    I read this after just returning from a six mile run. I’m 50, have a resting heart rate considered “athletic” and an average pulse rate of 90/60. At every one of my physicals, my doctor does a double take upon reading my pulse rate results, until he remembers I’ve been a long distance runner for over 15 years, and an avid aerobics junkie for over 30.

    And no, running is not bad for your knees. The number one cause of knee pain is excess weight, followed by getting older, and then by earlier knee trauma injuries, often an anaerobic sport injury sustained during one’s more youthful days.

    Reply
    • ultrarunner April 10, 2013, 1:43 pm

      Amen. I get so sick and tired of people telling me I’m going to ruin my knees…

      Reply
    • KB April 12, 2013, 8:47 am

      I just joined a running group a few weeks ago. By the way, I love your blog, ERJ. I don’t know how to leave a comment on it, but it’s great reading!

      Reply
  • The Happy Potamus April 10, 2013, 11:42 am

    Awesome post, and very timely. I’m currently in the middle of a self-imposed 30 day challenge to walk an extra 60 miles this month. I don’t count walking to and from work (which I already do), but only walking for walking’s sake. It’s been really great so far. I played a lot of impact sports growing up, so my knees are not in the best shape. But they have already showed some smalls signs of improvement just from adding in the extra walking (and it’s not just the exercise, because I’m a very active person). Walking for the win. Good stuff.

    Reply
  • win April 10, 2013, 11:50 am

    If you dislike walking, you can always get a 97 month car loan.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/introducing-97-month-car-loan-010500170.html

    “In the final quarter of 2012, the average term of a new car note stretched out to 65 months, the longest ever, according to Experian Information Solutions Inc. Experian said that 17% of all new car loans in the past quarter were between 73 and 84 months and there were even a few as long as 97 months. Four years ago, only 11% of loans fell into this category.”

    Reply
  • jamesqf April 10, 2013, 11:51 am

    New? Who are you trying to fool here: walking as medicine has been around for a couple of millenia at least: “Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates, ca 460 – 377 BC.

    Reply
  • taryl April 10, 2013, 11:54 am

    Every memorable adventure in my life has been on foot. Or, sometimes a bike

    Reply
  • Ottawa April 10, 2013, 11:57 am

    Ha! I just came back from a walk to see this posted…but wait!

    “We wondered why with all the wealth and free information available out there, that most rich-country residents end up doing exactly what is worst for them: eating and drinking concentrated sugar, and remaining in a seated position for most of their waking hours. And we marveled at some recent conversations we had had with off-duty nurses and doctors, who reported that the medical industry is still focused on medicines and “cures” for symptoms, rather than lifestyle changes that could eliminate the underlying causes of disease much more thoroughly.”

    WALKING?? OUTRAGEOUS MMM!

    Consumerist sukkas don’t want this..they want something simple!

    Something unproven and faddy that costs lots of money – preferably a pill – ideally one that you don’t have to swallow (too much effort).

    This is the cause of the health and debt epidemic.

    Reply
  • No Name Guy April 10, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Sounds like MMM, Mrs MM and Junior Stache should hit the trails for a summer. You have the CDT in your backyard, although for something a wee bit less challenging, might I suggest my favorite – the PCT.

    Wake up, eat, pack up tent, hike north, make camp, eat, sleep.

    Repeat for 4-6 months. Ahhhhh, simplicity.

    Reply
  • Mr. 1500 April 10, 2013, 12:17 pm

    I love walking, It clears my mind. Since I’m usually on the same or similar route, every time I walk, I challenge myself to notice something I’ve never seen before. Keep the mind fresh and challenged.

    We also love walking with the kids to school. Sadly, most don’t. While the walk to school is less than 1/5 of a mile, most of our neighbors drive their children. Pathetic!

    Reply
    • Nerode April 10, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Sorry, but that must be a typo….mustn’t it? One fifth of a mile? 352 yards? A four minute stroll, even for a young child?

      Who would get in a car to drive that near?!

      You must have meant 5 miles, right?

      Reply
      • mr 1500 April 11, 2013, 2:57 pm

        I wish I was kidding!

