Walking On Sunshine



Happy November! It's amazing that we are this far along in the year. I hope you're looking forward to holidays and moving through this fall season.


And speaking of moving, as you know I often spout off about sitting being the new smoking and telling people not to sit so much. Instead of saying "No" to something, let's say "Yes" to ... walking!

One of the best things you can do for your overall wellbeing and self-care is to keep moving. Even if you're moving slowly, it's not a problem, stay in motion. It's the stopping that will get you.

You probably already know most of this, but here's a reminder of the benefits of being upright and active:

  • Your cardiovascular (heart and blood flow) system and your lung function will improve.

  • Your risk of heart disease and stroke goes down.

  • You'll more easily manage hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol.

  • You'll have less joint and muscle pain and stiffness.

  • If you have diabetes, especially adult onset Type 2, you'll have greater control.

  • Your body fat will decrease.

  • Your bones and muscles will get stronger which means an upgrade in balance.

  • You'll simply feel healthier, both mentally and physically. Walking can be a real mood-lifter and help you sleep well.

How many times have you seen an older person gingerly walking or shuffling down the street or across a room? On some level they're afraid they'll fall and they probably feel unstable. There are plenty of exercises to target specific areas of the body, but walking covers nearly all of them. The muscles in your feet, ankles, calves, the quadriceps (front of thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), and glutes (your butt) all get a workout. At the same time, the upper body is called upon to stabilize the pelvis so your core is engaged. This includes the hip flexors, abdominals, and back. Having a good, sturdy core is key. And if you really want to upgrade your fitness, swing your arms while walking to really involve your upper body and even add light weights if you're feeling inspired. Start where you are and build on that. If you can get out to walk three times a week, begin with that and increase to four or five times. Make a goal of walking five or six times a week and taking one or two days off unless you feel like you need the momentum of every day. Stroll one day and speed it up another. Try to find different routes and go different times if that works for you. Walk with your headset and listen to music or a podcast. Walk in silence and pay attention to what you hear all around you. Go by yourself or find another person or a group to walk with. If the weather isn't so great for a walk, find an indoor mall or other space or have a little dance party for yourself (and friends) inside. Keep moving and before you know it, you'll feel like you're walking on sunshine ... and it's starting to feel good!!" This is what I wish for you. [Thank you, Katrina and The Waves]




Have A Healthy Habit Hump Day!


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About the Author

 

 

 

Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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