Reading time: two minutes. Here’s a water analogy for you as we talk about physical wellness. An inventor on “Shark Tank” came up with a workout t-shirt where the words on the front only appear when wet. Get sweaty! Not a bad idea (but the sharks didn’t bite!) I think brisk, daily walking is the universal foundation for a physical wellness program.You can play tennis if the weather allows. You can swim if you have pool privileges. You can go roller-blading… on second thought, don’t go roller-blading. You can run if your joints can take it. You can play golf if you promise to walk and carry your own bag. But just about all of us can take a good, vigorous walk every day, even without lessons. The target I suggest is to work your way up to 30 minutes every day, walking like you’re late. Circumstances will give you a day off once in a while, so shoot for every day. And remember these guidelines for your daily walk…
- Be sure you are getting your annual physical check-up. CPS people and most others are covered, so it’s silly not to. Check with your provider. Tell your doc you’re taking a walk. (Poet and I don’t know it.)
- Invest in good shoes. Safety. Comfort. Style! It’s worth it.
- Watch your breathing. The basic guideline is you need to be able to carry on a conversation while you’re walking, or you are in danger of over-exertion. Your heart and lungs will help you set your pace. If you’re in great shape (see #1 above), you can push it farther, as trained athletes do. Most of us, especially past about 40, need to be careful about going too hard. If you deal with heart, lung or blood pressure issues, follow your doctor’s guidelines.
- Hydrate. Then sweat. Drink water before you go. Drink more after you return. Keep it going in the hours after your walk. Sports drinks have lots of sodium and sugar, so be careful. A study showed that chocolate milk actually puts fluids back best of all!
- Morning is always best for exercise because you have fewer excuses than later in the day. Do a good stretch and warm-up. Most heart attacks occur early in the day when blood is thicker.
- Get a Fit-Bit and register with Vitality www.powerofvitality.com You might as well get credit for your walk.
- Get a partner. You’re more likely to walk if you have an appointment, and the time flies much faster when you have a friend to chat with along the way.