Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Go Take a Walk

Post 5K walk - they are smiling!

Have you noticed the explosion of articles on walking? I don’t think that is a magazine these days that isn’t talking about what a great exercise it is for your health.

What is the best part about walking as an exercise? It is great for everyone. Even if you have been sitting on the couch for the last 20 years, you can start slowly and build your endurance. Short bursts of waking during the day seem to have a cumulative effect. You can go for an hour or you can walk around for 10 minutes every hour for 6 hours and it can have the same affect. 

Walking is practically free also. I say practically because I would urge you to buy a good pair of shoes that fit well and are comfortable to wear while you are walking.  Going to a store that sells running shoes and has knowledgeable salespeople will really help you get the right fit. Other than that, you can wear whatever you would like and just walk out the door. 

Fit Bit band

There are, of course, things you can spend money on to enhance your walking. Fit Bit is a product that seems to have become very popular. (Fit Bit on-line store) I have several friends who wear a fit bit band and monitor their steps each day. There is also a community (or competitive) element as you can have “friends” on the fit bit site and you can motivate each other with the number of steps per day. 

I like to use the site Map My Walk to see how far I have walked. I really wanted to check this when I was getting ready for 5K walks. I wanted to make sure I could walk the 5K so I would track my progress. It was easy and fun.  Silent Sam uses Map MyRun to track his running progress. He uses the app on his phone to keep track while he is running.  I also noticed on line that you can see the paths that others like to walk in your area. It might bring an area to mind that you had not thought about. 

I like to walk without holding anything. I have an iPod that has a case that clips on my shirt and I will pin my keys in either the waist band of my pants or in the pocket. The one thing I often wished that I had carried with me was a camera. Sometimes you see wonderful things on your walks and it would be nice to catch a picture. For example, there was a fox that lived down by the lake in my town. I would see him sometimes on my morning walks. It would have been fun to take a picture of him. 

A serious walker

In the current issue of Weight Watchers magazine, they talk about how “moderate aerobic activity or exertion that raises your heart rate but allows you to carry on a conversation won’t hurt your joints. And it will help you maintain weight loss without increasing the risk for Osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a new study of 1,522 adults ages 45 and older published in Arthritis care and research.  (page 48, May/June issue) So there is another reason to go out for a walk. 

Now that the weather is finally beginning to get better, it is time to join the legions and hit the sidewalks.  Maybe the local school track is just the place for you or you might prefer to walk around the block. Whatever path you choose (and you might want to vary it from time to time), I hope you enjoy it. 

Thanks for reading!

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