Thursday, July 07, 2005


Well, looks like some smart folks out at CU-Boulder have found that walking slower increases calorie consumption and therefore leads to greater weight loss. Check out the details in the press release.

Ray Browning, a doctoral student in CU-Boulder's integrative physiology department and lead author on the new study, said the results show that people who walk a mile at a leisurely pace burn more calories than if they walk a mile at their normal pace. In addition, those who walk at 2 miles per hour rather than 3 miles per hour reduce the loads on their knee joints by up to 25 percent.

The study also found that obese people tend to burn less calories than thinner people with the same amount of excess weight artificially attached to them. The hypothesis is that obese people compensate for moving with extra weight by walking differently, thereby "saving calories".

Because obese people generally have heavier legs, wider stances and swing their legs in a wider arc, the researchers expected the cost of walking for obese people to be significantly higher.
My personal favorite quote from the article was the following:

"As people become gradually obese, they also seem to become particularly graceful," said Kram. "There appears to be some sort of a physiological drive for them to minimize the amount of energy they expend."
While scientifically this is interesting, it is outwardly amusing. Are these people really trying to tell me that the more weight I gain the more graceful I will be? It brings to mind images of a hippo in a ballerina's tutu.

All kidding aside, the results of the studies were enlightening, and I applaud anyone who undertakes a regular exercise program no matter what their current physical state. Since so many people (young and old, heavy and slender) tend to find issues such an excercising and diet challenging the info is worth looking at.

Now I think I'll go out for a walk ... a slow walk at that!


Post a Comment

<< Home