Research: Walking may be a key for long term weight stability.

Research wordResearch word

More walking may assist with achieving long term weight loss and maintenance.

Walking for health

This week marks the third anniversary of the start of this blog so I am going to write about what got it started and that is walking. It is hard to believe I have been on this quest for 3 years. I found a piece of research that is very fitting to mark this day so here we go:

If you are like most Americans, your yearly resolution to be healthier or lose weight has long gone the way of the dodo. You have moved on to the next challenge or you have said you will do it next year. Eating and exercising is not easy and our busy lifestyles are constantly acting against our want or need to make a change. Inducing a change that is maintainable

Could walking be the answer? I have written on the health benefits of walking and it is the main reason I started this website. I write about walking and the research that backs up using it as a means to trip the weight and fat from your waist. It makes sense because walking reduces insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. It would make sense that if you continue to walk, the activity should help you maintain long term weight loss. That being said, there is limited research to back suggesting walking will help maintain fat loss.

The good news is that there is more research from 2019 that points to the benefits of walking to induce a healthy change​[1]​. This new research looked at the effect of pre–post differences in walking duration, health, and weight on retirees’ long-term quality of life. It used data from a 2018 randomized mail survey of 483 suburban New Jersey retirees.

The analysis of the data obtained showed that changes in walking duration during the first 2 years of retirement are directly associated with health change and health change has an effect on long-term quality of life. Also, weight variation of 10 pounds or more has a direct effect on both health change and long-term quality of life. In particular, people whose average walking duration increased, both health improved and weight remained stable.

The bottom line: Walking improved weight stability of maintenance after we retire. It also improves quality fo life. There is reason to believe this effect is limited to just retirees, so I recommend adding it to your exercise program and daily routine. The results are limited in quality by being based on a questionnaire. I would like to see a randomized controlled trial to investigate.

Reference:

  1. [1]
    D. Deka, “The Effect of Pre–Post Differences in Walking, Health, and Weight on Retirees’ Long-Term Quality of Life,” Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, pp. 1–11, 2019, doi: 10.1123/japa.2019-0208. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/japa.2019-0208
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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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