Somehow, exchanging drunk anecdotes proves to be devastatingly fun. Not only do we find solidarity in shared misery (oh yes, those hangovers), we relish outdoing our friends. The crazier, the more ridiculous the “oh-I-was-so-drunk” feat is, the better.
Let’s see, among my friends, one fell flat on her face running down Market Street in San Francisco, and another mistook a police car for a taxi. But nothing nowadays beats the late-1800s, where competitive walking was the craze. In fact, competitors walked — buzzed on Champagne
Back in the 1879s and 1880s, competitive walking was the craze. A typical competition looked something like this: A six-day walkathon complete with brass bands, celebrities and vendors selling roasted chestnuts. Competitors would walk 100 miles a day (originally posted on Stress-free NYC).
Can you imagine the excitement of watching people walk?
Okay, maybe not. But while some of us find the title, “Champion Pedestrian of the World,” ridiculous, we have to acknowledge these walkers were some tough cookies. Those who competed in these walking matches walked about 21 hours a day. NPR reported that In Matthew Algeo’s new book, Pedestrianism, Algeo notes that trainers would advise their pedestrians to drink a lot of champagne during the race since champagne was considered a stimulant.
Albeit competitive walking is no longer a spectacle, walking 15 minutes a day will help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood sugar levels as well as lower the risk of obesity and (type 2) diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that 1 in 10 U.S. adults has diabetes, 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese and 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity. For adults ages 20 and older, a BMI above 25 is considered overweight, 30+ obesity and 40+ extreme obesity. Looking at the graphics below, you will see that 10 years ago, Americans weighed significantly less. In the span of 6 years, 13 states, including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, have became extremely obese.
Taken into the account that USA tops the list, with a whopping 34% obesity rate, of the 10 fattest countries in the world , maybe it’s time for Americans to reconsider walking.