Walking can save your life



Since Sulaimon Hashimu walked from Lagos to Abuja, a distance of 700 kilometers, within 18 days in April 2015, there has been considerable interest in long distance walking. Several others are following in Hashimu’s footprint and putting their fitness to test by walking across the country. Many Nigerians continue to be fascinated by this phenomenon, but what many may not know is that they do not have to be Hashimu before they can help save their own life by imbibing the habit of walking.


It is safe to assume that every person above the age of 18 already knows the importance of regular exercise. So, I will not bore us with that detail. But despite the fact that we all talk incessantly about the numerous  benefits of regular  exercise many of us still fail to engage  in it for various reasons that range from  tight schedule to pure laziness.


It is however important to know that neither your tight schedule nor the laziness can save you from various health challenges that can creep in from lack of exercise. The solution to your problem is simple walking. It requires little or no equipment, can be done indoor and outdoor and can be quite fun. Above all, walking is extremely effective at keeping you fit.


Also, it is an exercise couple can do together, which is actually sunnatic. Aisha (RA) was quoted to have said: "I raced with the Prophet (peace and blessings be on him) and beat him in the race. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, 'This cancels that,' referring to the previous occasion." (Reported by Ahmad)


Some benefits of regular walking include:


·        * Walking, being a cardiovascular exercise, helps to strengthen your heart. It lowers your bad cholesterol level (LDL) and help increase the good cholesterol (HDL) level thereby  reducing risk of heart disease

·         *It helps reduce risk of developing diabetes and asthma. According to Hannah Ebelthite, those who walk regularly have around a 20 per cent lower risk of developing cancer of the colon, breast and womb than those are not active.

·         *It keeps weight in check. This is no brainer, by walking you burn those calories you do not need. Walking can of course also help your muscle mass and tones which in turn helps you burn more calories even when you are resting.

·        * It can help your vitamin D levels that is if you walk during the day.

·        * Walking is an effective energizer as it improves blood circulation and increases oxygen supply to cells. This in turn stirs up stiff joints and eases muscle tension so one feel less sluggish

·       *  Walking is good for your mood. It can make you feel happy. It is in fact a confirmed anti-depressants.


As Muslims we have a duty to take care of our body and health. According to an article on onislam.net: There are numerous Traditions in which the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) recommended certain martial arts to maintain the health and prepare the believers for situations of external aggression. Thus, he has said (peace and blessings be upon him):


"Any action without the remembrance of Allah is either a diversion or heedlessness excepting four acts: Walking from target to target], training a horse, playing with one's family, and learning to swim."(Reported by Tabarani)



So, brothers and sisters, let's start walking today. You can start with just 30 minutes and then move up from there. Don’t forget, the faster you do the walking the better for the result. But you can start slow, build a routine and then push yourself. Let’s get to work.