What can we do about these gas prices?

By Brian Cole, Personal Training Associates

How about something that’s easy, safe and most of us can do?
It’ll save you gas money and offer a lot of health benefits. WALK.
Step one in improving our health and fitness is starting a walking program. Yes, we all should improve our eating habits. Yes, we all should take a multi-vitamin and calcium supplement because none of us eats perfectly. Yes, we should learn how to keep our joints moving freely. And yes, we should all build new lean muscle tissue to replace what time takes away. But, step one is: put away the remote and be more active!
For a productive, beneficial activity that most of us can do for the rest of our lives, walking is hard to beat. It burns almost as many calories as jogging and is much easier on the joints. (Running impact is three to four times our weight, while walking is only one and a half.) No color coordinated Lycra outfits are required—just a good pair of shoes.

Walking will:
• Lower your blood pressure.
• Reduce your cholesterol.
• Reduce your risk of heart attack.
• Increase your energy level.
• Relieve stress and anxiety.
• Slow osteoporosis.
• Reduce the risk of type II diabetes.

And there’s no age limit on getting started. My dad is 88 and walks over an hour, with his walker, every day.

Some helpful advice:
Relax. This is not complicated or burdensome. It’s just walking. Regularly. Make it a priority. Schedule it into your day and adjust other things around it. Write down your time spent. Keep a written record and be accountable to yourself. Walk with a friend. Walk with your dog. Walk with yourself for private time.

At what pace? Walk like you’re going somewhere. Breathe comfortably or slow down. Walk with good posture: imagine a string pulling the crown of your head up and maintain that posture. Look straight ahead, not down. Wear common sense clothes. Drink a lot of water. If you like measured goals, get a pedometer. (I enjoy my walking and don’t want to add “type A” measured goal behavior to it.) But, it sure works for a lot of people. Wear the pedometer all day. Your goal is 10,000 steps per day. Your 30-60 minute walk (start with less of course) will be about 5,000.

Start now. Before the pound-adding holiday season is upon us.

Try it.
Focus on walking as a priority for 30 days. Start today (or tomorrow at the latest). Then, call in 30 days and leave me a message telling me how much better you feel. In just 30 days!
Now, if these words haven’t motivated you to take better care of yourself, snap out of it! Think about someone beside yourself. Think of the children. Because they follow the example of what you do, not what you say. And today’s children are less active (TV, video games, etc.), more overweight and more deconditioned than you were at their age. We have to do something about it.
Be their role model. Set an example for the rest of your life. WALK.

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