Walking For Good Health

Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.

Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.

Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
 

Health benefits of walking

You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
  • reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • stronger bones and improved balance
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat.

 

Walking for 30 minutes a day

To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.
 

Building physical activity into your life

If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day and gradually build up to longer sessions. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. You can still achieve this by starting with smaller bouts of activity throughout the day and increasing these as your fitness improves.

Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost.

Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:

  • Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
  • Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
  • Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
  • Walk the dog (or your neighbor’s dog).

Make walking part of your routine

Try to make walking a routine – for example, try to walk at the same time each day. Remember, you use the same amount of energy, no matter what time of day you walk, so do what is most convenient for you. You may find that asking someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity. Some people find that keeping an activity diary or log also makes it easier.
 

Wearing a pedometer while walking

A pedometer measures the number of steps you take. You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts. This may motivate you to move more. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more.
 

A comfortable intensity for walking

For most people, there is little difference in the amount of energy used by walking a kilometre or running a kilometre – it’s just that walking takes longer. Plan to cover a set distance each day and monitor how long it takes you to walk this distance. As your fitness improves, you will be able to walk a longer distance and use more energy.

Walking fast burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly, but this doesn’t mean you have to push yourself until you’re breathless. Instead, pace yourself so that you can still talk. This simple rule of thumb means that you walk safely within your target heart rate, which brings about health gains.

Our bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you are able to improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:

  • walking up hills
  • walking with hand weights
  • increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
  • increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
  • walking for longer.

Warming up and cooling down after walking

The best way to warm up is to walk slowly. Start off each walk at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up, and then pick up the speed. Afterwards, gently stretch your leg muscles – particularly your calves and front and back thighs. Stretches should be held for about 20 seconds. If you feel any pain, ease off the stretch. Don’t bounce or jolt, or you could overstretch muscle tissue and cause microscopic tears, which lead to muscle stiffness and tenderness.

It’s best to dress lightly when you do physical activity. Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature, which can make you uncomfortable during a walk or possibly cause skin irritations. A gradual cool-down will also prevent muscular stiffness and injury.
 

Footwear for walking

Walking is a low-cost and effective form of exercise. However, the wrong type of shoe or walking action can cause foot or shin pain, blisters and injuries to soft tissue. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, with appropriate heel and arch supports. Take light, easy steps and make sure your heel touches down before your toes. Whenever possible, walk on grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact.
 

Making walking a pleasure

Some suggestions to help make regular walking a pleasurable form of physical activity include:

  • varying where you walk
  • walking the dog
  • walking with friends
  • joining a walking club.

Making walking interesting

Ways to keep your daily walk interesting include:

  • If you want to stick close to home and limit your walking to neighbourhood streets, pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights.
  • If you feel unsafe walking alone, find one or more friends or family members to walk with.
  • Walk at various times of the day. The sights to see first thing in the morning are bound to be different from those of the afternoon or early evening.
  • Drive to different reserves, park the car and enjoy the views while you walk.
  • Explore what’s going on around you, notice the sky, the people, the sounds.

Dog walking

A dog that needs regular exercise gives you the motivation to walk every day. You might like the companionship too. If you don’t have a dog, and aren’t planning on getting one, consider offering to walk a neighbour’s dog from time to time.

Suggestions for the safety of your dog and other people on foot include:

  • Be considerate of other pedestrians and always keep your dog on its leash.
  • If you plan to walk in a park, check first to see if dogs are permitted. Many national and state parks and other conservation reserves do not permit dogs.
  • Other parks generally permit dog-walking on a leash. Many parks allow dogs off the leash – check with your local council.
  • Always take equipment such as plastic bags and gloves to clean up after your dog.

