Tag Archives: Walking

Why walk 5 miles a day, every day?

When it comes to walking, it’s all good.

In case you hadn’t heard, there is a health and fitness trend that says walking 10,000 paces a day is good for your body, mind, and soul.  For me, ten-thousand paces equates to about 5 miles on level ground, and will usually take me the best part of two hours to accomplish.  Which begs the question; is it really worth my while to devote two hours a day, every day, just walking to somewhere, or even to nowhere and back again?

Well, actually, yes it is, and these are the reasons why.

Let’s start with something scientific and anatomical ~ blood flow in the legs.  The circulation in our feet and legs only works because we use our calf muscles, and because of non-return valves in the veins.  If we sit still, we have bugger-all blood flow in our feet and legs ~ which is why there’s a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis during long flights.  If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, you are in danger of developing poor circulation, which is nasty.

So if you want to have healthy circulation, one of the things you can do is just get out of your chair, and walk.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty.  She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.  ~  Ellen DeGeneres

Walking more, whether it’s to go somewhere, or for leisure, or part of your health and fitness programme is an easy way to be more active without all that unpleasant sweating, huffing, and puffing that comes with some other forms of exercise.   A brisk walk is classed as moderate-intensity activity, and does count towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.  Walking is a form of exercise that’s easy to fit into your daily routine, for example instead of taking the elevator up a couple of floors, take the stairs.

If you’re not used to taking much exercise, then don’t start off by trying to walk 5 miles.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that you add 1,000 steps a week to your baseline average.  This means you are going to need a pedometer, and the first thing you should do is measure how many steps you take in an average day.  Very Well says that if you are an average American you will most likely be walking 5,000 steps in an entire day, (HA! I don’t believe a word of that, I’m certain the average Californian walks about 2,500 steps a day.)

The respected Mayo Clinic is very keen on walking as a form of exercise and even has a 12-week walking schedule based on work done by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The benefits of walking include improving your blood pressure, energy, happiness, mental health, skin tone, sleep, stamina, strength, stress levels ~ as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, joint problems, obesity, a stroke, and nasty diseases in general.  On top of that you are going to look and feel a hell of a lot better.  The key to walking for health and fitness is to build walking into your daily schedule.

These days I am keen on meditation and mindfulness, but I find it difficult to meditate in the traditional fashion.  So, I meditate during yoga, and I also practice a form of walking meditation.  I have never been taught, nor led through yoga meditation or walking meditation, these are mindfulness practices which just came naturally to me.

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.  ~  Friedrich Nietzsche

All of us should also do some strength exercises, at least twice a week, particularly as we get older.  Personally I like to do some yoga, but I also add an isometric workout into my daily walk.   This two-for the price of one routine means that I make the most use of the couple of hours I spend in the fresh air and sunshine, (we sometimes get sunshine in England).

You don’t have to believe me that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good idea.  Just google 10,000 steps and you will come across loads of articles by people such as the well-respected Dr Mercola who say that walking 10,000 steps a day is a basic requirement for good health and fitness.

In life a couple of things now scare me; having a stroke and developing dementia.  If I can improve my chances of avoiding these life-destroying conditions, then a couple of hours walking every day seems a small price to pay.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Deskbound to an Early Death?

Office work is injurious to your health.

If you spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk, your health will suffer, your fitness will suffer, and you may be heading to an early grave.  In fact over a 20 year period you are 60% more likely to die than someone who leads an active life, (defined as a couple of hours physical activity a day).  A sedentary lifestyle can kill you.

A deskbound, sedentary lifestyle means that you will be  far more likely to suffer from all kinds of nasty illnesses, including; heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, insomnia, poor circulation, back pain, neck pain, brittle bones, arthritis, gout, obesity, stomach problems…

However, there are some fairly easy changes you can make to your deskbound lifestyle to make up for the fact that for eight hours a day you’re mostly a potato.  All you really need is a little bit of self-discipline, and you could transform your life by following some, (or all), of these simple suggestions.

Seems like a lot of fuss and effort, doesn’t it?  OK, don’t bother to do any of this.  Don’t make any changes to your sedentary life.  Be a boring person, get sick, feel terrible, die before you should.  With one exception I don’t give a damn if you follow any of this advice or not.  It’s your life, such as it is, you are free to be a desk potato, if that’s what you really want.

But remember, if you just sit at your desk for eight hours a day, then you have to do a solid hour’s exercise in the evenings just to undo all the harm you’ve done to your body, mind, and spirit during the working day.

Get more exercise and have a nice life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

how I lost 18 pounds in 6 weeks

I wanted to be healthier, fitter, and look better, (or at least look as well as I could).  Turns out I developed a sustainable plan for eating, exercise, and good health.

Black DogIt all started on June 9th, when I came to the conclusion that I really, really, needed to give up coffee for a month  Too much coffee was turning me into a mad dog.  I’ve only had coffee on 2 days since then, and for me, coffee is now a drink only for after a special meal, with a special friend.

As I felt much better not drinking coffee I also resolved to cut all the junk out of my diet.  This is easier said than done ~ most of the stuff we eat is full of salt, sugar, additives, colourings, and sundry crap.  After a while I decided that I just had to stop eating a lot of processed, packaged, pre-prepared food. For me, there is also the big issue of Abstinence versus Control.

Then I wanted a couple of other things; to get a decent sun tan, and get some exercise.  Ha!  I could do both by going for long walks on the beach, in the sunshine.

So, 6 weeks ago I came up with this plan.

  1. Take a long walk every day it wasn’t raining.  Walking is good for you.  I bought a pedometer, and my long walk turned into 10 miles every day, which takes me about three-and-a-half hours.  I also found I could do some upper-body isometric exercise while I was walking in the sunshine.  Sun tan and exercise!
  2. No alcohol whatsoever.  I am not supposed to drink anyway, and if you want to look as good as you can, then you need to give up booze, (and I mean completely), for 6 weeks.  In fact you should stop drinking beer for the rest of your life.
  3. No wheat whatsoever.  This includes wheat products like bread, cakes, noodles, pasta, and beer…  Modern wheat is full of nasty stuff, piles on fat around your stomach, and will eventually harm your insides.  Everybody should probably stop eating wheat.
  4. Take as little sugar as possible.  This means cutting out all those canned, packaged, processed foods.  Stop drinking soda completely.  Quitting coffee and switching to green tea helps too.  Not eating wheat products also cuts out a lot of sugar.  Too much refined sugar will kill you anyway.
  5. Eat only healthy meals prepared at home.  Unless you’ve bought the produce and cooked / prepared the meal yourself, you have no idea what you are eating.  In any event, eating out is too likely to lead one down the road of overeating and booze. There are hundreds of quick and easy menus ~ hell just read my Food on Friday blog if you run out of ideas.
  6. No snacks, no grazing, no eating between meals, over large meals, cookies with coffee…  And, do not have more than 3 meals in a day.  In fact, do no have more than a light breakfast, light lunch, and reasonable evening meal in each day.

This eating plan is going to be a big problem for some people, it certainly was for me.  I am one of those people who can give up stuff easily, but I can’t control how much stuff I want once I’ve started.  Like most of us, once I start eating I want to eat more.

My solution was daily intermittent fasting, eating only 1 meal a day, my evening meal.

You will be surprised to know that I found this programme very easy to follow.

And when I checked my wight yesterday I found I had hit my target of 150 pounds, which means I have shed 3 pounds of flab, every week for 6 weeks.  Add it up.

~

hbz-insta-amandabiskjackcollier7@talktalk.net

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