Sunday, April 8, 2007

Live Longer and Take a Walk

Andrea Metcalf, Mind body ConnectionsWalkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. It is also one of the least expensive types of exercise. Walking strengthens your legs, burns calories and changes your attitude which will even help you live longer. Remember when you walk to stand tall and keep the back of your head over your tailbone. Although you may want to lean forward, keep your abdominals pulled in and rib cage lifted. Breathe deep from the belly and allow your arms to swing in opposition of your legs. Use a heel toe roll through the foot with your toes pointed forward. An editorial in the "Washington Post" did the math - invest 30 minutes of walking a day and you'll spend 49 days of the next 12 years of your life walking to gain 1.3 healthy years. Remember, footwear is important and to dress appropriately for the possible sudden weather changes. It is best to wear a dry-fit, wicking fabric first. Your next layer should be a cotton or terry for warmth. Lastly, finish your ensemble with a wind resistant jacket. As far as shoes go, remember they are like the tires on your car. They need to fit well, feel comfortable, support the body and they wear out! You should be replacing your gym shoes about every 300 miles or six to nine months with regular use. If you need a goal, sign up for a 5K walk. You can check out or for local events. It feels good to walk for a cause other than just your own!