If running is not in the cards,why not walk? 

Being a medical student,I realise that I have been exercising very seldomly from day to day .My exercising activities which I routinely do every week become monthly.Yes,I am a woman and I know women usually give thousands of excuse to exclude themselves from any outdoor and physical activities,but,I think,even men feel the same.Their time for exercising or at least side activities has decreased as they start studying medicine.

Oh,I think an exception should be given to sport lovers,gym-goers and body-builders because I know they are contrariwise.Even once a week activity is never enough for you guys despite your busy schedule.You have my respect guys!

Facing the reality,doctors-to-be should lead a healthy life.We are supposed to be the model in practicing a healthy life style by exercising,consuming healthy food and avoid unhealthy diet.But,how so can we do it if we are busy memorising hundreds of bones,diseases,bacteria and drug with their own tongue-twisting names,busy with the never-ending examinations,meetings and programmes.I am not indulging myself and excusing myself,but,most medical student will give this answer if asked why are they not exercising.I am a medical student myself so I do feel them.

So,doctors-to-be,let me share with you an easy way on how to exercise without having to really ‘exercise’.


In Malaysia,the walking habit is still uncommon but if we go across the world in Europe especially,almost everything is done by walking or cycling.This is maybe because petrol is expensive there and vehicles cause air pollution but,actually,people unconsciously are exercising while walking.

But,we are not in Europe now so let us stop talking about Europe and talk about our life here in Egypt.Fortunately here,we Malaysians walk more compared to how we are in Malaysia.It is maybe due to several different reasons.The first reason is because we don’t have a license.Second is because we are afraid to drive even if we have a license.Egypt’s traffic is hectic,chaotic and life-endangering,so don’t blame yourself.Walking is cheaper too right?

So,let us walk !

Walking is easy.Walking is cheap.Walking needs no skill and it needs no vigorous form of movement.You just need a pair of foot which is willing to walk.

It is a fact known to all that walking is also an exercise but how far do you know the benefits of walking?

Walking has a lot of benefits to our health and if they are to be listed here,you are going to vomit from overdosing of facts.So,I will simplify my points which I think you have actually known but seem to ignore.The first one is,walking enhances our respiratory and cardiovascular system.

As said by a physical trainer,Mr Stuart Amory,”What elevates your heart rate and gets your blood pumping is a workout to your heart ”.

Based on a study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,walking decreases the risk of 3 most famous diseases nowadays,which are hypertension,high cholesterol,diabetes,the same as running.Research on 33 060 runners had been made and it was proven that the same energy used for walking and running resulted in the same decrease in risk for these 3 diseases and probably coronary heart disease too.But,guys,noted that it is the same energy used for both,not the time used for both will result in the same effect.A 10 minutes walk can’t give the same result as a 10 minutes run but it is obviously better than a 10 minutes sit in a taxi,going to school.

Mr Paul T Williams, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory also said,”A person would need to walk 4.3 miles at a brisk pace to have the same amount of exercise as running 3 miles. It would take twice as long – around an hour and 15 minutes instead of 38 minutes.”A mile is approximately equal to 1.6 kilometres.

Now,let us shift to another benefit.

Walking increases the lower limb muscles’ endurance and strength.With a pair of stronger,tougher and stiffer leg,you can do more works without fatigue and this is good for us doctors who will be standing for hours or maybe a day in the surgery room.

Being active also has a protective effect on brain function and regular exercise reduces dementia risk by up to 40%.Research has also been made and older people who walk for 6 miles per week could avoid brain shrinkage and preserve their memory as time passes by.So guys,even if you get older later,have a brief romantic walk with your partner everyday because it helps your brain.And,it is a good way to nourish love too.

Walking is good for bones.Any activities that is weight-bearing stimulate and strengthen our bones,increasing their density.So by walking which is also a type of weight-bearing activity,it ensures healthy joints and prevents osteoporosis especially in woman,in their older life.

Besides,walking can  help you to put off some weight.Even with walking to and fro school,you may be able to lose some kilos without having to go to the gym and track for a jog or run.As said by a personal trainer,”A person weighing 60kg burns 75 calories simply by strolling at 2mph for 30 minutes.” “Walking also increases muscle mass and tone and the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism – so the more calories you burn, even at rest”,he added up.

But guys,I am not here to compare running and walking.I am not saying running is useless as we can lose weight by just walking.Don’t get me wrong.Running is always the better choice.

Running requires more work,so logically it gives more effects.Running builds more muscle,burns more calories and sheds more weight.Walking is just another alternative for those who detest running and for those who can’t find time to jog and run. I am writing this to encourage walking rather than you guys not doing any exercise.If running isn’t in your cards,go have a walk instead of indulging yourself with your soft mattress and comfy cushion. Walk to the school,to the groceries and to your friend’s house.If you don’t have any reason to walk and you have no destination to go to,just  have a stroll to enjoy the view of the beautiful world God has created for us.Having no time to jog and run is not an excuse to not exercise at all.It is not an excuse that you have gained weight.And it is not an excuse for any of your heart-related diseases.

Because,you can walk.Walking is an exercise too.

So,walk more and as a doctor-to-be,walk your talk too.

If today you are walking relaxingly to school while gossiping with your friend,tomorrow,have a brisk walk with her.The next day,go for a jog and next week maybe you can run to school.

Okay,at that point,I am exaggerating.

But,just imagine if we really do it,then we will need no Cairo Runner and will be having Abby Runner instead as everyone will be running and jogging to school every morning.What a good way to start our morning and what a healthy day you will be having everyday.






Atikah bt.Musa
Year 3
Medicine School
Ain Shams University

High Committee Member (AJKT)
Vice Chief of Bureau of Sports and Outdoor Activities (BSAL)
PERUBATAN Ain Shams Chapter 2015/2016


This article is the personal opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of PERUBATAN Online.