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Walking For Life and Good Health

By Barbara J Lyons
There is no doubt in my mind, or in the mind of health professional's world-wide, walking is good for you, good for your muscles, your mind, and your overall sense of well-being. Walk!

I'm going to throw out some facts, I've done my research, you can do the same, and you should. Walking can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and lower your blood pressure. Did you hear that, just walk out the door, enjoy a beautiful morning or afternoon and at the same time reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke? Could it get any easier?

We hear about good and bad cholesterol, and while I'm not going to talk about egg whites vs. yolks, you can reduce high cholesterol by walking. Again, it's no brainer.

Want to lose some weight, obtain a better mental attitude, then get out there and walk. Walk around the block, walk to the park, walk to the store, just walk. When you do you'll be strengthening your bones, helping your coordination, improving your flexibility and increasing your possibility for a long healthy life.

As the days pass we all get older, some reading this may be young, others look toward retirement while still others cruise the country in their RVs. No matter your place or status in life regular walking reduces your mortality rate, and that's not speculation it's scientific fact. A brisk 30 minute walk, once a day can potentially add years to your lifetime. Now I'm not a prophet and I'm certainly no doctor, so anything I say should be checked with your own health care professional. After all, I'm only quoting the Surgeon General, what does he know?

How fast should you walk, or what do I mean by brisk? Hey, we're not running (or walking) a marathon, and there is no gold medal or endorsement deals on the line, we're only talking about your life. Walk fast enough to not overextend yourself and, if walking with a partner or children, you should be able to converse without struggling for breath.

How far should you walk? Listen, I like my car as much as anyone, if I have to get across the city, I'm not for a minute putting on the walking shoes; but a good 10 minute (brisk) walk before I climb in the Ferrari (dream on...), is a habit I'm trying to make part of my daily routine.

Want to lose a few pounds? Walk. We all know it's important to push away from the table before being stuffed to the gills, it's just as important to get the ole metabolism stoked and burn up those pesky calories. Okay, here are a couple of those facts I mentioned.

Walk a mile and burn around 100 calories. That doesn't sound like much, but if you were to walk two miles, three times a week that translates to about 1 pound lost after three weeks. Multiply that by a few months of consistent walking and you'll have a significant weight loss.

Got Kids? Take them along. Walking not only effects the body but the mind also, when you walk, you feel good. And there is no better time to be around your children then when you are feeling good about yourself, life, and your kids. Make it a time of teaching, a time when you and your children grow closer. In this work-a-day world of rushing to appointments, answering emails, returning calls, living life, take a little time to smell the roses and the sweet aroma and essence of life that surrounds us. Walk, hold the hands of our beloved children, and listen to sweet melody of life. I'm going to throw out some facts, I've done my research, you can do the same, and you should. 

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