subtitle: Much to your chagrin, oh International Bumbling Banders, I’m dragging you into the mix as well.
Hear ye! Hear ye! Are you all fully aware that tomorrow, April 8th, is National Start! Walking Day?
N.S.W.D., sponsored by the American Heart Association, is pretty much just an effort to get us all off our collective asses a day which focuses wholly on the benefits of walking for health.
The importance of returning to a basic movement/mode of exercise in this age of people working longer hours & choosing (note the word) to spend more leisure time in a sedentary fashion as well.
(Im about 50/50—you? I do love me some Millionaire Matchmaker in the name of unwinding yet I also enjoy a vigorous monkey bar session at the park.)
YADA YADA YADA what’s my point?
Why am I telling you this?
Because National Start! Walking Day and its emphasis on the simple concepts of Start! & walk, are key to fitness success.
I receive countless emails (from men and women) which all ask the same question:
Im ready to get started working out, Miz. I wanted to know what the best exercise is? What should I do to burn the most calories as I need to lose a lot of weight. I’m unsure what is best and once I know I can start. I don’t want to waste my time on the wrong thing.
(real email. permission to use anonymously granted)
The answer? (waitforit) Start!
Pick something and run walk with it!
Should you realize along the yogapilatesspinningWALKING way it isn’t your passion—-switch!
The key to success? Start!ing. (It sounds so obvious yet can feel so elusive to those of us who suffer from Paralysis by Analysis.)
Do something every day to get your body moving.
If you’re one of my emailers waiting for the answer as to what the best!exercise!is! here you go: find your shoes & mark the calendar: tomorrow is your day.*
The American Heart Association challenges us all to Walk More, Eat Well, Live Longer & this MizFit wholly concurs.
Been putting off starting your fitness routine?
Get derailed over the holidays & not yet back on track (yes, those holidays. the ones which are now 3 months in the rear view mirror. you know who you are.) ?
Tomorrow’s your day.
Open your door. Step outside. And Start! walking.
Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Walking can improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Walking is a great time killer when you have a Tornado of a Toddler (just checking to see if you were still paying attention).
Walking is can improve your entire blood lipid profile.
Walking can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Walking, even briefly, can weaken chocolate cravings.**
Walking can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Walking, if you’re MizFit, can be almost meditative.
Walking, in its throw-door-open-and-go simplicity, has the lowest dropout rates of any physical activity.
And, according to my boyfriend Dr. Mehmet Oz, if you cant walk 1/4 of a mile in 5 minutes the chance you’ll be dead in 3 years is 3 times higher then if you could.
(Gotta love The Mehmet. No AgaveNectarCoating anything with that guy.)
You in? For Tomorrow? For the proverbial long haul? Ready to climb back on the fitness wagon via stepping out your front door?
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Wear good walking shoes/comfy clothing:
This seems like a no brainer but, as with many common sense concepts, it bears repeating. Shoes which are fantastic for yoga or weight training often ARENT good choices for walking (hello, personal experience!).
Wear clothes which are breathable, protect you from the elements, and dont force you to be checking yourself every 3 minutes to be sure you’re not flashing people/cars driving past (hello, tights I didnt realize were so low rise!)
Another one which should be obvious—-but bears repeating. Slowly refers to both pace & length of time. Remember, we wanna do this for the long haul. Our goal is NOT to get so sore the first few days out that we need a hiatus after a week. Set yourself up for success & think marathon not sprint.
To stretch or not to stretch? There shouldnt be a question. Be sure to warm up before you stretch so that your muscles are warm & pliable. This warm up can be as easy as walking up & down stairs at home or you can amble outside for a bit and then stop & take the time to stretch.
Here are some basic walking stretches to get you started. Im also a fan of Bob Anderson’s book: Stretching.
Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart & muscles be sure to end each walking session with a cool down. I know this piece of the work out can be easy to skip, but it’s important to make the time. Walk slowly for about five minutes at the end of your walking workout. After the cool down, if you can spare the time, it’s fantastic to repeat your stretches.
Next week? We’re talking intervals. Ways to go from walking to power walking and power walking to jogging. I know, try to not fall off the edge of your collective seats in anticipation.
*MizFit note: The holiday is tomorrow. Me? I think there’s no day like today (shout out to the musical Rent). Yank your walking shoes on this afternoon. Pull em on tonight after work. Hell, wear them to work today! Anything to get a jump on tomorrow’s celebration.
**MizFit note: Researchers in the UK found that a short walk weakened chocolate cravings. Cravings dropped by 12 percent (over participants who remained idle) after a 15 minute walk.