        The funny thing is that I usually get to school before them. They leave at the same time, but then I pass them as they wait in line to get into the parking lot of the school.

        These people don’t know what they’re missing. On the way there, I talk to the kids about what’s going to happen in school and send them off with a hug as opposed to watching them jump out of the car. I wave as they walk into the building and they blow kisses back.

        On the way home, we discuss how their day was and what they learned. These are short sound-bytes in the scheme of life, but they are large in my mind. I’m so thankful for them.

        Reply
      • Sister X April 15, 2013, 12:33 pm

        I used to have a roommate who would drive–literally–two blocks to the corner gas station just to get his cigarettes and then drive the two blocks home. He wouldn’t even need to fill up his gas tank, he’d go just for the cigarettes, or snack, or whatever it was he wanted from the store. Drove me insane.

        Reply
  • Jonny April 10, 2013, 12:19 pm

    Great post. I’m relatively new to MMM, but one of the first things I did when I started reading was to walk my commute instead of paying daily for the bus or metro. It’s about 2 miles each way and with stoplights it takes about 35-40 minutes. So I’m already getting over an hour of walking five days per week, plus saving around $120/month on commuting costs!

    On either financial or health terms, this decision is a no-brainer, but taken together it’s all kinds of awesome. It’s also awesome to wave at the chumps stuck in gridlock downtown traffic or crammed into buses on my way home from work.

    Reply
  • rjack April 10, 2013, 1:11 pm

    I just got back from a 4 or 5 mile walk and then read this. Now I feel extra special! :)

    Reply
  • Maia April 10, 2013, 1:18 pm

    Hi, great post. I love walking. Recently I stopped walking so much because I was doing lots of rowing instead and I started running because I felt that walking is not good enough for getting fit, for a young person like me. But this weekend I was about to go running, but I really missed my walks which I’d skipped for about 6 months, so at the last minute I decided to go for a walk instead and I remembered why I loved it so much.
    Walking is so meditative, especially when walking through nature, you notice all these things that you don’t have time to appreciate so much if you’re running or cycling past.
    I often also get inspiring ideas as well when walking, rather than running, and this time was no exception. As I was walking I suddenly got an amazing idea, which told me what I should do with my life at this moment.
    And two days after my muscles hurt more than when I went running which shows it’s still really good exercise even if it doesn’t always seem like it.
    Sometimes I think that more aggressive forms of exercise are not really natural for us, but walking definitely is.

    Reply
  • My Financial Independence Journey April 10, 2013, 1:24 pm

    My old apartment complex was nice. It was pretty big and relatively well landscaped. So I could take long walks around it in the mornings or evenings. I barely got any cell phone reception inside my apartment so I’d talk to friends and family while walking around the complex.

    Now, ironically, after moving for a new job I can’t walk much of anywhere without driving first – usually to a park or somewhere with trails.

    Reply
  • August West April 10, 2013, 1:39 pm

    Henry David Thoreau, “Walking”

    http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=1022

    “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend
    four hours a day at least–and it is commonly more than that–sauntering
    through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from
    all worldly engagements. You may safely say, A penny for your thoughts,
    or a thousand pounds. When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics
    and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all
    the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them–as if the
    legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon–I think that
    they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.”

    Reply
    • Chris Turner April 10, 2013, 7:29 pm

      Touche Mr Thoreau.

      Reply
  • Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies April 10, 2013, 1:44 pm

    “Ken Ilgunas recently walked from Northern Alberta, through the entire United States, and ended up at the Gulf of Mexico. 1700 miles, entirely on his own feet, carrying his entire home on his back, one step at a time.”

    Good job to Ken! I know a family down here in FL that in the 1970′s ran across the continent twice. Once from FL to Canada, the other from the east coast to the west coast. Summer vacation on foot – mom, dad and 3 daughters.

    I hope to be as awesome as Ken and this family some day.

