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Words of Wellness-Walking - April 3, 2013

By: Kate Adams

Dietitian at On With Life 

Hoofing it for your health is becoming more and more popular; the CDC reported that more than 145 million Americans include walking as part of their physical activity. Unfortunately, only 48% of Americans report meeting the recommended 2 ½ hours of vigorous physical activity per week. If you are one of those Americans walking is the perfect way to get started, all it takes is a decent pair of tennis shoes. Start somewhere small, 10 minutes or a lap around the block. Slowly work your way up to 30 minutes of brisk walking, that short amount of time can help lower your cholesterol, risk of stroke and some cancers while improving your cognitive function and blood pressure.  Other advantages to walking are its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t take preparation or training, regardless of your age.

Stuck at your desk all day? Take a short break at work and take a few laps around your building or outside. Any small effort can make a big difference. Humans are made to move, not to sit in a desk chair for 6 or 8 hours each day. Skip sending an email to a co-worker and walk straight to the source whenever possible, you’ll get in some extra steps. If you need to, set a reminder on outlook or your phone to get up 30-60 minutes and stretch or take a short walk.