Many folks talk the walk, rather than walk the talk. There’s a great difference in walking the talk. In other words, you’re walking while you’re talking. If you walk just three times a week, for 45 minutes during each outing, you can talk about it. Walking will:
- Strengthen your immune system
- Increase pineal gland function (melatonin production)
- Reduce the risk of heart attacks
- Stabilize blood sugar levels
- Lower hypertension (blood pressure)
- Prevent osteoporosis
- Strengthen the muscles of your lower back
- Decrease stress reaction
- Increase stamina and energy levels
- Fend off depression
If you walk, you will never have to talk about bad health and its consequences. Walking is free! You will also save a fistful of money, not having to go to doctors and spend money on medications. You can walk on streets, walking paths, etc. It is very wise, however, to wear adequate walking shoes and walk on surfaces that are soft, such as grass or soil. Here is some advice about walking from Dr. Mort Malkin, “the walking doctor.”
- Get a cardiovascular exam from your doctor prior to walking.
- Walk with a companion in case of any illness which you might experience.
- Walk short distances first and build up gradually.
- Increase your time walking by five minutes.
- Lace your shoes a bit looser.
- Walk with a heel and toe movement (during the first phase, you push forcefully down and back with your heel following a second phase of pushing off with the calf muscle).
- Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle and totally relax your shoulders.
- Hold your head high and keep your steps light.
- Walk at the time of day that is best for you (morning, afternoon or evening).
- If walking in the morning, eat a light breakfast of toast, fruit and juice. At other times, wait an hour or two after a large meal.
- Drink water before and after walking. Drink every 20 minutes during your walk.
- Do not walk in extremely cold weather to prevent shortness of breath. The same is true for extremely hot weather to prevent heat exhaustion.
- After walking, you should feel exhilarated, not exhausted.
- Ideally, you should maintain a heart rate of 60-85 percent of 220 minus your age.
Finally, stop all the talking and let’s do some serious walking!