    Reply
  • mary w April 10, 2013, 2:15 pm

    San Diego mayor (now former mayor) lost almost 100 lbs by walking 70 miles a week for a year. Unfortunately, he also had to give up Mexican food.

    http://www.mensfitness.com/training/success-stories/success-story-the-shrinking-mayor-of-san-diego

    Reply
  • TB at BlueCollarWorkman April 10, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I say the same thing to people! Sometimes people complain and get medication for all sortsa little things like aches and sadness and sore joints and all kinds of weird muscle things and “alignment” things, but of course nearly all of them are overweight to some degree. I always feel like the doctors should say “no medication until you lose weight — if your back still hurts, then you get pain pills” but chances are, that back won’t hurt once the weight is gone. It’s crazy awesome what exercise and not being overweight does for people! If only people realized! Aches go away, sadness goes away, diabetes goes away, joint aches, muscle problems…all of it! But we don’t like to hear that because it’s not PC to say that being overweight is bad. So people take pills to fix problems, because it certainly couldn’t be due to being overweight! *eyeroll * Our bodies aren’t PC like our society is.

    Reply
    • Dee April 10, 2013, 6:58 pm

      Well, note in the video in MMM`s post that those who are overweight and active do not experience the same problems as those who are overweight and inactive.

      I have known overweight people who don’t go to the Dr. for possible issues because they are afraid they won’t get any medical attention until they are thin. This is not something to aspire to. Discouraging people from getting medical attention unless they are thin does not seem wise.

      Reply
  • JaneMD April 10, 2013, 2:36 pm

    This off duty doctor would like to make some points about physicians and ‘medical industry’s’ obsession with pills and ‘cures.’ I, the doctor, want people to perform ‘lifestyle interventions’ which would include eating healthy, exercising, and also walking more.

    However, as constantly discussed here at MMM, many people are not interested in making those changes and it has clearly borne out in the obesity epidemic. If a patient doesn’t want to make any lifestyle changes to help their diabetes, I’m going to have to prescribe them metformin or insulin and treat their disease. Smoker with bad asthma, I can prescribe all the albuterol and steroids on the planet, but I’m fighting an uphill almost useless battle if the patient wont stop smoking.

    Direct to consumer marketing has made that worse since patients expect pills and cures. The public seems to frown on me failing to prescribe cholesterol lowering meds to someone who is obese with high cholesterol as uncontrolled it will have pretty bad heart consequences. The doctors that refused to see patients who were too heavy for their exam tables – and had staff injuries related to moving morbidly obese patients – got crucified in the public opinion.

    BTW, my children and I are about to walk to the park and play toddler soccer in a nearby football field. In toddler soccer, mommy kicks the ball and the kids chase it.

    Did anyone else get a weird 198.xxx. message when trying to access MMM over the past few days?

    Reply
    • Melissa April 11, 2013, 7:55 pm

      JaneMD, I’m gIad you brought that up. I still cannot get to mmm via the search bar. I have to get in through Facebook and even then, I can’t get to the homepage. I get an “unable to acces” blank page. Frustrating, especially since I want to read old posts that I can no longer access. :-(

      Thanks for another great post MMM.

      Reply
  • Vincent Nguyen April 10, 2013, 2:58 pm

    I love it! Walking is so often overlooked and I personally love it even as a skinny guy.

    Personally, I use it as more of medicine for the mind. I find peace in walking, my friends and I open up more during walks, and most important it keeps me sane. Life can be very hectic at times, especially for people with physical ailments. Walking can help both.

    Reply
    • Tiny Victories April 10, 2013, 7:59 pm

      Agreed!
      My brother and I are mid 40′s. we started walking together a year ago and our relationship has benefited significantly. We realized we genuinely like each other! It is so satisfying.

      Reply
  • Dom April 10, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Hey MMM,

    stumbled across your site a few weeks ago and have been lurking here regularly ever since – it’s nice to see that there are other people out there with the correct way of thinking ;)

    I walk to work and back every day – a total of 8 miles round trip. Less than an hour each way. Great for getting some exercise and clearing the mind. Plenty of people think I’m crazy; I think they are when I realise that they get a bus or a Tube for less than half that distance….

    Reply
  • rax April 10, 2013, 3:15 pm

    Geez, I already walk over 7 miles per weekday, going back and forth from work, home and university.

