Walking: Tips and Benefits
By Randy Fritz
Is Life Getting You Down? Here is a One Shot Remedy!
- Are you are feeling bad because of a disappointment or a fight?… take a walk
- Are you affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? … take more walks
- Do you need more energy or clarity of mind?… take even more walks
This time-tested remedy is something almost everyone can do with minimal investment. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and you probably have some walking or running shoes already.
A 2006 study found that just one bout of exercise – a brisk 30 minute walk – immediately improved the mood of depressed individuals. Studies have also shown that walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. They live longer and enjoy improved mental health and spiritual benefits.
Are You Walking Enough? Tips on Walking
The 1996 Surgeon Generalís report entitled Physical Activity and Health, recommended ďa minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity on most, if not all, days of the week.Ē In terms of walking that means:
- Walk at least 30 minutes
- Walk often: at least 4 times per week
- Walk faster: 3.5 mph or faster (5.6 kph)
More Tips on Walking:
- Listen to your body. Donít overdo it (heavy breathing or heart rate).
- The best posture is back upright, shoulders relaxed & slightly back, tummy in.
- Keep your eyes ahead of you at least 20 feet.
- Your hands should be loose and swinging. Donít clench.
- At first it is enough just to get moving. Later when you are walking longer you can include stretching and cooling down.
- This is a great time to practice deep breathing.
Why Stop at Just One Walk?
Ninety percent of the people who exercise regularly do so during the morning. If you were to choose one time to be successful at sticking to routine, this would be it. Studies have also shown that only one period of exercise, with the rest of the day spent lying on the coach, is not optimal.
The body was NOT meant to stay still. It relies on movement for optimal circulation. When the body is still, toxins build up in the tissues and cause acidity, contributing to many of the modern illnesses.
Any movement is good, but moving outside is even better. All that natural light, fresh air, and energy makes all the difference.
If a friend comes to visit why just sit around? If you walk together, you will have a much livelier conversation. You can also apply this to small business meetings. Plan ahead and your head will thank you.
I may be crazy (you can comment below) but I go for least 4 walks per day! I donít go 30 minutes each time but it fits in with my schedule to do many short walks. It feels so good to have the body moving and itís great to be outside; even if it is -20 C. Just 10 minutes and my mind and body is refreshed to tackle new problems or assignments.
Walking outside is very different from an exercise class or a gym. Outside there is the sky, the sun, the moon, and sometime even the stars. It puts so much of our lives in a different perspective.
How much do you walk?