Round the World” on Foot Hippocrates [460-370 BC]: Walking is Man's Best Medicine

Authors : Demetrios Chavatzas MD MS Facs

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 11 - November

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As a pensioner vascular surgeon, I tried to adopt an active life style. Physical inactivity causes approximately 17% of premature mortality in the UK1 . I began walking 10.000 metres every day in three sessions for 11 years making a total distance of 40.150 kilometres and covering a distance longer than the circumference of the Earth’s Equator, making our great planet looking small. I burned while walking nearly 160 kilos of fat and more than 2 million kcal. Big things have small beginnings. The beneficial effects of walking are proved to be significant on human systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, gastrointestinal, genital, nervous system), quality of life, life expectancy and cognitive vitality. The last with its perception, memory, judgment and reasoning will help us to further understand, among others, the “medical aspects” of Fyodor Dostoevsky's writings, his acute explorative psychology down to the “basement” of human nature. Free time is freedom. Pensioners in their golden age and after knowing themselves, their potential and weaknesses, they are free to choose, sense and adapt fast enough to any useful availability – as our cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability [Nobel Prize 2019 to Sir Ratcliffe, Kaelin, Semenza]. They are free to follow a walking program, tailored on each individual case, a program “singularis” and not always “universalis”. We are wise to doubt, but the presented world experience along with my own unusual one of 40.150 kilometres of beneficial walking – covering a distance longer than the circumference of the Earth’s Equator and consuming 160 kilos of fat and 2 million kcal – are they sufficient evidence to conclude that the Hippocratic advice, as appeared in the title, remains a timeless, nonpharmacological prescription of well-being and longevity


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