Walking is Easy and Effective Exercise

 

by Patricia Hawk, M.S., Exercise Physiologist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Diabetes Solutions

 

Is exercise really the fountain of youth? Letís look at some of the reasons the experts have found to make us feel guilty if we arenít out there huffing and puffing at least four to five days a week.

Living longer is not usually a goal of most, but having more energy to enjoy the time we are alive is of importance. What are some ways to find more energy? Some people drink caffeine, some try to get plenty of rest, others have found that by spending some energy, they get more in return. Itís just like lifting weights; the more you lift, the more your body realizes it needs more muscle to lift it.

A common occurrence that can really ruin a good retirement is a fall with subsequent injuries. Many falls can be prevented by regular stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises. Not only can these obvious areas be improved by an exercise program, but many surprising areas have been found to be improved as well. Memory, math skills, reaction times, and other cognitive functions have shown a measurable improvement after an exercise program was followed for a period of time. Sleep, elimination, and depression are known to improve at any age with regular exercise.

What is the easiest, most convenient way to gain all the above benefits without spending a fortune on a personal trainer? We all know that the answer is ďwalkingĒ. Our parents couldnít wait for us to walk as babies and we canít wait to place ourselves in easy chairs when we get older. The more time we spend in chairs, cars, and beds, the weaker we become.

We all know that the answer is ďwalkingĒ

Walking 30 to 60 minutes a day brings back strength, energy, and enthusiasm for being alive. It keeps bones strong, arteries open, and joints loose. It isnít how fast you go, but how many minutes a day you keep moving. Aim for a goal of 60 minutes per day including your cardiovascular walk (30-40 minutes), shopping, using stairs, and just walking farther than you really need to.

Make sure to wear natural fiber socks, shoes meant for walking that feel just right on your feet, and loose clothing appropriate for the temperature.

Drink plenty of water, carry money or a cell phone, ID, and if possible, walk with someone or near other people. Donít push yourself to fatigue, but be able to talk (not sing) while walking. If you feel pain of any kind, stop and check with your doctor. Walking is supposed to make you feel better.

 

Diabetes Solutions collaborates with hospitals, payers and physicians who desire to provide education to patients, professionals and the public and teams with community resources in order to work with all populations regardless of a patientís resources. The programs of Diabetes Solutions are broad based but also reach out to specialized needs, including diabetes and pregnancy, children with diabetes, insulin pump patients, support groups for adults, youth and parents and Spanish speaking individuals. For more information, you may call the Diabetes Solutions offices at (909) 276-8243.

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