Monday, 2 February 2009

Keep It Moving...

I wrote that title and remembered an old dance song something like:
"I've got to move it, move it
I've got to Move it!"
Unfortunately, I can't remember the singer's name!

To loose any extra or excess weight and to continuously keep ourselves supple, fit and healthy, we have to keep moving.

To keep fit and healthy we must engage in some form or cardio activity or exercise, and one of the easiest form of exercise (to the able bodied), is walking; and it is free!

Cardio, which is the short term for Cardiovascular is exercise activity that raises the heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time.

Walking is the simplest form of cardio activity we (the able bodied) can engage in, and it is free. The beauty of this activity is that we can fit it around our busy schedules; we can engage in this activity on the way to work, at lunch breaks, and on after work, whilst making our way home. This puts a knock to the most famous excuse which goes something like "I just don't have the time to exercise".

Some studies have shown that the benefits of walking include:
  • Reduction of the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduction of body fat
  • Reduction of high cholesterol
  • Improvement of mental well being - especially in the summer months, whilst walking outside
  • Increase in bone density, therefore helping the prevention of osteoporosis
  • Helping to control body weight
  • Flexibility and overall co-ordination
To start a walking routine, you don't really need to join a gym or expensive fitness gear to get started. Comfortable loose clothing, shoes and music for motivation; you are good and ready to walk out the front door and start your very own first "walking routine".

However, if you start to get more into walking as a chosen form of cardio exercise (most likely from seeing and experiencing the benefits), you might want to consider (not compulsory) investing in some of the items below:
  • Shoes: it is important for walking shoes to be comfortable. They should have enough cushion support, and room enough to wiggle your toes in. It is advised to wear at least half a size bigger than your normal shoes, as walking cause a slight swell of the fit during activity. Also this is to prevent blisters.

  • Socks: it is important that you wear the right type of socks with your walking shoes. Some socks are known to cause blisters and 'burning' of feet. It should fit comfortably, not be tight. There should be enough room to wiggle your toes. It is advisable to wear socks made from cool max, as opposed to cotton socks. Cool max will give your feet room to breath, eliminating dampness.

  • Clothing: Comfortable clothing is required, but it is more important to dress for the weather in which you are walking. If you are walking on a hot summer's day, don't forget to apply some sun cream, put on a face cap to cover the face and sunglasses to boot- make a fashion statement whilst you are at it! Also if it is on a cold day, make sure you wear enough layers as you start out; you might have to take one off as you get into your walk and work up a sweat.

  • Water bottle: It is advisable to invest in a portable and easy carrying water bottle, as it is important to keep hydrated, especially in hot weather. You can either get a watter bottle that fits firmly within the grip of your hands or one that you wear as a belt.

  • Pedometer: This device counts your steps and / or mileage. Some can be programmed to calculate your calories and your heart rate.

  • MP3 player: Personally, I never exercise without one, more so on days when I don't feel like getting out of bed. Download your favourite music and let it motivate and energise you whilst you work out. It will make your workouts feel like a breeze through the park!
So if you are looking for a cost effective, and cheap way to improve your health, loose or control your weight or elevate stress, then why not take up walking.

It's simple and it's free. And if you still think you can't muster that... then think of this lady. She is 100 years old and starts every day (including her 100Th birthday) in the gym! She works out 2 hours a day, and 7 days a week. 100yr old woman exercises 2 hours a day .

Now THAT is what I am talking about. Do you still have those excuses?

Keep the heart, body, mind and soul alive and healthy by walking the walk, one step a time.

Happy Walking
***Pictures from photobucket & google***