Walking with others

Walking with other people can turn a bout of exercise into an enjoyable social occasion. Suggestions include:

  • Schedule a regular family walk – this is a great way to pass on healthy habits to your children or grandchildren, and to spend time together, while getting fit at the same time.
  • If you are walking with children, make sure the route and length of time spent walking are appropriate to their age.
  • Babies and toddlers enjoy long walks in the pram. Take the opportunity to point out items of interest to young ones, such as vehicles, flowers and other pedestrians.
  • Look for the self-guided nature walks that have been set up in many parks. Younger children enjoy looking for the next numbered post; older ones can learn about the plants and animals of the park, and perhaps take photos or record their experience in other ways.
  • Ask neighbours or friends if they would like to join you on your walks. Think of starting a walking group.

Walking clubs and associations

There are a number of walking clubs in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Some cater for specific groups (such as women, dog walkers or bushwalkers), while others offer the opportunity to meet new people in your local area. Organisations to contact for further information include:

  • Bushwalking Victoria – offers a comprehensive listing of bushwalking clubs.
  • Your local council – may run a range of walking activities for people living in your area.
  • The Lost Dogs Home in Melbourne –suggests you ‘get fit with a dog’. Contact them for more information about being a responsible dog owner.
  • Parks Victoria – can provide suggestions and ideas for interesting walks in parks and reserves throughout Victoria.

Safety suggestions while walking


Walking is generally a safe way to exercise, but look out for unexpected hazards. Suggestions include:

  • See your doctor for a medical check-up before starting a new fitness program, particularly if you are aged over 40 years, are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.
  • Ensure you read through the pre-exercise self-screening tool
  • Choose walks that suit your age and fitness level. Warm up and cool down with a slow, gentle walk to ease in and out of your exercise session.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and appropriate footwear to avoid blisters and shin splints.
  • Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat to avoid sunburn.
  • Take waterproof clothing to avoid getting wet if it rains.
  • Carry a walking stick or umbrella to fend off unleashed, unfriendly dogs.
  • Before bushwalking, check the weather forecast and take appropriate safety measures (for example, pack correct clothing).
  • Look out for hazards in alpine or coastal areas, such as cliff edges or large waves.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, take water with you.

 

Where to get help

  • Your doctor
  • Your local community health centre
  • Your local council – for information about walking groups, walking tracks and parks
  • Bushwalking Victoria Tel. (03) 8846 4131
  • Lost Dogs Home Tel. (03) 9329 2755
  • Parks Victoria Information Centre Tel. 13 19 63
  • VICSRAPID Victorian Sport and Recreation Association of Persons with an Intellectual Disability Inc Tel. (03) 9926 1380
  • Heart Foundation Walking Groups Tel. 1300 362 787 to find a group in your local area

Things to remember

  • Walking for 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health.
  • If you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, remember ‘even a little is good, but more is better’.
  • Walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion.
  • See your doctor for a medical check-up before embarking on any new fitness program, particularly if you are aged over 40 years, are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.

*article published on :https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health

The Best Kept Secret in Medicine

by Kathleen Richardson 

“The issues facing the African American community are immense, but if we don’t have our health, not much else maters” Cheryl Grills

                   Kathleen Richardson 

                   Kathleen Richardson 

As a group, African Americans have more disease, disability and early death as evidenced in the Erie County New York Community Health Assessment for 2014-2017. According to the statistics, African Americans have the highest rates of congestive heart failure compared to   double or more the rates of hospital admissions for diabetes related conditions compared to their white counterparts. African Americans also have high rates of at least two of diabetes’ most serious complications: amputations and kidney failure and have twice the risk of first ever stroke than whites. 

This paints a pretty dismalpicture of the health of the African American and begs the question why? Why are we more prone to heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure and its detrimental effects? There is the preconceived notion that our genetic make-up and family history is the overall determinant of health and explains why we may or may not be susceptible to certain chronic diseases. We think, “oh my mother/father had diabetes, her mother/father had diabetes and that means I’m predisposed to having diabetes. This way of thinking causes us to become sideline participants in our health, with the belief that all we can do is hope and pray we don’t develop high blood pressure or high cholesterol and if we do, we take the medicine prescribed by our doctors to manage it. 

But I would like to offer a different perspective to explain why African Americans are more prone to chronic disease when compared to our white counterparts. Dr. Michael Greger explains, “The reason diseases tend to run in families may be because diets tend to run in families”.  That is such a powerful statement and prompts us to really question if it is our genes and family history that make us prone to some of our most common chronic diseases or is there something else at play, that being our diet. Our eating habits are literally killing us. 

