In our modern life, have modern men and women lost touch with—or just forgotten—what our long-dead bipedaling ancestors inherently knew about the benefits of walking? When was the last time we were inspired to read books and essays with titles such as Reveries of the Solitary Walker, In Praise of Walking, or Foot Notes; or, Walking as a Fine Art?
“Walking is so simple,” you say. “It is so simple and uneventful.” Why, walking can become a fine “art of health.” Or as the Latin phrase solvitur ambulando literally means, “It is solved by walking.”
Can we prevent sickness and disease by walking? Can our bipedaling soles and muscular legs regenerate our hearts and minds? Can walking prevent or delay the arrival of the Grim Reaper? Can our sickness issues be solved by walking?
Alfred Barron, in Foot Notes; or, Walking as a Fine Art in 1875 stated, “Your true kingdom is just around you, and your leg is your scepter. A muscular, manly leg, one untarnished by sloth or sensuality, is a wonderful thing.”
Walking, shall we say, transcends all of humanity. It connects each of us to our primordial beginnings from the dirt of Mother Earth, from soul to sole. Walking is open to most of humanity. Young or old, rich or poor. You can do it anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is rise up from your calloused gluteus and put one foot in front of the other, and get back to your soles.
So let’s look at the benefits of solvitur ambulando.
Alfred Barron also stated in Foot Notes: “It is good for a man to keep himself in such a condition that he can do ten miles on short notice. The deficiency in this respect, to which most people confess, is not a pleasant thing to contemplate.”
Dr. James Brown, a professor at the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, England, presented his research findings on the benefits of a daily 30 minute walk at the British Science Festival in 2014:
29 Benefits to the Human Body by a Daily 30 Minute Walk
- Increase circulation of growth and healing hormones.
- Normalize blood pressure and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Restore and maintain heart and blood vessel health.
- Restore and maintain normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Prevent up to 50 percent of all cases of heart disease.
- Reduce the risk of congestive heart disease deaths by 63 percent.
- Reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 60 percent.
- Reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer in overweight people by up to 50 percent.
- Prevent up to 91 percent of cases of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Reduce lung cancer in smokers by up to 72 percent.
- Reduce melanoma cases by 72 percent.
- Reduce the risk of and improve rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
- Decrease gallbladder removal by 20 percent.
- Decrease gallstone formation.
- Improve digestion, bowel function, and elimination.
- Prevent up to 50 percent of colon cancer.
- Increase macrophage (anti-tumor) activity.
- Increase immune system function.
- Decrease all causes of mortality by 50 percent in 61–81 year olds.
- Decrease all causes of mortality by 67 percent in general population.
- Prevent up to 47 percent of cognitive impairment.
- Prevent up to 62 percent of Alzheimer’s and 52 percent of dementias.
- Prevent osteoporosis.
- Decrease chance of ever being in a nursing home/decrease rate of aging, weight gain, and obesity.
- Increase serotonin levels (the “feel good” hormone).
- Decrease depression and relapses by 29 percent.
- Decrease stress and body breakdown hormones.
- Increase flexibility, strength, and balance.
- Enhance learning capacity up to 12 times.
Holy smokes! Can you believe it’s that simple? We’re made to move. We move on and with a solid boney skeleton that’s articulated with joints between the bones. The movable spinal column transmits through its confines the life-giving nerve flow that sparks tissue and organ cells into being so they can—so you can—be vital and vigorous in all you will be and do.
Movement is the elixir of life—so we find the great benefits of movement. Walking so invigorates the body, mind, and soul, the “triad” of our well-being.
“I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.”
— Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Confessions, 1782
Movement = Life
Absence of Movement = Death
The mind and body cannot be separated; movement of the physical imparts well-being into the mental. Mental controls the physical. Movement and exercise improve neurogenesis, meaning neurons are dividing and propagating new connections. Exercise spawns neurons, and the movement stimulation enrichment helps neurons to survive and live a longer, healthier life. Movement keeps body and mind from prematurely aging. Joints must articulate and move. Muscles must move bones on joints. Life impulses must flow from the brain down the spinal cord to all cells to be sparked in movement. Our body-mind connection needs life-carrying blood to move and flow. This starts when our blood gets to moving and when our heart gets to pumping. “Solved by walking,” solvitur ambulando.