    Now if only I could move around using one of these so-called cycling devices… :)

    Reply
  • Marcia April 10, 2013, 4:34 pm

    I love walking! I have an ankle problem and a knee issue that are limiting me right now, but I still try to do it as much as possible. I need to just get to the doctor to get my issues worked out.

    Yesterday we walked 2.4 miles to pick up our son from school and get a smoothie. Today I pushed the baby in the stroller almost the same amount to go to a park with friends. I find it SO relaxing.

    Reply
  • Matt April 10, 2013, 5:45 pm

    So simple and yet so foreign to so many. Suburbs are designed that a trip to the convenience store involves a car. While I haven’t done walking to the same level as you I do agree and if you look a cities like Paris where it’s more the norm more people are normally proportioned.

    Reply
  • Jeremy @ Go Curry Cracker! April 10, 2013, 5:49 pm

    When it comes down to it, the things that make you wealthy also make you healthy.

    Reply
  • snacks April 10, 2013, 6:27 pm

    I just had jury duty for a week and a half and to eliminate the $7 per day parking garage, I decided to park at work and walk to the courthouse- 1.6 miles each way. It was great! I saw parts of the downtown I had never paid attention to while driving, and the return trip let me clear the visualizations of a botched surgery (malpractice case) out of my head. I shuddered at the $50 per month and $70 per month parking signs I saw along the way, and visualized the bike path I would soon be taking to work. It was the best… By the way, since picking up this blog last year my diastolic blood pressure# has dropped close to 20 points… I’m guessing it’s the walking, biking and stair steps I’ve taken in the last year, with not a pill popped, that this blog has motivated me to do… next stop-boxed wine!

    Reply
  • Josh April 10, 2013, 7:12 pm

    I can’t believe that people watch an AVERAGE of 5 hrs/day of TV!!!! How!?

    Reply
    • Rob aka Captian and Mrs Slow April 11, 2013, 3:02 pm

      Funny I had the opposite discussion with family visiting, how could they not spend time each day watching TV

      Reply
  • Goatee Joe April 10, 2013, 9:49 pm

    Very timely article. Walking, as it turns out, will also make you rich. Just tonight, as fate would have it, my wife and I got some free furniture by walking! Wednesdays happen to be the day all the ultra-antimustachian yuppies in my neighborhood put out their bulk “trash”, which very often turns out to be practically new furniture. So we walked down the block and scored a like-new kitchen table to replace our current worn-out edition…. which we’ll add to our stash of other freebies we’ve nabbed on walkabout, like the gas grill, propane tanks, two entire patio furniture sets. Never ceases to amaze me the nice stuff people are willing to toss in the landfill. And all you gotta do to lay hands on it is WALK over there and snag it before someone else does :-)

    Reply
  • Hanne van Essen April 11, 2013, 12:04 am

    Our dog died almost 2 months ago. I miss him very much, and one of the things I miss most is walking with him. The presence of a dog forces you to take walks every day, and sometimes you don’t like it, because it is raining, but you still have to go, and after about 5 minutes outside it doesn’t really matter anymore whether it is raining or anything, it is always enjoyable. Without our dog, it is difficult to find a time for a walk. With our own company, and three young children, there is always something ‘more important’ to do. Guess we need another dog somewhere in the future…

    Reply
  • JR April 11, 2013, 1:59 am

    Totally agree with this medication! I enjoy the health related pieces, but not quite as much as your financial posts.

    Not to be a complainypants, but I hope you’ll return to hard finance articles soon, MMM.

    I’m starting to have withdrawals. I want more shockingly simple breakdowns on early retirement and more case studies where you comb over other people’s saving. Please deliver, sir!

    Reply
  • mike April 11, 2013, 5:01 am

    I walk to the pub and back, does that count? It’s about three miles each way, and I wouldn’t consider driving because it doesn’t mix with the main reason I go to the pub in the first place. Public transport is just something that people in large towns and cities have, so I walk. It makes me chuckle to think about the mileage I get from a pair of shoes, usually around three months which equates to about 500 miles. I haven’t lost any weight, though that might be to do with the destination more than the journey.

