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Your Success - Largo, FL

11 Tips For Healthy Walking and what is does for you body

Walking could possibly save your Life.

Walking is one of the very best, easiest and the least expensive exercise and it will pay you huge dividends.

First let me share this with you.  People who exercise have an all-cause mortality rate that is less than 1/3 than those who do not exercise.

Fast-start Tip Sheet for Healthy Walking

Wear the right kind of shoes. Walking shoes need to be soft.  One kind to look into is ASICS.  Ask your shoe store manager.

1.  Running is not recommended because it tends to cause too many unwanted side effects on your skeletal structure.  Rick Barry (basketball hall-of fame) due to his knees being damaged (he had no cartilage) by playing basketball.  After using this type of shoe he could go from walking just a short time to be as active physically as he wants and can play basketball for hours...

2.  When it is warm out walk either in the early a.m. or late afternoon.  If possible walk in a park or anywhere that you can walk on grass.  Walking on concrete is hard on you and your body.  Walking in the heat of the day is bad.   You do not want to absorb the heat directly from the sun.

Also it has been found that those who walk in the morning or evening 75% stick to it while those who drop out are those who walk at any other time of the day.

3.  Don't start with walking a mile.  If you are new to this start by walking around your house for 10 minutes and add 5 minutes every other day.

By walking slowly and building up your strength you will be rewarding yourself and you will stick to it.  You might not go for 30 minutes at the beginning.  Start gradually and work yourself up to it. 

4.  When walking make sure each time you go a little farther even if it is only 20 feet to begin with. 

5.  Enjoy your walk look around, look up, down and sideways. Personally I do not feel you should listen to a Walk man use this time to really see and feel.  

6.  Breathe... breathe in and breathe out through your diaphragm.

7.  When starting your walk outside, walk with the wind in your face. On your way home have the wind at your back.  This prevents you from getting a chill as you perspire.

8.  Swing your arms back and forth and around. This helps circulate the blood and strengthen the heart. Orchestra leaders seem to still be conducting an orchestra well into their 80's and 90's.

For extra value use a small weight in each hand if you have them, if not a small can of soup will work.  This helps all the muscles in your arms.

9.  Do your walking on an empty stomach never walk after eating.  Digesting your food can be a real problem no matter what type of exercise.  If your stomach has food in it then the body has to use its energy to digest that food and leaves you less energy for walking.  It makes it harder for you to exercise.  And less enjoyable.

10.  Drink plenty of water during, after, and before you walk.  In fact everyone needs to drink half their weight in ounces of water daily.  So, if you weigh 140 pounds you need to drink 70 ounces of water daily.  One bottle of water that you buy is usually 20 ounces.   Carry water with you while you walk.

Your body is about 70% water.  And you lose about 2 to 2 quarts of water a day.  You can lose 4 quarts if you exercise...  Drink water, not soft drinks. 

Start your walk with a glass of water and one after your walk.  Drink more while walking if you feel thirsty.  It is best to err on more water than less.

11.  Why you should stretch during and after your walk. Stretching relieves stiffness, increases the range of motion of your muscles and helps prevent injuries.

Stretching is for AFTER your muscles have warmed up and never go to the point of pain. 

Stretch your hamstrings at the back of your legs by bending over and touching your toes.  Go as far as you can each day until you can reach your toes. 

Stretch your thighs by holding on to something for support with one hand while you pull your opposite foot up behind you toward your lower back and then reverse that. 

Do only one or two of each at first and build to 10.  After you are used to it you can stretch as much as you like.

What walking does for your body:

1.   Strengthens you heart and muscles
2.   Lowers cholesterol
3.   Increases your energy level
4.   Increases your bone mass
5.   Helps you lose weight
6.   Promotes better health
7.   Relieves minor indigestion problems
8.   Promotes a healthy back
9.   Relieves stress
10. Stimulates your growth hormone production
11.  Lowers blood pressure
12.  Reduces risk of colon cancer
13.  Boosts the immune system
14.  Stimulates your lymph system, which is essential in preventing disease

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