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Tag Archives: walking

Walk Your Way Healthy

Posted on October 16, 2017 by

So often people want to exercise, but they don’t know where to start. Walking is a great place to start. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be done anywhere, and all you need is a comfy pair of shoes.

HOW TO GET 10,000 STEPS A DAYfeet on sidewalk
Everyone knows movement is good for the body. The hardest part is often finding the time, especially if you have an office job. However, 9-5 is a long time to be sitting at a desk. But don’t worry, anything is possible with a little bit of change.

Walking is the best way to start adding movement into your day. Walking is typically easy on the joints, can be added in small time frames, and needs no fancy equipment.

If you have the option, I highly recommend an activity tracker. While pedometers and activity trackers are in no way a necessity, seeing your steps add up can motivate and inspire you to keep moving. Seeing your steps also adds accountability. You may think you are getting an adequate amount of movement, but having a concrete number to track will help you ensure you are hitting your goals.

If you are new to walking try to hit 10,000 steps a day at first. That may seem daunting, but think of reaching 10,000 steps in smaller goals. Set a small goal to hit 250 steps/hour or 100 steps/30 minutes throughout the day. Newer activity trackers can often be set to alert you at different times of the day or a well-placed post-it note can sometimes be all it takes to keep your mind focused on your goal. Also start to recognize what activities equal 100 steps. You’ll be more motivated to continue changing your habits if you can see a concrete benefit that results.

If you are at a desk for the majority of the day there are great ways to sneak in steps throughout your day:

1. First, stepping side-to-side does count! Stand and pace as you read your emails in the morning. Are you brainstorming with colleagues? Don’t be afraid to stand and move as you think. The fun thing about counting steps is every step counts! Even if you’re not walking anywhere.

2. Park in the back of the parking lot. This advice is nothing new. But it still stands as good advice. I bet walking into work in the morning from the last spot in the lot can easily get you 100 steps.

3. Do you take an elevator? Change to taking the stairs. If you are new to stairs don’t feel like you have to conquer them all at once. Simply walk one flight up and then take the elevator the rest of the way. Add in the extra flights as you get stronger. Fitness success is about making a lot of little changes over a long period of time. It’s not about making a lot of changes all at once.

4. Rather than emailing or calling a coworker, walk over to their cubicle.

5. Walk the longest path to the bathroom, printer, scanner, fax, kitchen, water cooler, etc.

6. Take a short walk during your lunch break. Instead of spending your time driving to and from a restaurant, pack your lunch and then squeeze in a short walk with the time you saved.

7. Dress for success! Keep a change of shoes, socks, undershirt, etc. in your car during warmer weather for your longer lunchtime walks. In the winter, keep mittens, hat, and a scarf handy.

8. If it’s still too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer you can head to your nearest mall. Walking end to end one time is sure to add up!

9. Be the one who walks the dog, gets the mail, takes out the trash, and picks up the house before bed

10. Make time with your family count. Take a walk after dinner. Start playing Pokemon Go with your kids. Dance in the kitchen as you cook. Start a new hobby like bird watching, golfing, or hiking. Free time is when you’ll really rack up the steps.

Once you start tracking your steps you’ll be motivated to squeeze in more steps and set new goals. More importantly, you;ll be finding more ways to live a happy and long life. Steps don’t just result in better physical health. Walking will give you more opportunities to de-stress and clear your mind. Innovative ways of hitting your step goals will create new hobbies and create family memories. The more you get moving the more life you’ll have in each step.

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Join the CFWLS Steps for Success and add your daily steps to our group walks!  It’s easy – just log into World Walking and join the group.  It’s fun and a great way to stay inspired.

If you would like more advice on reaching 10,000 steps a day contact a CFWLS personal trainer or lifestyle coach today.

