Health + Fitness

Spring time is time to walk

A small ‘patch of snow remains on our property where snow plows piled up giant mountains over the winter.

Other than that, the sidewalks are clear. And you know what that means. It is time to get outside and move our bodies.

I sometimes tell you about the exercise routines I go through to shape my body, build endurance and fight obesity. But did you know that walking is one of the most effective forms of exercises around? And it is less taxing on the body than jump squats.

Today I want to introduce you to a website called, Everybodywalk.org. It is an effort to get America to walk at least three times a week. It has tips on walking, puts you in touch with local walking groups and provides information on the benefits of walking.

Last weekend I had a jam-packed weekend with my daughter Celine, who played in a soccer tournament in Lexington, Ky. We usually got the girls to the fields 45 minutes before kickoff for her three games. Instead of gabbing with parents the entire time, I walked a little bit and returned in time for games. It wasn’t much for me but it got me moving a bit.

I am not much of a walker because I’ve decided to go through a more strenuous workout routine. But I realize what I do isn’t for everybody. We are in different stages of body type and weight. Some folks have bad knees and bad backs. Some are so overweight that they cannot run.

Most people can walk.

Here is the No. 1 thing you should remember about walking or running or jumping. Exercise is medication. It makes your body well. It cleanses your system and it puts you in a better mood. It makes no sense sitting and sulking and putting you in a bad mood by not doing anything.

This is a great time to find a buddy. We can walk with our kids, our spouses or our neighbors. The perfect time is after dinner when your bellies are filled. That buddy can even be a dog. Studies show that people with a dog live longer than those without. Part of the reason is people with a dog usually walk the dog a couple times a day.

The weather is not perfect yet, but all you need is a light jacket and hat and you should be able to make it.

And don’t forget. When the weather is bad, mall walking is just as beneficial.

Let’s break it down into life and death. A person who walks just 25 minutes a week outlives somebody by several years who does not. A recent study estimates that every minute you walk extends your life by 1.5 to 2 minutes.

We should try to do 10,000 steps per day (five miles), whether it is around the office, the neighborhood or in the mall.

Walking is a simple exercise. And it can be a life saver.

You can reach Terry Foster at Terry.Foster@detnews.com or (313) 222-1494. You can also follow him” on facebook.com or twitter.com/TerryFoster971.