Exercise – It’s just a walk in the park!

If like me you “cringe” at the thought of “gym” membership or suiting-up in some “Lycra” concoction to take to the streets for a jog! Then you will be interested to read that to stay fit and healthy you don’t need to partake in either of these rather peculiar regimes.

Walking is all you need to do to “melt” your thighs and “perk up” your bum. Walking boasts a summary of even more impressive advantages, from saving cash to increasing the odds of surviving breast cancer. A lot of attention has been paid to walking, jogging or running 10,000 steps a day. I don’t think I am capable of counting up to 10,000 while running! And who would want to, today we seem to be consumed by statistical norms where there is no room for the individual to make a common sense decision about what suits them best.

A 30-minute plus walk a day (without counting or watching the clock) is infinitely more pleasurable than “suiting up” at 6.00am to hit the streets, with various monitors to count heart rates, steps, temperature etc., and ultimately tell you “when you are done”! At 56 I don’t care about those things, and to be honest I never did. I have heard the arguments about Cave-man “Ugh” being designed to “hunt” and run-down "woolly mammoths", drag them back to the cave for “Yoruba” to make “Woolly Mammoth stew” , but bear in mind, sometimes “Ugh” didn’t make it back to the cave, and do you really think that given the choice wouldn't “Yoruba” love a supermarket, just a short stroll at the end of the forest! Then instead of running around chasing food for the nightly meal“Ugh” could go off to work without the fear of being “torn apart”. Well, at least not literally!...

Here are seven reasons to take those extra steps and make walking a part of your healthy lifestyle:

1. Deflects diabetes

New research links “brisk walking” to a significant risk reduction for developing type “2” diabetes. Insulin resistance is a predictor of this disease, even in people with normal glucose levels. But a recent British study found that people with a family history of the disease that walked briskly, or performed some other type of moderate to vigorous activity on a routine basis, improved insulin sensitivity.

2. It’s good for your sex life

Sex and exercise go hand-in-hand. In a study of women between 45 and 55 years old, those who exercised, including brisk walking, reported not only greater sexual desire, but better sexual satisfaction, too…..well that’s good news!

3. It saves you on gym costs

In this economy, people are cutting excesses, and that includes trips to the gym. In these tough economic times who has the extra cash for this type of discretionary spend! No matter where you live, there’s a place you can pound the pavement or trek a trail, and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity walking a week can help manage stress and prevent heart disease.

4. It can reduce your medication needs

Using data from the National Walkers’ Health Study, including more than 32,000 women and 8,000 men, researchers found that those who took the longest weekly walks, not necessarily accumulated the most mileage per week, were more likely to use less medication. This shouldn’t deter you from taking shorter walks more frequently throughout the week, but you should consider squeezing in a longer walk once a week.

5. It helps you beat breast cancer

Women who walk regularly after being diagnosed with breast cancer have a 45% greater chance of survival than those who are inactive, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Yale researchers heading up the study also found that those who exercised in the year before being diagnosed were 30% more likely to survive compared to women who didn’t exercise leading up to their diagnosis.

6. Strolling reduces stroke risk

Walking briskly for just 30 minutes, five days a week can significantly lower your risk of suffering a stroke! After studying 46,000 men and 15,000 women over the course of 18 years, those with increased fitness levels associated with regular brisk walking had a 40% lower risk of suffering a stoke than those with the lowest fitness level.

7. It can save your mind

Italian researchers enlisted 749 people suffering from memory problems in a study and measured their walking and other moderate activities, such as gardening. At the four-year follow-up, they found that those who expended the most energy walking had a 27% lower risk of developing dementia than the people who expended the least. This could be the result of physical activity’s role in increasing blood flow to the brain.

...and remember...have a fabulous retirementLIFE!

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