The Best Kept Secret in Medicine

The best kept secret in medicine is twofold and is something that your doctor probably won’t tell you; most likely because he or she may not know and explains why it is the best kept secret in medicine; “Most deaths in the United States are preventable and they are related to what we eat” and “Given the right conditions, the body will heal itself”. It is so much more than our genetic makeup that determines what diseases we may succumb to. What is more important than the actual presence of the genes is if those genes are expressed; if they are switched on. There are certain types of food which trigger the gene expression of certain diseases and there are foods which will allow disease genes to remain dormant or be switched off. Dr. Greger explains that “our diet is the number-one cause of premature death and the number one cause of disability. This perspective is revolutionary for our health and allows us to be active participants in achieving optimal health and avoiding chronic diseases. 

What are the Right Conditions?

If we create the right conditions and environment for our body, it will heal itself and thrive. What are the right conditions we need to create for our body to heal itself? There are 4 simple lifestyle factors that can prevent chronic disease and cause the body to heal itself. If you adhere to all four of these lifestyle actions your chance of developing diabetes is reduced by 90%, chance of having a heart attack is reduced by 80%, chance of having a stoke is reduced by 30% and your chance of getting cancer is reduced by one third:

•Not smoking

•Not being obese

•30 minutes of exercise daily

•Eating healthier

The next few articles will go into further detail on how to implement these four lifestyle changes. This revolutionary information gives even more life to the phrase, “Power to the People”. We now know that we have the power to heal ourselves and achieve optimal health. 

Kathleen Richardson is a certified Holistic Nutritionist and certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, specializing in weight management, Type II Diabetes and Hypertension management and making the switch to Organic and Non-GMO.

The Soda, Obesity, Diabetes Connection

Soda and other sweetened beverages have been identified as a major contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics around the world, and in light of the scientific evidence, many public health organizations have started recommending daily sugar limits.

At least 10 countries have implemented or are working toward implementing taxes on soda in an effort to reduce consumption and improve public health. One 12-ounce can of regular soda contains on average between 8 and 10 teaspoons of sugar, far exceeding 100 percent of your recommended daily sugar allotment of 6 teaspoons (25 grams).

Considering sugar is as addictive as cocaine and has downright toxic effects on your body when consumed in excess, it's no wonder obesity has become such a health crisis. Previous research conservatively suggests sugary beverages alone are to blame for about 183,000 deaths worldwide each year, including 133,000 diabetes deaths and 44,000 heart disease deaths.7 What's worse, the death rates associated with sweetened beverages were highest in those under the age of 45.

Reducing the number of sugary drinks you consume each day can go a long way toward reducing your risk for metabolic dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Diet Soda Is Not the Answer Research has shown artificial sweeteners can stimulate your appetite, increase carb cravings, stimulate fat storage and promote weight gain.

Diet sodas may actually double your risk of obesity. Pure water is a zero-calorie drink. You cannot find a beverage that contains fewer calories. Why would you choose artificially sweetened water over regular mineral water? If you want some flavor, just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon into mineral water as citrus fruits have some of the lowest fructose levels of all fruits.


DIABETES AWARENESS WALK On

June 24 at 10 a.m. (registration @ 9:00 a.m.)

A DIABETES AWARENESS WALK will take place from Delaware Park to 15 Northland Ave corner of Main St (WNY Medical offices). The Health and Wellness Experience begins at 11a.m. in this locale. This overall endeavor is themed "Let's Move and Be Healthy in recognition of former First Lady Michelle Obama's ‘Let's Move’ program. Registration for the walk is $20 per person ($25 includes a t-shirt). This event will be fun for the entire family. There will be healthy snacks, prizes, entertainment and giveaways. Join other sponsors such as Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church, Bako Pathology, Dr. Timothy Adams of Delaware Surgical, WUFO 1080 AM Radio, and many others. Additionally, there will be physicians and nurses on-site to address medical concerns. Dr. Holley will be conducting free foot examinations.

