Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Wild Woman Wednesday
Wild women walk… yes we do, from hither to yon (where the heck are hither and yon anyway?). However, it’s harder to do these days, because inactivity has been engineered into our lives (escalators, remote controls, etc.). In fact, an article in www.medicinenet.com notes that inactivity is the second leading preventable cause of death in the United States, second only to tobacco use. The same article tells us the top reasons for walking are:
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes – walking 150 minutes per week and losing 7% of your body weight (approx. 12015 lbs.) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%!!!
Strengthens a woman’s heart – reduces risk of heart attack by 35% compared to non-walkers.
Good for the brain – women walking the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1-1/2 hrs/wk had better cognitive function/less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minute per week.
Good for your bones
Helps alleviate depression – walk 3o minutes, 3 to 5 times a week for 12 weeks reduces symptoms of depression by 47%!
Reduces risk of breast and colon cancer by 18%
Improves overall fitness and physical function, even when walking in short bouts of three 10-minute walks per day.
In another article from the Mayo Clinic, we also find that walking can help you:
Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
Lower your blood pressure
Manage your weight
Be sure to check out the article to see how to prep to begin a walking program, including stretching, cool down, and measuring the intensity of your workout. For a few dollars invest in a pedometer, and you’ll be amazed at how much you already walk. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, roughly five miles. Most of the wild women I know are doing almost that just in their day-to-day activities, let alone specifically going for a walk.
Now ignoring the bizarre blizzard we’ve had recently in the Northeast, this is the perfect time of year to get out there and walk! I love the feeling I experience when I’m walking in one of my local parks – being in the beauty of nature, feeling the breeze/sun on my face, the smell of the air, and the way my body feels afterwards. I’m calmer, and there’s a great sense of satisfaction knowing I did something good for me. Walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime (approximately one mile going about 125 steps a minute). It’s free, and you can do it anywhere. If you don’t have anywhere local to walk, go to the mall and walk there – but be sure to step away from the stores and your charge card. We’re exercising our physical muscles, not our spending!!!
So get out there somewhere, somehow, and GET WALKING!
Article #1: http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/article.htm
Article #2 : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/walking/HQ01612