    Reply
  • Tim April 11, 2013, 8:15 am

    I am still amazed every time I bicycle or walk a familiar stretch of road, such as the one I live on. We hardly see anything except pavement while in a car, then on a bicycle we notice trees, sunshine, wind, and sounds. While walking the same road, it comes alive with birds, squirrels, chipmunks, smells, and my favorite: recyclable cans and bottles. I live in a state that gives 5 cents for each bottle or can. I look forward to taking walks and there seems to be a never-ending supply of 5 cent rewards.

    Reply
  • Executioner April 11, 2013, 9:52 am

    Off topic, but did you change the layout or design of your page in the past couple of days?

    I use the Ghostery plugin for Firefox to block trackers (annoying little buggers that are used for advertising and user data mining). I suspect something which is used to help format the elements in your page is getting blocked by Ghostery.

    Reply
  • Sharron April 11, 2013, 11:31 am

    Before finding MMM and totally changing my habits I used to drive five miles each way to the health club just to spend 45 min. on an ellyptical trainer and maybe lift a few weights. That seems so ridiculous to me now. We have wonderful walking paths in my neighborhood. Now I walk about 14 miles a week for exercise and lift weights at home. I’m 62 years old and my goal for this year is to log at least 500 miles walking outside. Walking is much more enjoyable than exercising indoors. I have views of the mountains, blue sky, birds, trees, and flowers while I walk. It’s great for stress reduction too. Oh, and by to way I’m not spending $87/month on a health club anymore.

    Reply
  • Chipamogli April 11, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I love walking and I am always so happy whenever I meet someone who likes it as well, although I don’t mind taking walks by myself. My issue is how do I convince friends or whoever I’m with to take a walk instead of driving or taking transit? or if we’re meeting to catch up, how can I convince them to walk instead of sitting in some noisy restaurant? Everyone thinks I’m crazy!

    Reply
  • Sandy April 11, 2013, 2:40 pm

    I always have believed that walking is a panacea for whatever ails ‘ya. Throughout my 50′s I was an avid walker, to the point where I was so conditioned that it never seemed to elevate my heart rate. So when I turned 60, I decided to take up jogging, which I had never done before, and even though I have arthritis in one knee. Well that elevated my heart rate! Each time my leg hit the ground, my knee hurt, but it was a pain I could tolerate and the pain never increased. I had to stop after a short amount of time, due to my lungs, but I kept at it, increasing my distance by each week. 3-1/2 months later and I’m jogging 45-50 minutes each morning, with no lung pain and no knee pain! I believe it’s because the muscles surrounding my knees have strengthened. I love jogging!

    Reply
  • Jenn April 11, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Your last two posts have been spectacular. I go from laughing my ass off to shaking my head in astonishment at the insanity of our culture. Thanks for sharing the voice of reason!

    Reply
  • Rob aka Captian and Mrs Slow April 11, 2013, 3:03 pm

    Re: Bruce Trail

    The Bruce Trail, oh the memories, did that twice, once witha friend and once with a group. The second one we tried to do the whole thing 25 miles, if memory serves me correct (brain is getting fuzzy with age) we made it 3/4 of the way before calling it quits, the group leader ran ahead to collect the vehicles and somehow got lost. We ended sitting on a rock beach for like 4 or 5 hours:)

    Today I don’t think my knees could do it :(

    Reply
  • Nerode April 11, 2013, 3:17 pm

    “Solvitur Ambulando”*, as some of the ancients had it.

    It’s the phrase I always use to justify leaving my desk and taking a walk outside. Solutions to knotty problems often come more easily or quickly when walking, compared to sitting in front of my computer screen. And if they don’t, well, I’m in a better mood when I return than if I’d spent the time failing to solve the problem at my desk!

    * “It is solved by walking”.

    Reply
  • Rob aka Captian and Mrs Slow April 11, 2013, 3:28 pm

    MMM since you are doing a health theme this month than I highly highly suggust reading Salt Sugar Fat by Micheal Moss, it will be a real eye opener into the obesity crisis, more so on why addiction to bad food is sooooo hard to beat.

    More importwntly it will give you a good understand of how and why companies want you addicted to salt fat and sugar

    Excellent book

    Reply
  • John@MoneyPrinciple April 11, 2013, 3:59 pm

    Undoubtedly walking is good for you – in fact probably as good as running for the same time.

