"I end up walking a lot. It's easier than getting in my car and driving, especially downtown," said the 6-foot-1 Imbergamo, who at 280 pounds says walking is his main form of exercise. "Hopefully walking helps me keep my weight where it is."
Now researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have better news for walkers: Strolling can help obese adults burn more calories per mile than brisk walking and might even lower the risk of arthritis and injuries to the joints than picking up the pace.
Doctoral student Ray Browning and his colleagues studied 20 men and women of normal weight and 20 considered obese as they walked set distances at different speeds. They found the obese people burned more calories walking at a slower pace for a longer time than walking at a faster speed.
It might be just the incentive needed for people turned off by the traditional advice to take at least five brisk walks, 30 minutes at a time, per week.
About 60 million Americans age 20 or older are considered obese, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Their health care costs amount to about $100 billion a year, according to The American Obesity Association.