For further information please feel to contact (716) 833-4958 or medical assistants of AAFC at (716) 862-9957. Partial proceeds will go towards diabetes research and awareness. Checks can be made payable to: Soul to Sole Inc. P.O. Box 184, Buffalo, NY 14215. Soul to Sole INC and Absolutely Affordable Footcare PC are collaborating with principle sponsor WNY Medical PC to sponsor this important health initiative. Dr. William Holley, Executive Director of Soul to Sole Inc.

Super Foods: The Stuff Good Bodies are Made of

“Every cell in our body was once in the food we ate” Helen Gutherie

Kathleen Richardson aka @ BeautyTheBarbell or also known as The Queen of Clean 

Kathleen Richardson aka @ BeautyTheBarbell or also known as The Queen of Clean 

Every few months our cells die. They are preprogrammed to do so to make way for fresh cells. This process is known as apoptosis. In essence, our bodies rebuild themselves with the building materials provided from our diet. What you eat literally becomes you. Food is not just calories, it is the stuff good bodies are made of. But not all food is the same, these super fruits and vegetables are especially beneficial for health and wellbeing. 

10 Super Fruits

1.Strawberries- excellent source of Vitamin C, which can boost your immunity and folic acid which can help protect your heart.

2.Blueberries – great for brain function and memory; rich in manganese which aids in metabolism.

3.Cranberries- may prevent urinary-tract infections

4.Blackberries- rich in the same antioxidants found in green tea, which can prevent cardiovascular disease; they also contain a lot of fiber

5.Oranges- eat one orange and you have reached your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C; great source of fiber and folate

6.Cherries -rich in an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can lower cholesterol levels

7.Pineapple-rich in bromelain which has anti-inflammatory effects; rich in Vitamin C

8.Cantaloupe- excellent source of Vitamin A, which boosts cell reproduction

9.Kiwi- great source of dietary fiber which can reduce the risk of heart disease and aids in removing toxins from the colon

10.Papaya- rich in Vitamin A which will aid in the health of eyes and because of its low sugar content is good for diabetics; also, a good source of Vitamin C

10 Super Vegetables

1.Spinach- excellent source of Vitamin K which aids in bone health; it also contains 13 different antioxidants which help to prevent an array of chronic diseases

2.Greens (collard or mustard) – provide more than your daily need of vitamins K and A which aid in strong bones and sharp eyesight; can lower your cholesterol 

3.Kale- provides more than your daily need of vitamins K and C; can lower cholesterol; good source of plant-based calcium

4.Broccoli- sulforaphane in broccoli may significantly improve your blood pressure and kidney function; supports heart health; contains lutein, which may help prevent the thickening of the arteries

5.Asparagus- very good source of dietary fiber which helps to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract

6.Cauliflower – good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development; helps your body’s ability to detoxify

7.Brussel Sprouts-helps ensure that not only are toxins broken down in the body but they are safely removed from the body

8.Cucumbers- flushes out toxins while keeping the body hydrated

9.Peppers (red, green, and hot)- boosts metabolism and prevents the buildup of cholesterol in the blood

10.Beans (red, black, black eye)-  helps with weight management; decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease

5 Reasons Every Woman Should Strength Train

Act like a lady, lift like a boss” 

     Wellness Expert Kathleen Richardson

     Wellness Expert Kathleen Richardson

Many women view strength training as taboo, so we stick to the treadmill, the elliptical, spin class, or Zumba and then maybe, just maybe pick up some dumbbells and do a few bicep curls. Lifting weights is not just for men, it is for women too. Ladies, I’m here to let you know that you will NEVER get the body or physique you truly desire until you let go of fear, doubt, and stereotypes and do some strength training. Grab the barbell, kettlebells, dumbbells, or resistance bands; lift and lift heavy. Strength training brings out the inner beast of confidence that will flow into the other areas of your life. In addition to having a well-built body, you will have a strong mind and a confident heart to go along with it. 

