HEALTH: Walk This Way!

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It’s simple, it’s free, you can do it alone or with others, and you can fit it into your daily routine very easily. Its physiological and psychological benefits are practically endless. We’re talking about WALKING. That’s right – just good old walking. Walking is something we take for granted. But in today’s fast-paced world, most people just don’t do enough of it. 

Scientists have concluded in countless studies that exercise is essential for good health and disease prevention. The simple act of walking, if done properly and regularly, can be beneficial in many ways. Brisk walking can help to prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and depression. It is essential for both weight control and weight loss.

How often should you walk and at what pace? The answer depends on your personal goal. If weight loss is your goal, then you should count on walking every day. But if cardio-vascular fitness is what you are looking for, then every other day (4 times a week) may be enough for you. Obviously, the longer and faster you can go, the more beneficial it will be, but be careful that you don’t overdo it! People who have been sedentary must start slowly and build up gradually. Aldo, it is essential the before you begin a walking program, you visit your doctor for a complete medical evaluation. Once you have the approval of your physician, you can begin.

Start at a comfortable pace, but you should feel as though you are slightly late for an appointment. Use the “talk test.” If you can’t say your name three times in a row, you are pushing too hard. You should aim for a minimum of 3.5miles per hour (5.6 kph). For those of you who may want to work up to a power walk, you will want to eventually reach 4.5 mph (7.2 kph) or more. The recommended minimum time for walking is 30-40 minutes; however, if you are a beginner, start off slowly and gradually build up to that amount.

Maintain good posture while you are walking and look straight ahead. Swinging your arms will increase your caloric burn greatly, but make sure your arms are going in a forward direction and not crossing in front of you. A good, sturdy pair of proper walking shoes is essential. If you don’t have proper shoes or your shoes are worn out, you probably will suffer some type of discomfort or pain and even injury in the lower extremities. Typically, shoes need to be replaced about every 400-500 miles of walking.

When most people think of exercise, they envision gyms and health clubs with lots of equipment and expense. Exercise is also perceived as strenuous and time-consuming. Walking is a way to get in your exercise, spend time with a friend or family member, and it can easily be worked into your daily routine. A good way to make walking part of your daily routine is to make a set time to walk with a friend or friends daily. Enjoy the company! Just be sure to take caution in the summer months to start early in the day or do your walking toward the evening hours. Remember to drink plenty of water before and after your walk, and take advantage of our beautiful Israeli weather where the climate is usually conducive to outdoor activity.

Spring has arrived in all its glory, so get outdoors and enjoy the fresh spring air, and the beautiful trees and flowers that Hashem has put on this earth for our benefit. After all, what could be more conducive to success than partnering with the Borei Olam in this important endeavor? There is no better time to start than right now! A consistent walking program is a great way to “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”

Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a LIFESTYLE FITNESS COACH with over 12 years of professional experience. He is the co-director of the Jerusalem-based weight loss and stress reduction center Lose It! along with Linda Holtz M.Sc. and is available for private consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at [email protected]  

US Line: 516-568-5027

Check out the Lose It! website at www.loseit.co.il

(Alan Freishtat – YWN)


2 COMMENTS

  1. Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky Shlita walks briskly
    L’Shem exercise.
    I wish I will have his strength when I reach his age (and I just ran a Marathon at age 50).