Sunday, May 9, 2010

Go Green and Use Your Legs!

The benefits of walking for your health and well being.

For many people the most walking that they get in a day is getting to and from their cars. If you look at our pre-historic ancestors it is plain to see that our bodies were built to walk. Everywhere that ancient man went they walked. They walked on hunts or while gathering their food. They walked to get their water. They walked to explore new lands. Walking was the major mode of transportation.

In today’s busy world one of our major problems is that we as a society aren’t moving enough throughout our day. When we are faced with the option of walking or driving, the majority of us take the car. The car gets us to farther distances quicker so why not take the car? But by walking less we miss out on the many health benefits it provides our bodies. Walking is a low impact, safe and simple way of adhering to your body’s most innate needs.

The benefits of walking are numerous and can greatly improve your overall well-being.

Walking can help:

· With weight management

· Control your blood pressure

· Decrease risks of heart disease

· Reduce levels of bad cholesterol

· Improve your mood/state of mind

· Improve muscle strength and joint health

Frequent walking, along with a balanced diet, can help you gain control of your weight. Walking can help overweight people shed the excess and return to a trim figure. If weight loss is an issue for you, it may help to know that the calories burned by walking are considerable, especially if you walk briskly. On average we burn around 100 Kilocalories for every mile we walk. The key factor is the intensity of the walk. If you're breathing too lightly, increase your pace. If you can't catch your breath, slow it down. It is recommended to spend at least 30 minutes a day doing intentional exercise like brisk walking. However, even 10 minutes a day provides you with some benefits.

At first it might not be easy to find the time during the day to walk with our busy lives and work schedules. But by scheduling a slot for your walks during the day you will be more committed to keeping that appointment with yourself.

There are a few things that you can start implementing into your day to get you moving even more. If you take the bus to work get off a few stops earlier than you normally do. Or if you take the car, park a little farther away from your final destination. Our canine companions are also a great excuse to get out and walk no matter the weather. You could also start a lunch time walking group at your work, which could build some camaraderie as well as help to de-stress from the rigors of the work day. One way to increase the intensity of your walks, thus increasing your fitness, is to add in some hills or stairs in your route.

So what are you waiting for? Do your body a favor and get those shoes on, grab some comfortable clothes and get those legs moving today!

Yours in Health,


P.S. "I have two doctors, my left leg and my right."

- George Trevelyan, 1913

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