Thursday, January 7, 2010

Food and Health: Starting a Walking Program

Starting a Walking Program


When I was young and a flight stewardess, I had my exercise while working in a jumbo jet 747. Walking from nose to tail and back several times was like walking 2 kilometers per flight.

Now that I am still young, but lesser, I need to walk for real exercise--for health and aesthetic purposes. What I love about it is that my husband is the motivator as he tries to walk regularly in the late afternoons and entices us to join him.

In Philstar.com's Feb. 9, '09 post, the WHO representative Michael Voniatis said that 17 million people worldwide die annually due to cardiovascular disease. He also added that in the Philippines, heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of mortality with 120,000 Filipinos dying each year. 

This is not to make you fear but to realize that we need to take care of our bodies which is the temple of the Holy Spirit so we can fulfill the destiny He assigned to us here on earth. Extension.org said, "Did you know that you can gain up to two hours of life for every hour you spend exercising?" Wow! I didn't know this! 

The Women's Heart Foundation website posted a write-up by Ralph Bencivego about starting a "Walking Program". He said walking is an ideal low-impact aerobic exercise that if done regularly, can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, lower cholesterol, raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It also helps maintain healthy bones and muscles, stabilize blood sugar, improve immunity and relieve some stress in your life, and fights the aging process. It is inexpensive and all it takes is a little motivation and a pair of comfortable shoes. He further said that to maximize the benefits of any aerobic exercise, you must sustain an activity for at least 20 to 60 minutes at each session. If you're out of shape, he recommends you start with a 10-minute workout and gradually add 2 minutes/week until you reach your goal.


Here are some tips  by Extension.org on starting a walking program:
1) Choose a safe place to walk. My husband and I ply the streets near our home in the subdivision where we live.
2) Wear shoes and good socks that cushion your feet and absorb shock.
3) Wear clothes that keep you dry and comfortable. Synthetic fabrics absorb sweat and remove it from your skin.
4) Wear a baseball cap or visor to shield from the sun or a knit cap to keep warm in cold weather. That's why my husband and I walk in the late afternoons.

5) Do light stretching exercises before and after you walk. Do not bounce while you stretch.
6) Your walk should have a beginning (slowly for 5 min.), a middle (increase your speed for the next 5 min.), and an end or cool down (slowly for 5 min.).
7) Try to walk at least 3 times a week. Each day, increase your walk time to 2-3 minutes. 
8) To avoid stiff or sore muscles, start gradually. Over several weeks, begin walking faster, going further and walking for longer periods of time.
9) The more you walk, the better you will feel. The more you walk, the more calories you burn.


Hey, if it rains, walk inside your house, that's what I do. I walk around our bed in our room back and forth. Just a word of encouragement: it doesn't matter how big you still are; what matters is that you are exercising and that's good for your health.

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