By Andrea Stein
Our health is something we take for granted till we lose it, even for a short period of time. A healthy eating program along with regular exercise it essential to maintain good overall health. Walking is a great way to begin to get back into an exercise routine. I just started back walking to improve my overall health and stamina and to lose some extra pounds. I have been doing the "Couch to 5K" App (C25K) on my phone by Zen Labs, which supports Breast Cancer Awareness. The goal of the App is to have you ready for a 5K in just 8 weeks. Its fun, easy to follow, just three days a week and keeps track of your progress. Practically anyone can do it but, check with your Doctor before starting any new exercise routine! Whatever the exercise you decide to do, walking is a great way to start.
Lisa Sykes, Universal Companies Sustainability Specialist gives us some good reasons to get started:
• Is one of the body’s most natural forms of exercise.
• Doesn’t require practice.
• Yields the same benefits as high-intensity, high-impact
exercise (like running) but doesn’t create as much stress
on knee joint.
• Can also be done almost anywhere (tracks, treadmills,
malls, hiking trails, neighborhood) without involving
much equipment (just a good pair of shoes with a well cushioned
heel, good arch support, adequate toe room,
and flexible slip-resistant soles).
Benefits of walking:
• Reduces stress.
• Helps improve posture.
• Lowers blood pressure.
• Strengthens bones.
• Improves mood and self-esteem through the release of endorphins.
• Is successful for long-term weight control.
• Decreases “bad cholesterol” and increases “good cholesterol.”
• Develops muscle tone and strength.
• Raises metabolism.
• Depletes fat stores
• Reduces risk of Type II diabetes.
• Helps prevent physical disability in older people
• Stimulates intellectual creativity and problem solving.
• Relieves backaches and stiffness.
• Promotes good, restful sleep.
• Helps control addictions to nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs
Safety Precautions for Walkers
Stretch after a short warm-up and after walking to prevent injuries and increase flexibility .Start off slow and gradually increase your speed and distance.
If you are walking in the heat, take a water bottle along to prevent dehydration.
Wear brightly colored clothes so drivers can see you. Walk in a safe, well-lit environment. If you walk outside, note that evenings and mornings are best for avoiding extreme heat and humidity. If possible, use sidewalks; if not, walk in the opposite direction of traffic and as close to the curb as possible. Vary your routes to prevent boredom, and if you are walking alone, be sure to tell someone which route you’re taking.
Types of Walking
There are basically three types of walking: strolling, brisk, and race. Good posture is required for each, so be sure to look straight ahead with your chin up and move your arms in a natural rhythm, either swinging at your sides or bent
at a 90 degree angle
Strolling: A rate of about 2-3 mph with arms swinging loosely at sides.
Brisk: A rate of about 4 mph with active arm motion
Race: A rate of 5 mph with quick steps, arms at a 90-degree angle, and hip rotation (forward to backward motion) for speed.
So what are you waiting for! Grab a friend (the buddy system is grat because sometimes we need someone to make us accountable but, it also makes it alot more fun!) and some water and just get going! Remember its all about our health!
Indulge...In Your Health!
Andrea Stein has been in the Beauty, Health and Wellness industry for over 38 years. She is the owner of Andrea's Skin Care & Body Therapy, a practicing Certified Aesthetician and Massage Therapist. Her goal is to provide memorable spa experiences that are relaxing and rejuvenating while achieving results that you will both see and feel.