In today’s world, most of us tend to sit in front of our computers for long hours, whether we are at work or at home. We have become so accustomed to the comfort and convenience offered by modern technology that we often overlook simple yet effective ways to take care of our health. It is time we remind ourselves of the wisdom imparted by Hippocrates: “Walking is man’s best medicine,” as stated by Dr. Dariusz Nasiek.
– Why is walking so important?
– Before cars, computers and television were invented, our main means of transportation were our legs. Walking was a natural activity, part of our daily routine. For most of human history, we were gatherers and hunters, traveling long distances in search of food. Walking was key to our survival. Over the centuries, even as we settled down and began farming, daily chores required us to do quite a bit of physical activity. You could say that evolution has adapted our bodies to move regularly, and the need for movement is encoded in our genes. The benefits to the body from movement are:
This makes walking a great way to train coordination and balance, which is especially important as we age. Walking is a versatile and simplest form of exercise. Unlike many other forms of exercise, it does not require specialized equipment or special skills. It can be done almost anywhere and at any time of the year. This makes it accessible to everyone, regardless of age, gender or physical condition.
– Does walking affect our mental health?
– It is a natural antidepressant! When we walk, our body produces more endorphins, often happy hormones. These biochemicals act as natural painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs, bringing feelings of euphoria and calm.
– Did Hippocrates have in mind only walking or other forms of exercise?
– Although the father of medicine Hippocrates focused on walking in his famous saying, he certainly had deeper insights into physical activity as a whole. Hippocrates is considered one of the pioneers of the holistic approach to health. His philosophy was based on the harmony of body and mind and the balance between different aspects of health. The importance of variety in training, although training techniques were less advanced in Hippocrates’ time than they are today, instinctively people knew that variety of movement was crucial to overall health and well-being. Doing a variety of exercises, such as running, swimming and weight training, were known and appreciated.
– Nowadays, we can access various physical activities – from yoga to dancing to extreme sports. They have their unique benefits and are worth appreciating. However, whether Hippocrates had only walking or other forms of exercise in mind, the key is to exercise regularly and keep your body and mind in balance.
Interview by: Elżbieta Popławska – Editor of Nowy Dziennik
The article was previously published in Nowy Dziennik