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Exercise Uncategorized Walking

Let’s Get Walking

While most find more enthusiasm for exercise in warmer weather, our need for exercise doesn’t diminish because it’s winter.  For best health, we need ways to offset the consequences of sedentary living with daily activities that keep us moving. 

Studies show that a brisk walk can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and improve general overall well being.  As a plus, you’ll make your doctor proud to know that you have taken a step toward a healthier life.  There is a reason why walking is often called the one best thing we can do for our health.

Plan to take a walk every day.  If it fits your schedule, join me for a Saturday morning walk around the lakes at Jones Farm Park on Four Mile Post Road.  I hope you will join me.

Nancy Neighbors, MD

More Amazing Benefits

Rather than offer another explanation of the amazing health benefit of walking, I’d like Dr. Mark Faries to explain it his way.  Dr. Faris has a remarkable ability for explaining the importance of lifestyle as good medicine. In a world of inflated claims for the latest medical technology, Dr. Faris is a welcomed voice of reason and simplicity that you can benefit from.  To begin Dr. Faris’ 3-minute video, click on the  link below.

Walking Is a Great Way to Lose Weight

            After watching the video, reflect on the points Dr. Faris’ shared.  While walking can help with weight loss, the big win is your health.

But What if the Weather is Bad?

If cold, bundle up. If raining lightly, grab an umbrella.  There is no need to let a little excuse keep you away from the benefits that walking offers for  reducing chronic pain, reducing depression, and with over 100 other health issues.  In case you don’t feel like walking, you just found the best reason for a walk.

If walking isn’t working for you, then find another way to move. I meet too many that are sitting themselves to death.  So, what to do?  Well, for each of us the answer may be a little different.  While walking is my favorite recommendation, it’s not the answer for everyone.  For a few alternatives to a walk, consider these possibilities:

  • Every 30-60 minutes, get up and move around.
  • Walk your dog.  Dogs make great exercise coaches when you need encouragement.
  • Consider a stand-up or treadmill desk.  (Using it to walk your dog doesn’t count!)
  • Joining an indoor pool/exercise group.
  • Join a gym. Best of all, if you are 65 or over, it may be covered by your insurance.
  • If you’re driving long distances, stop every hour and walk for 5-10 minutes.
  • When you are on the phone, stand up and walk around or jog in place.

By Nancy Neighbors, MD

... Dr. Neighbors provides a blend of traditional family medicine and evidence-based lifestyle medicine in Huntsville, Alabama. When indicated, lifestyle change is recommended as the first line of therapy.

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