The body-mind union ramps up with movement. Movement gets the heart to pumping, and BDNF gets to flowing. What is BDNF? Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor—a protein produced inside nerve cells when they’re active (exercise makes nerve cells active; brain cells talk to tissue cells via spinal cord). BDNF serves as a fertilizer to brain cells for growth and the spurring of growth of new neurons. It collects at the synapses of the neurons where neurons spark with life. Ramped up also with exercise is IGF-1 (Insulin like Growth Factor); VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor); and FGF-2 (Fibroblastic Growth Factor). These components move through the blood-brain barrier during exercise. Once inside the brain, these factors work with the BDNF to rev up our brains’ molecular foundations and machinery to crank up learning and retention. (Remember Dr. Mike Evans’s “23 and ½ Hours.”) Also during exercise, BDNF helps the brain increase the uptake of IGF-1,which activates the neurons to produce the serotonin and glutamate signaling neurotransmitters. (See Dr. James Brown’s walking benefits #21, 22, 25, 26, and 27.)
So along with movement like walking, can spinal flexibility—increased by spinal chiropractic adjustments that stimulate the afferent and efferent proprioceptive nerves arising in the posterior spinal articulations—spur development of new nerve cells?
Yes, walking and exercise (movement) spurs development of new nerve cells and prepares and encourages new cells to bind to each other. Thus there is more information logging, which optimizes our mind-set to improve. This is the “Attention, Alertness, and Motivation” for learning, or the “Learning Triad.”
Can you imagine if the benefits of walking were available as a prescription drug from Big Pharma? It might be a bit costly, “butt” to keep us on our calloused gluteus maximus, that’s ok. “Butt” it might be the next best thing for the mortician, that is! Yes, now a new form of fitness, “Drug Induced Sittercise.”
The New York Times reports in “Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for Justification” that hepatitis C drugs cost $1,000 a pill, and cancer drugs exceed $100,000 to $150,000 a year, at most extending lifespan by only a couple months.
Walking seems a lot more reasonable and comes with a whole lot more positive side-benefits. Lets take a “walk” on the healthy side of the path of health. Solvitur ambulando with our companions, chiropractic adjustments and Standard Process whole food concentrates.
The dominant primordial principles of health are bred anciently strong in our human psyche and physiology. They are fierce at maintaining strength, balance, and consistency in our human form as we travel the trails of life. Growing, adapting, and creating an outward dominant presence of life seen, yet also secret and unseen in the hidden recesses of our human form. From brain cell to tissue cell, through trail and trace of nerves, bones, and blood, communicating in a blink of an eye. The life force, a secret unseen to our humanity, yet seen in the movement of the human form. It is present only in the living, fading in the sick and dying, absent in the dead.
From “Chronic Spinal Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Medication, Acupuncture, Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation,” Spine, July 15, 2003, 28(14):1490–1502:
Results: Highest Proportion of Early Asymptomatic Status
- Chiropractic = 27.3 percent
- Acupuncture = 9.4 percent
- Drugs/medical care = 5 percent
Adverse Reactions Due to Treatment
- Chiropractic = 0 percent
- Acupuncture = 0 percent
- Drug/medical care = 6.1 percent
Overall Improvement in General Health Status
- Chiropractic = 47 percent
- Acupuncture = 15 percent
- Drug/medical care = 18 percent
Newborn cells in our body are electrified by the uninhibited life-force communicating freely from our brain. Stirring to life the instincts of health; igniting energy, potent and strong; restoring vitality, the principle doctrine of life. A moving, healthy spine, balanced and free, improves our overall health and well-being.
