Walk Your Way To Better Health

Home and HealthyUncategorized

So . . . if exercise is good for you – “Realistically, where should you start? Well, if you are really motivated and have some experience, maybe you would want to check out some of the local gyms. (It’s worth using a trainer for a few sessions to get some guidance) Or perhaps, Body-in-Balance (Linwood) which has some great classes for seniors. Swimming or aquacise classes are great for an overall fun workout that’s easier on your lower extremities. (AtlantiCare Life Center in EHT, O.C. Community Center, Mainland Aquatic Center in Linwood) Or, perhaps another favorite of mine would be great for you . . . walking 

What’s so great about walking? Well, here’s a little of the “exercise physiology” behind walking. Walking requires the use of your arms, legs and torso. Hundreds of calorie-burning muscles are used. And walking can result in increased calorie consumption for up to 12 hours after your last step. The resultant change in your metabolism keeps burning calories and drawing nutrients back into your cells. The  rhythmic contraction and relaxation of walking moves fluid around that otherwise would just sit stagnant. Blood, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid and even the lubricating fluid in your joints (synovial) circulate much more. Constipation often improves. Even your immune functions will improve.

Want to get the best from walking? Include a bit of what is called “interval walking”. You don’t need to sprint but for each walk you take, do six 30-second stretches of “faster” walking. How fast? As fast as you can safely go without hurting yourself.  Start carefully with this and gradually increase your efforts over time. Those 3 minutes of higher intensity (at 5 times per week that’s only 15 minutes) improves your insulin effectiveness (think blood sugar), firms you skin, increases your longer-term energy levels and increases your muscle tone. Wow! All that from just grabbing yourself by the shirt collar and throwing yourself out the front door. Fall is a great time to get a much-needed chance to breath fresh air and get some sunshine. 

So let’s get started!