Why aren’t more men walking?

Even a boxing champ had trouble selling walking to guys

Now that I have a Fitbit, I’ve been going for frequent evening walks.  Something occurred to me a few days ago:  I hardly ever see men, alone, going for walks.

In my suburban neighborhood, I often see women walking, just like me, briskly swinging their arms, wires dangling from their ears.  I also see couples (usually elderly) walking; men walking their dogs; and sometimes pushing a stroller or carefully following a youngster on skates or a scooter.

But whenever I see men out on the streets unaccompanied by a woman, kids or dog, they are almost always jogging, running or cycling, and they look as if they’ve been jogging/running/cycling for ages, or training for some event.  Walkers, meanwhile, come in all shapes and ages, from teenage girls in high-school athletic uniforms to older ladies in sweats.

A Google image search for fitness walkers seems to (unscientifically) confirm the gender imbalance in walking.  Take this photo, from the website of Leslie Sansone, queen of “at-home walking” exercise DVDs.  Where’s Waldo?  I’ve seen better male-female ratios at PTA meetings.

Even boxing legend George Foreman tried marketing a set of walking DVDs, which stayed in print for less time than it takes to Foreman-grill a steak.  Apparently the masses of guys who bought George’s grills preferred to crash in front of the TV apres-bacon cheeseburger rather than “Walk It Off With George“.

Do men really view walking as “women’s exercise”?  Something they’ll only do on a treadmill in the gym, or if their wives lock the door and drag them down the street?  Doctors really need to take this into consideration before telling their out-of-shape male patients to “just go for a walk”.  They may have better luck telling them to go Zumba.


Posted on June 2, 2012, in Just sayin', Weight loss and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I attribute a huge proportion of my weight loss to just walking (I am never going to be a jogger!) . I’ve never really thought about it before but the people I know who walk regularly women…mmm…thanks, I have an idea for another blog post. 🙂

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