Spring Teller croppedContributed by Spring Teller, CPT, Group Instructor

Your Challenge: 10,000 Steps

Posted on August 01, 2016 by

feet on sidewalkHippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, said “walking is man’s best medicine.”  Walking as a fitness activity is becoming increasingly more popular. According to the CDC (The Center for Disease Control) and the NIH (The National Institute of Health) Adults need 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day.  We recommend 10,000 steps a day! This helps you stay healthy and lose weight.  Those 10,000 steps will burn between 2000-3500 calories a day. That could result in a 1-pound a week weight loss.  Make walking part of your daily routine.  It’s fun, inexpensive, and easy on the joints.

It’s even more enjoyable to walk in groups, which is why we started the ‘CFWLS – Steps to Success’ walking group.  We are racing, as a group, across America. The race started in California and we’ve already made it to sunny Arizona.  We enjoying setting goals, encouraging each other, and challenging ourselves physically.  Join the fun!  Just download the World Walking app on your smart phone and join our group at:   https://worldwalking.org/groups/cik7y.

steps group banner
GETTING STARTED:

You need comfortable clothes, supportive shoes, and a fitness tracker.  There are many places you can enjoy walking including: your neighborhood, track, water, park, treadmill, or the mall.

PROPER FORM:

Stand tall, keep your eyes on the horizon, practice heel-to-toe walking, neutral pelvis, relaxed shoulders, contracted abdominals, and unlocked arms.

BENEFITS OF WALKING:

Weight loss, encourages bonding with other walking buddies, increases energy and stamina, lowers Blood Pressure, and decreases stress.

ADDING INTENSITY:

Add inclines (hills), wear a weighted vest, add skips or jumps, take bigger steps, or incorporate speed intervals.  Walking longer and faster will help you burn more calories and lose weight faster.

FUN FACTS ABOUT WALKING:

*Former President Jefferson walked 4 miles a day and lived to be 83 years old.

*Walking is the most popular form of exercise in the United States.

*The average person will walk about 65,000 miles in their lifetime.

*Walking an 18-hole golf course is equivalent to about 12,000 steps.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to establish healthy habits.  Move your body as much as possible.  You can dramatically improve your health one step at a time.

I’ve included a short video to get you started!  https://youtu.be/LOYcFLk3YWw

The Race Experience

Posted on July 17, 2014 by

A few weeks ago I ran The Chick-fil-a 10K race in Newport News at The Mariner’s Museum.  Every year I come up with the usual excuses not to run it:  too expensive, too busy, not prepared….yet every year I show up and have a great time.  (By the way, I finished 2nd overall female!).  Twenty-eight years ago I decided I wanted to be a runner.  However, sharp pains in my sides and the boredom factor made me realize running was NOT for me.  A year later the stress of college finals became so overwhelming that I re-visited running.  I discovered it was a great stress reliever!  After a few months I was running 2 miles.  I started running local 5K, 10K, and ½ marathon races and frequently won my age group.  Running races became my passion, and I traveled all over the Southeast competing in different races.  In 1991 I qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon.  Since 1990 I’ve shared my enthusiasm for running with anyone who will listen.  Even if you’re a self-proclaimed “couch potato” and aren’t fond of exercise, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and experience a race.  If you’re joints are bad, try walking.  It’s not just about the physical benefits.  The mental and emotional benefits are equally rewarding.

I’m an extremely competitive person by nature.  And, honestly, receiving awards is always an honor.  But what I love most about running is that it’s not a team sport.  I set personal goals for each race and strive to meet them.  One of our clients, Frankie Cupp, recently started running races.  She said, “In running my first 10K it was never about how well I would place. It was about the confidence I felt that I was actually doing something that even 6 months ago I would never think I’d be doing.  I found an inner strength in me that drives me to do better.”  In addition to strengthening your heart and lungs, competitive running is definitely a confidence builder.

The Specificity of Training Principal says that sports training should be relevant and appropriate to the sport which the individual is training in order to produce a training effect.  Therefore, if you want to compete in a 5K race, you must get out and run or walk!  Start training gradually and progress to 3 miles a few weeks prior to the race.  Every Sunday I run 8-10 miles.  Meeting my personal goals in the next race motivates me to get out of bed. In addition to training for the next race, it’s my quiet time away from the kids and my time to “commune” with nature and focus on my body.  Scott Haley is a Weight Management University client who is training for a ½ marathon. He said, “It’s a method to set a goal and train to that goal.  I started with 5K’s.  The fear of failure is a great motivator.  You’re not losing because you’re not competing against another person.  You’re competing against yourself.”