    But I think your assertion that “the world makes progress toward lifting many of the poorest countries out of malnutrition due to poverty” meeds a challenge. One of the effects of the global near-meltdown has been to turn the clock back in this area. So the poor are getting poorer, kids are sufffering and this is not only in developing countries but perhaps more acutely in developed countries where the government has taken – or had to take – excessive ‘austerity’ measures.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 11, 2013, 4:28 pm

      I hear you John – I was speaking of a longer time period than just the time since the crises in the US and Euro financial systems.

      What do you think of the statistics in the latest Gates Foundation report? (don’t worry, it’s not dry at all and fun to read/watch) http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/#nav=intro

      Reply
  • jet April 11, 2013, 8:06 pm

    I walk the dogs every night. It’s one of the many advantages to having them, they ensure that I get off the couch and take them, and because they are big dogs I can go out at any hour and not worry about dodgy people who may lurk around the neighbourhood.

    I could always walk more, because I sit on my butt at a desk all day.

    Reply
  • Frederic Patel April 11, 2013, 10:26 pm

    Since moving to New York City, my daily commute now entails a one-way 35 minute walk to work. I love it. I’m no longer dragging my feet on the 15th hole on my weekend golf rounds. As others have mentioned, I do find it amusing that some find this ridiculous and I should take a cab or subway.

    Reply
  • David Horne April 11, 2013, 11:12 pm

    I was confused for a moment when I read the title of this post. I was all, “That doesn’t sound like Mr. MMM. What happened? Hacked account.” Of course it all makes sense now. It’s really amazing what a little physical activity can do. I do work at a desk most of the day, but I’m grateful that I have tasks that take me away from it and two legs to take me places I need to go.

    Reply
  • bayrider April 11, 2013, 11:46 pm

    Get a dog, better yet get two large dogs. Walk every day with dogs or else ride bike with dogs or skateboard with dogs pulling. Life is good:)

    Peace, Love, Dogs,
    Bayrider

    Reply
  • Matt F April 12, 2013, 6:39 am

    Glad you keep bring up fitness on the blog. It would be much tougher to retire early without a control on your health. So many people I know are stuck working because they feel they need the insurance to pay for their expensive blood pressure meds, diabetes meds, etc. Plus, I want to retire early (pushing up the front end of the schedule) so I can enjoy a long retirement, so it makes sense to me that I would want to live as long as possible (pushing out the backend of the schedule) for the maximum retirement period. Finally, that retirement would sure be a whole lot more fun if I am physically mobile and energetic.

    Reply
  • AJ April 12, 2013, 6:58 am

    I’m probably more active than most: I cycle part of my commute each day and walk regularly. Our household doesn’t have a car so we inevitably move more than most.

    This article and video still surprised me, so after work yesterday I walked the first two tube stops on my commute home and boarded there instead!

    Walking is good for the soul.

    Reply
  • Mario April 12, 2013, 7:35 am

    “We wondered why with all the wealth and free information available out there, that most rich-country residents end up doing exactly what is worst for them.”

    The reason is that inter-generational learning has taught us that any time there’s a chance to eat something — especially calorie-dense, fatty or sugary foods — you take it, because you don’t know the next time you’re going to have a chance to eat.

    I’ve found this to be particularly true for people in countries that are newly rich (Think recent oil discoveries or rapid development).

    Reply
  • GoCubsGo April 12, 2013, 8:18 am

    The local MLS added a “Walk Score” to every real estate listing and a few of my clients have used that as a main criteria. Unfortunately, my clients moving from city neighborhoods in Chicago complain about the lack of walkability in the suburbs. I used to agree, but the more I think about it (and read this blog), the distances might be longer but still aren’t bad at all. I downloaded a pedometer app when in Disneyworld last week and my family and I were averaged 7.5 miles a day walking around the parks. My kids didn’t complain at all. It’s all about mindset.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 12, 2013, 8:49 am

      Yes! And equally important – BIKES are an amazing cure for the larger scale of modern suburbs, since they are about 5 times faster than walking. The abundance of sidewalks, wide roads, parking lots and other flat concrete makes for very comfortable biking.