A routine of strength training and heavy lifting will enhance your curves and melt fat. It transforms and sculpts the body. Most women think that lifting heavy will make them look bulky or they will look manly. This cannot be further from the truth. From a physiological standpoint, it is impossible. Women do not produce enough testosterone for this to occur. Let’s start thinking outside of the exercise box and a routine of strength training at least twice a week for at least 30 minutes. Here are 5 benefits of lifting weights:

Increased Confidence

Lifting heavy and becoming stronger will give you a huge boost of confidence that will manifest itself in every area of your life. You will gain increased confidence in your physical capabilities which will lead to an increased confidence in your other capabilities. You will feel more capable in your career, in school, and as a wife and mother. It’s a proud feeling when you can squat more than you did the last time. You can hold your head high and know that if you can lift weights, you can just about do anything. 

Enhance Curves

As you build muscle, your body will begin to transform into a masterpiece. Your waist will become smaller, your legs, thighs and butt will become curvier and your arms and back will create a very sexy, svelte silhouette. 

Burn Fat/Increased Metabolism

The more muscle you have; the more calories you burn at rest. Having muscles will speed up your metabolism. The irony is that you may not lose pounds; in fact, you may gain a couple of pounds. But that’s ok because one pound of fat takes up 18% more space than one pound of muscle. Bottom line, you will be stunning with your clothes on and off.

Bone Health

Lifting weights increases your bone density and fights loss of bone mass, which means that you will decrease your chances of osteoporosis and fractures later in life. Strength training will help prevent hip fractures and spine curvatures that tend to occur later in life. 

You will be a Wonder Woman

You work full time, raise your children, cook, clean, support, love, give, fight, survive AND strength train? Lifting weights makes you more incredibly beautiful and strong. You will be a part of an elite group of wonder women. Add weight lifter to your already awesome resume. I found my beauty in a barbell. You can find yours there too.

My Top 5 Strength Training Exercises:

1.Squats (bodyweight, kettlebell or barbell)

2.Deadlifts (kettlebell or barbell)

3.Military Press (dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell)

4.Back Row (dumbbell)

5.Push-up

 

 eastside bike club at slow roll is healthy and fun! 

WE KEEP IT ROLLIN’ ! George Johnson, president of the Buffalo United Front, started the East Side Bike Club last spring in order to allow folks to practice riding their bikes to participate in Slow Roll Buffalo and encourage more people from the East Side to ride with the group. The group now rides every Monday with the Slow Roll Buffalo, on Wednesdays with the Jes Roll bike group, and on other rides throughout the week. For more information check them out on Faceboo

WE KEEP IT ROLLIN’ ! George Johnson, president of the Buffalo United Front, started the East Side Bike Club last spring in order to allow folks to practice riding their bikes to participate in Slow Roll Buffalo and encourage more people from the East Side to ride with the group. The group now rides every Monday with the Slow Roll Buffalo, on Wednesdays with the Jes Roll bike group, and on other rides throughout the week. For more information check them out on Faceboo

Slow Roll Buffalo will start its third season in Niagara Square on Monday, May 1st, kicking off six months of Monday night community bike rides that have a total attendance of more than 50,000 to date. 

While the basic structure of Slow Roll will be the same - beginning at 6:30pm, an approximately 10-mile roundtrip ride free and open to cyclist of all ages and skill levels, each week a new route guided by 100+ volunteers and ending with an after-party featuring food, drinks and live entertainment - 2017 will see new ride hosts including East Parade Avenue (May 8th), Massachusetts Avenue Park (May 15th) and the Old First Ward (May 22nd) while returning to fitting favorites such as the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park on Memorial Day (May 29th). The full schedule will be announced during a preseason party at Flying Bison Brewing Company (840 Seneca St.) on Friday, April 28th, beginning at 5pm.

Slow Roll encourages bicycling, connect community on wheels with weekly Monday ride

One-time registration and more information is available at www.slowrollbuffalo.org. To learn more about GObike Buffalo’s work to create healthy, environmentally sustainable, community friendly options in the greater Buffalo region, please visit www.gobikebuffalo.org.