Thursday, April 25, 2013

Workouts Don't Need to be Complicated - Go for a Walk

Combining parenting two rambunctious four year olds with the obligations and commitments of maintaining a professional career to put it simply can be challenging at times; but that doesn’t mean fitting in time for exercise should suffer. Leading a healthy, active lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym or run a 5K, rather making a specific effort to walk for 30 minutes a day can be a great way to stay fit. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is go on a walk about adventure – checking out the various nature trails and parks in surrounding communities, frequent trips to our local zoo, and checking out museums or historical sites are all fun ways to bring together enjoying time with your children while getting some exercise through walking.

It doesn’t have to be as complicated as going on a road trip to make time for walking though. When driving someplace for work or errands, I tend to park at the rear of the parking lot and take a stroll to where I’m going. When practical I skip taking elevators or escalators and take the stairs. My wife keeps sneakers at her office and puts them on during her lunch hour for a thirty minute walk every day. As a family we often go for a walk around the neighborhood after dinner as part of our evening routine. In today’s day and age it can be very easy to get caught up in leading a sedentary lifestyle so by doing little things regularly to get off the couch, away from the desk, or out of the house it makes being active more of a routine way of living rather than a chore you feel you need to do.

One of my favorite television programs was “The West Wing” which has become known for its scenes of walking dialogue between the cast to enhance the political drama of the show. Recently, the cast of “The West Wing” reunited to do a spoof video of the show that promotes the merits of walking to help the U.S. Surgeon General’s EVERYBODY WALK! Campaign. Check out this video, especially if you are a fan of “The West Wing”, it is funny but also makes some good points and provides some tips about the value of walking:

RODALE has published an interesting article that lists the "8 Astonishing Benefits of Walking":

#1 It deflects diabetes;

#2 It soups up your sex life;

#3 It saves you money on gym costs;

#4 It can get you off medications;

#5 It can help fade fibromyalgia pain;

#6 It helps beat breast cancer;

#7 strolling reduces stroke risk;

#8 It can save your mind.

Additionally, Dr. Graham Colditz of Washington University School of Medicine told Jocelyn Milici Ceder in her article - TOP 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING - for Walk Score Blog that "walking is the closest thing to a magic bullet for health."

So are you and your family getting your 30 minutes of walking in every day? If not, why not?  

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