There is no spring, rebound, or recovery of our vital health without essential nutrients to feed our cells. The origins of our humanity, formed from the dirt of the Earth, must live or die by the dirt, and thus be returned to the dirt prematurely if starved of vital nutrients. With starvation of vital food elements, there is dead tiredness of cells and tissues from which recovery is short. Cellular fatigue is propagated by months and years of nutritional deprivation and disgrace. Accompanied by the damming and blocking of the nerve life-force within the spine, we stumble and fall. Our own heart, like the heart of starving sled dogs straining at the load through trace and trail, snow and ice, falter and fail, dying, lying dead. Our hearts, like theirs, pumping and straining for that last measure of strength before death, crying out through bitten and bloody tongues, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t go on!”
Arise! You can, you can. I will, I will. We will go on! Valentis cordis: “a healthy heart.”
Roots of plants are ugly, twisted, and gnarled. They are hard and fibrous in comparison to the beautiful greenery and fragrance above the ground. The beauty and greenery is only present by way of the root. We see the plant, yet hidden to us is the work of the ugly root, drawing from the soil our primordial needs of nourishment by the plant rising up to the sun. Would it not be foolish to think the plant could survive without the dirt? Neither can man or woman survive without the dirt. But we cannot eat dirt. It is the ugly root that works tirelessly to transform the soil to our soul. We see our human form radiating the beauty of life, taken from the food we have eaten and enjoyed. Inside us, the cells, tissues, and organs, like the roots of the plant, have transformed us into healthy and vital humans.
Dr. Royal Lee founded Standard Process to provide whole food nutrition grown from dirt that contains the vital nutrients to repair and rebuild our body, which was originally formed from the Earth.
The sled dog of our body, pulling the load through our trails of life, is our heart. We all wish and want a valentis cordis, or healthy heart. Forever faithful, pulling and bearing the load, straining at the traces, pleading and plodding, always devoted to his master and whip. Always keeping his master above ground and on the trail, by the devoted love of survival for man and woman, our primordial hearts cry out for nourishment.
Cardio Plus feeds the heart. It provides nourishing qualities to the neuromuscular components of the heart cell, sparking renewed life and vitality. Start with 6/day for 12 weeks.
Cataplex B (6/day) is the call to action, the crack and snap of the whip that sparks the heart cells into action. Breaking free, the frozen runners of the nerve impulses glide and flow effortlessly along the trails of heart nerves to heart cells.
Drenamin (6/day): Last of all power—power to pull the load springs deep from the roots of Adrenia. Don’t let the natural yearnings and stirrings of vitality slip further from your heart. The adrenal glands provide the power to break through and carry on, to bear the load, the power to pull. Nourish your adrenal glands with Drenamin.
The heart longs to live, to be powerful, to pull the load. Now we know we can maintain and restore our heart and health. This knowledge brings strength and confidence. It brings spring to our step and renewal to our life. We reconnect to the very roots of our beginnings. Our hearts and souls are lifted by being on our soles, nourished and energized by the dirt on which we tread upon. And, finally, we can—we can do and move and achieve.
There it is. I have spent too much time on my calloused gluteus maximus with this, so I am now going to go out onto a trail for some valentis cordis ambulando and leave you with more wisdom from Alfred Barron:
“These members (legs) when in motion, are so stimulating to thought and mind, they almost deserve to be called the reflective organs. As in the night an iron-shod horse stumbling along a stony road kicks out sparks, so let a man take to his legs and soon his brain will begin to grow luminous and sparkle.”
—Alfred Barron, Foot Notes; or, Walking as a Fine Art, 1875
One thought on “Solved by Walking: Simple Steps to Health”
Maria Atwood asked me to send you this reply:
Hello Dr. Dority:
I just felt it necessary to thank you profoundly for the excellent, inspiring and well grounded recommendations on the simple act of walking! – I’ve read it twice and it will be a keeper and this link at SRP will be passed on to all my clients now and in the future. It truly says it all!. I too advocate walking slowly and normally and also write about this very effective way to increase our health in my blogs. I also prefer your style of walking that is without the blaring music that sometimes accompanies the newer forms of exercising. What you’ve done in this blog is to put the essence/spirit, and power of what this simple natural act is capable of doing. If I lived in Nebraska, be assured that I too would be on the waiting list.We are fortunate to have you :>)
Maria Atwood, CNHP