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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Simple Walk to Good Health

How would you like to learn about an exercise that engages many of the major muscle groups of your body, strengthens your cardiovascular system, is weight-bearing to promote your bone health (yet is low-impact so it is easy on your joints), is relatively inexpensive with a minimal need for exercise equipment and can be performed virtually in any place and practically on any terrain? Well, I have information on a mode of physical activity that offers all of the above, plus it is so basic to human nature that many toddlers can do it. That's right, it's walking. Walking isn't just a means of locomotion, it's your passport to good health.

Whether it's a stroll in the park for the previously inactive, a trek in the woods for the outdoor enthusiast, or a means of healthy competition for those who have mastered the race walk technique, the act of walking can be adapted to accommodate nearly all skill and fitness levels. Unfortunately, despite the relative ease and versatility of this mode of activity, not enough Americans are walking to promote their health when compared to other countries, according to a study published in the October 2010 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Thankfully, resources are available to help Americans step up the activity. One online source that I find to be highly informative is the Every Body Walk! website powered by Kaiser Permanente.

Every Body Walk! is an educational campaign devoted to increasing the awareness of the multiple health benefits associated with walking. I believe in this initiative and strongly support their efforts to spread the word that walking just 30 minutes a day, five days a week can get you one step closer to better health. The information presented on their site is accurate and user friendly. In addition to providing information on the health benefits of walking, it offers tips on how to begin walking, how to find a walking group in your area, how to start your own club and it even provides information on how to walk with certain health conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes. Walking maps and videos are also among the mix of beneficial material to help you make walking a part of a healthy lifestyle.

To learn more about how walking can benefit you, view this video from the Every Body Walk! website which features advice from Bob Sallis, M.D., family physician at Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Permanente Medical Group, and/or visit  Every Body Walk! to take your first step toward better health.

Every Body Walk! The Campaign to Get America Walking
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise; "Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults"; David R. Bassett, Jr., et al.; October 2010

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