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Experiment No. 2: Extreme Walking

To prove the power of pedestrianism, Macfadden once sponsored a Physical Culture employee to walk from Chicago to Pittsburgh consuming nothing but water. (The guy originally planned to make it all the way to New York City but gave up when he lost the fat cushioning his foot bones.) My somewhat less ambitious plan was to walk briskly for two hours a day, about eight miles in all, for 30 consecutive days, eating as I always did—heartily.

The great advantage of walking over other forms of exercise, Macfadden preached, is that you can walk hard seven days a week without injury. It is virtually impossible to walk farther than your body can handle. It uses different muscles than running; any soreness I felt was in my butt rather than my thighs and disappeared once I started moving. Halfway through the month, my posture improved. I felt more aware of where I was in relation to other objects. If I timed my walks to counteract my lunchtime hunger pangs as Macfadden recommended, the cravings disappeared in about 20 minutes. After 30 days my pants were definitely baggier, and I’d lost 4.8 pounds.

Next: Experiment No. 3: The Raw Truth

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