      Walking is great for mental relaxation and getting there slowly, but it is incredibly slow compared to biking and driving. Since most US adults have forgotten that bikes exist, they naturally turn to cars. Hell, even I would drive if the choice was a 90-minute roundtrip walk to the grocery store and a short drive. But bikes eliminate the need to make that choice, since I can bike there in 9 minutes, slightly faster than I can drive there in daylight hours when traffic is usually high.

      Reply
    • Emmers April 28, 2013, 8:31 pm

      Walk scores are great! It’s a really useful way to evaluate/rank housing.

      Reply
  • KB April 12, 2013, 8:50 am

    I love the post and the video. Very eye opening! It is so great that your blog is not about deprivation but instead the messages are always so positive and really about living a great full life!

    Reply
  • Patrick April 12, 2013, 12:11 pm

    Health and Financial Independence go hand-in-hand.

    Have you read Dr. Furhman’s Eat to Live? It’s awesome.

    Just want to say thanks for the blog, MMM. By June, my family will be car-free after maintaining 3 of these horrible machines for many years. Can’t wait.

    Reply
  • Freeyourchains April 12, 2013, 1:18 pm

    A great example of “cures” of symptoms and doctors milking all the money they can.

    Patient: “Doctor, my tonsils are hyper-inflated and i keep getting colds every other week. Do you know why?”
    Doctor: ” let’s wait and see how you are in 3 months.”
    3 months later,

    “Doctor, i couldn’t workout, because i couldn’t sleep well, because my tonsils are hyper-inflated and i can’t get enough oxygen when i sleep, plus my immunity is going down. Now i have gained 30 pounds in 3 months, and that is causing me to snore at night now even worse and only absorb 85% of oxygen when i sleep to recover at night.”

    Doctor: I will send you to a specialist

    Specialist: ” I like to get to know my patients first before taking out their tonsils for any reason. Come back to me when you get a cold again, though you still have hyper-inflated tonsils. Plus i would like to administer a $700/night sleep apnea test to see your snoring and oxygen levels, and possibly use this to get your tonsils removed.”

    Specialist 3 weeks later: “I see you snored, and probably due to your hyper-inflated tonsils and colds every other 2 weeks. I can’t remove your tonsils without a medical reason (you getting fatter by the hyper-inflated tonsils is not reason enough). Plus you will have to take another sleep apena test, because your insurance says so if it is to have a surgery afterwards.”

    Point, be skeptical to a run around with healthcare. Solution: Rental apartment was causing the hyper-inflation reaction to the tonsils. Moved. Tonsils are back to normal, and working out again and losing weight gained from hyper-inflated tonsils. Sleep apnea tests were never really needed.

    Reply
  • Doug April 12, 2013, 2:47 pm

    What we have here is a fine example of the Ockham’s Razor principle, meaning that the simplest solution to a problem is often the most effective. For shorter distances I will often walk or use the bike. For longer distances I’ll drive, but then park in one central place and walk to many of the stops I have to make in the area. It’s my observation not many people do this, as the sidewalks are largely empty.

    Reply
  • brian April 12, 2013, 3:25 pm

    When I first got a bike, I used it to ride to the gym in the morning before work. But I found that I actually missed the 15 minute walk in the brisk early morning air, before there are many cars out. I now use the bike to get to work, but still walk to the gym.

    One of my motivations for becoming semi or early retired is to walk the PCT without having to worry about what I will do for money either while on the trail or once I finish. I guess I’m just a huge fan of walking. Nothing else like it.

    Reply
  • Jakob April 13, 2013, 3:46 am

    Monday morning i’m going to call in sick at work. Then i’m going to drive my SUV to the hospital at the other side of town, and sit in the waiting room for hours. Hopefully, i will be able to see the doctor and get a prescription for walking!

    Reply
  • Ryegirl April 13, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Recently I attended a session on kids and anxiety that was put on by my son’s school. The room was packed! Obviously it’s a problem for a lot of kids. I never considered that just getting out and walking more could help, but it makes a lot of sense. So tonight we turned off the video games and out we went. We talked about all kinds of stuff and threw a few snowballs…it was nice and we will be doing more of it.

