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What's Great For Your Health?

Copyright © 2008 Pat Brill

To live longer, minimize our exposure to illness and to control weight, add daily walking to support a healthy lifestyle.

Did you know that walking might also be good for slowing the aging process? Walking is great because it works almost every muscle in the body. Improving circulation to the joints and massaging the blood vessels (keeping them more elastic) are important aspects of a healthy body. Walking also helps us maintain both our muscle mass and metabolism as we age. It also helps us feel younger because movement enhances our psychological wellbeing.

If you are out of shape or not the athletic type, walking is the no-stress solution to daily conditioning.

All it takes is a little time and a few guidelines. Before you start an exercise program, always check with your health professional to help you make the best decisions for you.

Walking is one of the best exercises for strengthening bones, controlling weight, toning the leg muscles, maintaining good posture and improving positive self-concept.

An interesting thought is that if you diet without exercising, you can add more weight over time. Although your weight may initially drop while dieting, such weight loss consists mostly of water and muscle. When the weight returns, it comes back as fat. To avoid adding weight over time, increase your metabolism by exercising daily.

To lose weight, it's more important to walk for time than speed. Walking at a moderate pace yields longer workouts with less soreness - leading to more miles and more calories spent on a regular basis.

You can alternate on different days a more intense walk to help your body respond positively to your activity. In a walking, weight-loss program, it's better to be active every day. This doesn't require walking an hour every day. The key is leading an active life-style 365 days a year.

Join with a friend or start a daily walking club to make the activity more fun. Local high schools usually have a field track and it's a great way to walk as well as meet others who are committed to creating a healthy lifestyle.

We are all aware that when it comes to good health, exercise and healthy eating are the two important ingredients for a healthy you.

The national research council recommends eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables are the ideal diet foods for several reasons. They're relatively low in fat and calories, yet are often high in fiber and rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

Remember that rapid weight-loss consists mostly of water and muscle - the wrong kind of weight to lose. To avoid this, set more reasonable goals, such as one pound per week.

Carbohydrates are high-octane fuel. They provide energy for movement and help raise internal body metabolism. They're also satisfying. The key is not adding high-fat toppings to your carbohydrates.

It's everyday habits which define our weight and body composition. A three-minute walk after each meal is worth four pounds less body fat annually. Two flights of stairs a day burns off half a pound of body fat in a year. On the other hand, one candy bar eaten daily will cost you 20 pounds annually!


Pat Brill is co-author of "9 Steps to Starting a Women's Group". To download your Free copy of this e-book, go to http://www.Womens-Group.net .

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