Race day is very exciting; adrenalin pumping, nervous energy, watching people of all shapes and sizes preparing for the big event. Some are athletes striving to set state records, some are the “race junkies” that show up for every race event, and some are “newbie’s” just excited by the whole race experience.   Thirty minutes before the start everyone is mulling around, using the port-o-potties, stretching and warming up.  Ten minutes before race time and the announcer tells runners to head for the start line.  The faster runners head to the front of the line.   A special guest sings The National Anthem.  I have my shaky hand on my pounding heart, tears in my eyes, and feel proud to be an American.  Next, the wheelchair racers go and I wonder how many of them were wounded in the Middle East.  The countdown is 1 minute and I’m getting myself mentally prepared. I tell myself, “Don’t fear losing.  Fear quitting.”  3-2-1 and the gun shot goes off.  Spectators are cheering everyone on, music is booming in the distance, and everyone has the same goal:  the finish line. They’re all here for different reasons.  Maybe it’s to win a prize, get points for their running group, raise money for a charity, to set a fitness goal, or to lose weight.  We’re all in this together now.  Along the way, volunteers are handing out water and shouting out motivational words.

Our enthusiastic employee, Tina, is a runner, and perfectly summed up racing. “It’s an experience.  It’s more of a mental thing; mind over matter.  When you don’t believe you can do something and you achieve it.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I love the endorphins! Everyone at the race is happy.  It’s one big joyous, healthy occasion from the camaraderie to the cheering supporters”

The cheering spectators help tremendously with motivation to keep going. The FINISH line appears in the distance and it’s like a “Chariots of Fire” moment.  You can do it!  You can see it! You cross the finish line and feel invincible! Race volunteers hand you water, bananas, and a protein bar. Most importantly, you win a shiny medal to wear proudly around your neck. (I keep all my certificates, medals, plaques, and trophies on my special “running bookcase.”).  Every race is a different and unique experience.  Sometimes they serve pizza, beer (!), offer free massages, give away raffle prizes, or have concerts.

At the awards ceremony, trophies or plaques are handed out to overall and age group winners. Overall winners often get additional gifts such as gift certificates or money.  The truth is everyone who showed up and participated is a winner!  Each person got a medal, race t-shirt (part of the sign up cost), and a bib number.  I write down my times on my bib numbers and keep them for my running scrapbook. Brenda Nickel is a former client at CFWLS who participates in triathlons.  She recounted to me, “Races are a great way to remind me how far I have come and how much further I can go.  They are also a great way to keep me in my pants!”

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

CFWLS at Color Me Rad 2013

To find a local race either visit a running store or just Google races in your area.  There are so many to choose from.  The most fun I’ve ever had in a race was the Color Me Rad 5K.  These “brighten your spirits” races are held throughout the country at various locations.  The staff at  CFWLS has participated for the past two years.  You start the race with a white t-shirt and finish looking like a tie-dyed hippy.  During the event, overly-zealous volunteers pelt you with color bombs of blue, green, pink ,purple, and yellow.  It’s an action-packed, amusing time for the whole family.  It was Cat Keller’s first race.  She said, “I walked the 5K.  I’m not a runner.  I’d rather do hot yoga or lift weights. However, I would do another race.  I felt so good after the race I could have done a 10K.  It’s better to have a friend with you because you’re exercising but you don’t even know it.”

I challenge you to find a race and start training. It doesn’t’ matter what your fitness level is. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”It could become your passion.  If you want more information on how to train for a race, please contact Jim Bradley or Arlyne Spalla Benson at The Center for Weight Loss Success.

Fitness Goal to 5K – Walk, Jog or Run!

Posted on May 21, 2014 by