Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Healing Benefits of Walking be Serenely Unserence

Be Serenely Unserene

Expecting to be unserene some of the time will make it easier for you to handle your unserene moments. And this will increase your moments of serenity. Have a calm and accepting attitude towards being in distressful states. The calmer you are, the lighter your burden.

Love Yehuda

10 Good Reasons to Walk
by Richard Well, M.Ed., CDE & Dr. William C. Shiel, MD, FACP, FACR 

"Walking is man's best medicine." Hippocrates           

There's a wealth of research to prove that walking is very healthy and the results are quite impressive: major reductions in heart disease and diabetes, decreases in high blood pressure, increased bone density, and much more. It is also one of the safest forms of exercise causing less wear and tear on the joints than running.

1. Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that people who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than those who walked less than 40 minutes per week. 

Walking is good for your bones. Research shows that postmenopausal women who walk approximately one mile each day have higher whole-body bone density than those who walk shorter distances. Walking is also effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.

Walking helps alleviate depression and stress. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week reduces symptoms of depression and stress and also lifts our spirit.

Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 50 minutes 3x per week and losing just 7% of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.

Walking strengthens your heart (men). In one study of retired men, the mortality rate among those who walked less than one mile per day nearly doubled those who walked more than two miles per day.

Walking strengthens your heart (women). In the Nurse's Health Study (72,488 female nurses) who walked three hours or more per week reduced their risk of a heart attack or other coronary event by 35% compared with women who did not walk.

Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer. Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women. Many studies have shown that exercise can prevent colon cancer, and even if an individual person develops colon cancer, the benefitss of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.

Walking improves fitness. Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes can significantly increase cardiorespiratory fitness.

Walking in short bouts improves fitness, too! A study of sedentary women showed that short bouts of walking (three 10-minute walks per day) resulted in similar improvements in fitness and were as effective in decreasing body fat as one 30-minute walk per day.

Walking improves physical function. Research shows that walking improves physical function and prevents disability in older persons.

Somewhere along the way, most adults have stopped walking as much as they used to. In fact, the percentage of adults who spent most of their day sitting increased from 36.8% in 2000 to 39.9% (3.1% increase) in 2005! Part of the reason may be due to the hectic, stressful life we lead, without a moment to spare for recreation or formal exercise. The electronic age too has played a part; inactivity has been engineered into our lives, escalators, remote controls,  robotic vacuum cleaners, sidewalks that move, electric toothbrushes, riding lawn mowers, electric garage door openers, and the disappearance of sidewalks and places to walk. 

Research shows that all this automation is bad for our health. In fact, inactivity is the second leading "preventable" cause of death in the United States, second only to tobacco use. Fewer than 50% of American adults do enough exercise to gain any health or fitness benefits from physical activity. 


Tips on Walking

Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD  

Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to stay physically fit. It's also a versatile form of exercise that can be done both outdoors or indoors (many public buildings and malls offer indoor walking routes). Whether you'd like to begin walking for exercise or are already established in the habit, these tips can help you get the most from your workout.

    1. Check with your doctor first, if you have a chronic medical condition or if you have had a recent injury. But don't assume that you aren't able to start a walking program. Walking as an exercise can help control disease progression and also relieve symptoms. Many people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and/or other musculoskeletal problems experience relief from a medically-supervised walking routine.
    1. Invest in good shoes. They are the only equipment you'll need. Shoes should fit when you try them on without pinching or putting pressure in any area which can cause blisters or calluses. When you purchase your shoes, wear the type of socks you'll wear when walking. If you plan to wear thick socks, remember that you'll likely need a larger-sized shoe than you normally wear. Shoes should have good arch support and slightly elevated/padded heel to prevent Achilles tendon.
    1. Choose soft surfaces, rather than hard ones. Soft surfaces are gentler on the muscles, joints, and tendons. A dirt or grass trail is better than a sidewalk. (Unfortunately, most streets are softer than concrete sidewalks, forcing many runners to choose the risks of running on the streets versus the risks of damaging the bones and joints against the concrete).                                                                                                                                                                                            
    2. Always warm up first by walking for five minutes at a slow or normal walking pace before picking up the tempo of your workout.
    5.  To prevent boredom when walking, find a walking buddy, join a walking group, or take a scenic route.

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