Welcome to OC Fitness Mama’s April blog! I am so happy that you have taken the time to read this because it is an important topic for this month, especially since?April 1st?was?”National Walking Day.”? ?As a personal trainer and health coach, I am always sharing the benefits of walking with my clients. I personally am an avid walker. The benefits I have seen with my own health are ones that I share with my clients, family ?and friends. It is something that I enjoy doing daily and is very important for me to do in order to help manage a back injury that I live with every day.
This year I was ?diagnosed with degeneration disc disease. After having a lot of back pain for months, I went and had an MRI and X-ray. I now have a treatment plan and it includes a daily walking program along with stretching and using a foam roller. I am making sure?that I do this in order to have a healthier back and body. When you have an injury, like?myself, from all my years of being an athlete, competing and years of training your body sometimes takes a turn. Learning to do what I can?is what is most important. I love that fact that I can stretch (which is very important before walking) and I can still get in a great workout. I use myself as an example here and just because I have an injury doesn’t give me an excuse to not take care of myself. It?gives me more of a reason to make sure I fit in my own exercise daily. The beauty about walking is that all you need is yourself and a pair of supportive walking shoes. You can walk ANYWHERE, ANYTIME an ANYPLACE! ?Walking is something that comes very naturally to us because it’s in our genes. We are meant to walk and not just once a day with a workout, but throughout our day. You see a walking workout isn’t enough anymore for our bodies largely due to the fact that a lot of people are in jobs that require them to sit and for hours on ?a daily basis. Sitting is slowly killing us, especially those that sit for hours at a time. Think about how much you sit daily and add up the hours on a weekly basis. For some of you that may be a very dangerous amount of time spent sitting, which eventually can lead to many diseases.
Corporations and companies are now taking more notice of the problems with their employees that are coming from sitting. A lot of corporations and companies are creating better environments for their employees by having standing?desks and even walking treadmill desks. It is important that if you are in a job that you are sitting most of the time that you get up and walk around for about 5 min every hour. You can walk?at lunch time and bring your own lunch so you have time to walk and eat during your break. Encourage others to walk with you at lunch. Get up and get outside to move your body and increase your mood. You can even engage in walking meetings at work and everyone can get involved. If possible, talk to the HR department to get them on board with how they can help create a better work environment for their employees. There is a great book I highly recommend called ?”Get Up” by James Levine. If you haven’t read?it yet, I highly recommend that you read it?and share it with your loved ones. You could be the one to start a whole new way of getting everyone moving and also having a better work space.
According the American Heart Association,?we should all aim for 30 minutes of walking ?daily and it doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can walk for 10-minute cycles at a time and add it up at the end of the day. I share this with my clients and call it the CARDIO BANK! The bottom line is to get a walk in daily. Grab a friend, family member, co-worker or your dog. ?You will feel better and have more energy too!
Here are 10 benefits of walking:
- Helps to improve heart health, decrease glucose levels, blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
- Increases bone density to help decrease osteoporosis
- Enhances mood and generates feel good endorphins
- Decreases depression (mental well-being) and fatigue
- Helps to create clarity and increases blood flow to the brain for brain health
- Decreases body fat and helps to tone the muscles of the body
- Helps to maintain body weight and decreases risk of obesity
- It is easy and you can do it ANYWHERE, ANYTIME and ANYPLACE
- A great way to get moving and enhance relationships with your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors
- Increases vitality and lifespan
Some of my favorite things for walking:
A hat, iPod holder, water belt and cold ice pack for the neck ?are essential?for hot workout days.
Pedometer helps to count your steps and is very motivating!
My favorite tool and personal workout partner: UP by Jawbone?Activity Tracker Wristband
Add the “UP” application and see the steps you take daily?along with other awesome information.
So start walking everyday?and you will feel great..It could even save your life!
OC Fitness Mama