    Reply
  • Alexandria April 14, 2013, 8:27 am

    The sad thing is we are probably no uber-walkers (we live in a neighborhood that initially had -0- walkability). BUT, unlike the average American, we shunned strollers past age 2 (probably even sooner), and do regularly walk anything within a few blocks. (It’s sad how unusual this).

    Anyway, so my spouse was watching two different kids this week. HE had to pick up a 2nd grader 3 blocks from our house and walk him back to school (3 blocks), a few hours later, for a test. So he tells me how slow and whiny this kid was. We were marveling about this, as the kid is 8 and should be able to walk a few blocks, and should have more energy than us older folk. Anyway, the next day he ended up with an unexpected kindergardener in his car when he picked up our eldest child. HE had no room in his car to pick up younger child, so did the usual “drive home and walk to pick up second child,” though he was running a little late at this point with the last minute “playdate arrangements + babysititng a younger sibling.” The Kinder was slow and freaking out. So we were marveling how these families must absolutely never make their kids walk anywhere. On some level I can give the 5yo a bit of a pass, keeping in mind our culture. But on another level, obviously a 5yo that expects to be carried everywhere (he did ask my husband to carry him!), turns into that 8yo who can’t be bothered to walk 3 blocks. Which I think goes back to our stroller culture, too. It’s amazing how little parents expect of their small kids to use their own two legs. (Which obviously turns into a lifelong habit of never walking small distances).

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 14, 2013, 8:43 am

      These school-related stories seem among the most insane to me. I often fantasize about putting a Local Traffic Only zone around the school, with no parking lot or drop-off area, so it is impossible to drive kids all the way to the school door. At the minimum, you park a few blocks away and walk, but in reality, you probably live within two miles, so you can easily bike it.

      Our old historic elementary school is from the days long before cars, so there is no parking lot at all. The teachers who drive park on the street next to the school, which helps fill up the spaces, and make parent parking a bit inconvenient. I’ve heard from several peers that they end up biking or walking, just because the car scene there is a zoo. Win!

      Reply
  • Sister X April 15, 2013, 12:05 pm

    I’m glad the video mentioned the dog. For myself, my little dog is very much an anti-lazy motivator. She goes NUTS for walks so I get guilted into walking on days when I would otherwise give in to my laziness. She’s also an anti-boredeom fighter. Just last night my husband was complaining about how bored he was and I suggested taking the dog for a quick walk. This turned into a quick walk (about 15 mins, not directly there) to the corner store for ice cream, which was the motivation for him to work out once we were home. (No ice cream until after the workout!) Boredom gone and everyone had fun, plus we’re just a bit healthier.
    I’m currently involved in a health and fitness motivation program at work. You accrue points for healthy things like exercising, drinking water, eating vegetables, etc, for prizes at the end (money!) depending on how many points you’ve got. I’ve done this program every year and what kills me is just how LOW they set the bar. I’m pretty sure that for the lowest tier, all you’d have to do is count drinking four glasses of water each day to win a prize, nothing else. I’ve gotten the highest prize each time I’ve done this and I usually don’t have to log any points halfway through the final month because I’ve already won. And this is just with my normal routine! I don’t change any of my habits. It makes me wonder…just what on earth do these other people do and eat that the top tier prize is so easy to win? I know it’s “hard” for other people because otherwise they would have changed it by now. It’s just…baffling.

    Reply
  • jesse.anne.o April 15, 2013, 12:36 pm

    It’s amazing how easy this is to do as the weather’s turned nicer. I feel gross if I don’t walk. This post was a good reminder to add in some extra walking and the comments were a good reminder that I’m grateful to live in a really walkable city (NYC).

    Reply
  • mave April 16, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Great post! thought I would share this talk by Satish Kumar.
    He walked from India to the U.S. 50 years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EQ1HtzXxQU

    Reply
  • Sarah April 17, 2013, 1:46 pm

    so I read this before my lunch break and then walked for 45 minutes out in the beautiful spring weather (75 degrees, sunny and breezy in beautiful Virginia) and then came back inside and brought my miles chart up to date. thanks for the nudge.

    Reply

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