Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Walk it off, baby!

I was watching tv yesterday with Marc while we were working out and we saw 2 "miracle diet" type ads.  I commented to Marc that I wondered why they were showing these ads now.  Then I realized that we are almost into May, so people are thinking about summer and shorts and bathing suits, so - like the first of the year - people are going to want to get that weight off and making promises to do so.  

I talk so much about running and other exercising that I do, that sometimes I think that people must think that I started this journey and on day 1 I ran 4 miles and did some P90X.  Far from it!!  Remember I've talked about where I started?  Slowly!  By doing some mild stuff on the Wii and..... WALKING!!  

I know that some of you are new at this and/or exercising is really difficult.  So let me encourage you to do what almost everyone can do - get outside and start walking!!  The benefits of walking are enormous, and I think some people tend to downplay that because it is low intensity, low impact.

But let's talk about what research shows:
  • Walking 40 minutes per day is shown to take off 14 pounds in a year, even when someone makes no other lifestyle changes!  So if you can lose 14 pounds just with walking, imagine if you are also making other positive changes, like eating better!
  • Research shows that overweight patients who walked 30 minutes per day were more likely to ward off Type II diabetes - even if they didn't lose weight - over those that did not walk.
  • Walking 1.5 miles per day cuts your risk of stroke and heart attack in half.  That's right - you are 50% less likely to have a stroke or heart attack just by walking regularly!!
  • Walking 30 minutes per day has been shown to be as effective - if not more effective - in reducing depression over medication.
  • Walking 45 minutes per day has been shown to increase cognitive functioning and lowers your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's.
  • Women diagnosed with breast cancer who walked regularly after their diagnosis had a 45% greater survivial rate then women that didn't walk.
  • Walking is a great way to reduce stress.  In that time you can process the days events, make plans, or to just enjoy everything that nature has to offer.
Are you convinced yet??  Another great thing about walking?  You can take your kids, your dog, your neighbor!  You don't need a "guest pass" for the gym and you don't need to hire a baby sitter!  Short on time?  Go for a short stroll around the block.  Got time to kill?  Find a trail and do a longer walk!   Even though I am a runner, I also walk a lot - it's great cross-training.  So even if you do other exercising, don't forget about walking.

Now get off the computer, get off your ass and GO FOR A WALK!!

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