Have you ever noticed on days you aren’t very active, you almost seem MORE tired than when you get exercise? Yet when you get some exercise, your energy seems to shoot through the roof! Why is that?
The act of exercising actually stimulates the brain and body – and it is incredibly important for our well-being!
Our challenge for this week is to walk for 10 minutes, three times per week. Studies link exercise with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Exercise has been associated with up to a 30% improvement in mental abilities.
Exercise can be difficult to keep in your schedule and it is critically important. Starting with walking is a good beginning to an exercise program because it does not require any special equipment, clothing or shoes. And of course it is important to start slow and build up both time and speed.
Good ideas for staying on a walking program include:
Find a walking buddy
Walk the same time each day
Schedule your walk on your calendar
Tell friends or others that you are exercising
Make a goal around your walking program
Wear headphones with inspiring music
As the people at Nike say, “Just Do It!”
In a very short amount of time, possibly just by the end of the week, if you increase your exercise you will see a dramatic increase in your energy, and a much better outlook in your mood!
Successful Weight Loss
The amount of physical activity you do is one of the most accurate predictors of your long-term weight maintenance, according to information from the National Weight Control Registry reported in the March/April 2011 issue of the “Health and Fitness Journal.” Out of over 6,000 participants in the NWCR, walking is the most popular method of burning calories via exercise. If you weigh 160 lbs, you burn 183 calories per hour walking at 2 mph and 277 calories per hour at 3.5 mph.
Reduces Prostate Cancer Progression
Walking is important as a natural method for reducing prostate cancer mortality. Brisk walking at a pace of at least 3 mph for three hours a week reduces the chances of developing indicators of cancer recurrence and the need for a second round of treatment, according to a study on 1,455 U.S. men by researchers from the University of California at San Francisco reported in the May 2011 issue of the medical journal “Cancer Research.” The study revealed the importance of brisk walking. Going for a walk at a rate of less than 3 mph did not produce the same positive results.
Slows Progression of Alzheimer’s
Walking five miles per week for five to ten years slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients and healthy adults according to a 20-year ongoing study by the University of Pittsburgh reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in November, 2010. The researchers found an association between higher rates of physical activity and greater brain volume and recommend cognitively impaired adults walk five miles per week to slow progression and healthy adults walk six miles per week as prevention.
- “Cancer Research”; Physical Activity after Diagnosis and Risk of Prostate Cancer Progression: Data from the Cancer of the Prostate Strategic Urologic Research Endeavor; Erin L. Richman, et al.; May 2011
- EurekAlert!: Walking Slows Progression of Alzheimer’s
- “Journal of the American Medical Association”; Gait Speed and Survival in Older Adults; Stephanie Studenski, et al.; January 2011
- American College of Sports Medicine; Weight Control Registry Reveals Secrets to Lasting Weight Loss; March 2011
- MayoClinic.com; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- MayoClinic.com; Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health; December 2010
- Importance of Walking – LIVESTRONG