Stay Healthy by Walking More and Driving Less
Walking Is Healthy
Anyone can stay healthy by walking more and driving less. Americans have a love affair with their cars, but every time I go somewhere I hear many people moaning and groaning about having to walk across the parking lot! Recently I have lost weight by walking more, so I consider movement to be a good thing. Granted I really do not drive and prefer to walk and take the bus to work, but walking has helped to ensure I stay healthy. Walking is a great cardio work out that burns calories without setting draining the pocketbook as with a gym membership. When I am walking somewhere I always like to make it a competition by seeing how fast I can get to my location, and after walking for so many years I have become very fast. Even people who have not walked very much in their lives can master the art of walking because it is free and easy. Also, I think it is good for us to appreciate our two walking legs and use them because there are many people who are paralyzed, and do not have the luxury of being able to walk. For a week try to stay healthy by walking more and driving less, but only if you want too. At least try to take the stairs, or go for a walk after work. Incorporate walking throughout your day and aim for an hour of walking time. When you take the stairs, walk home from work one day a week, walk after work, or walk on the weekends, all of this exercise will add up to many miles of heart healthy walking.
Walking Burns Calories
As a college student I was on the anorexic side and barely ate anything because I was very obsessed with the number on the scale. Eventually after college I gained weight and grew into normal eating habits, but unlike other people who have a high metabolism I did not burn off calories easily. I walk everywhere or take the bus as I have never enjoyed driving, and most people would be much smaller than I am if they walked as much as I do. Six years ago I became obsessed with becoming skinny again, so I started running thirty plus miles per week and doing taebo. I was so obsessed with being able to eat whatever I wanted while maintaining slim figure, and this truly became my obsession. In 2004 I started experiencing pain during my runs, and after several visits with two doctors who really did not help me, I finally found one who informed me I had sciatica. He basically said I would be in much less pain if I stopped running for good, so that is what I have decided to do. I still bend over and lift things when I need to, but I minimize it and try not to strain my back when possible.
I hate that I had to stop running because I was no longer able to be skinny easily, but at the same time I enjoy food and do not want to starve myself to look that way either. The reason I put weight back on when I stopped running was because I can run very fast and covered more ground than when I walk. Do not get me wrong I am a fast walker, but I was addicted to the endorphins of a good run and it also bribed me to keep going. Although I enjoy a three or four mile walk, I really am not up for walking the twelve miles I used to run, thus the weight gain. In college I had tried dieting, but I decided that was not for me. These days I eat a relatively healthy diet that consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables, carbs, lean proteins (beans, soy, turkey, and fish), and yes I do have a bad sweet tooth. I have never drank or smoked, but ironically I have seen many people who abuse their bodies never come down with lung cancer, but health nuts that have heart attacks. In the end I feel moderation is okay as long as you are not smoking, and if you drink cut it down to a few a week. Sweets are my vice and if it were not for my sweet tooth I would would weigh twenty pounds less than I do today, but I have come to the realization I am very healthy because I can walk fast and do things faster than many skinny people around me. Also, I have low blood pressure and my doctors are always amazed by my relative good health. Often I will run up the stairs and leave behind a group of people who are huffing and puffing their way to the top, but I can assure you some of them are much thinner than I am. Has anyone ever heard of skinny fat? A skinny fat person is someone who looks thin, but often they do not eat a balanced diet or exercise properly. Thus, it is much better to get on a good nutritional and exercise plan than to strive for anorexia by only a tiny bit each day. Anorexia is a very serious health issue, and if you suspect you are anorexic you should consult with your doctor what options are open for you. However, most people are not anorexic and actually struggle with trying to eat right, eat less, and burn more calories. I have been there and will never go there again. Nevertheless, I try to follow sound advice such as given on the Mayo Clinic website.
Walking Is Free
I had several friends who tried to convince me to buy gym memberships, but I am very cheap and cannot see paying for something I can do for free. Running is free, taebo DVD's are cheaper than the gym, and walking is definitely free. Once I was able to set myself free of the trap of weight a certain number I was liberated. I am set on losing twenty pounds that I gained over the last two years, but I know this will happen once I cut soda and sweets out. I have the strenght to do this, and the HubMob has given me the chance to do some introspective thinking and realize I do not need sweet. I know how to lose weight because I have done it in the past. I know how to eat right because I pretty much do, albeit I eat a few too many sweets. I no longer aspire to look like other people, an impossible goal, but I walk as much as possible to stay healthy for me. I will never pay for a gym membership because I can do many of these things for free. Also, I love to walk and listen to the birds chirping, see the blue sky, and look at the trees, and I just cannot do any of those things at a gym.
Do You Think People Are Getting A Work Out By Driving On The Freeway? The Answer Is No And Maybe They Should Consider Walking A Little Bit More Each Day
Where Can I Go Walking?
On a daily basis you could try walking to work once a week. I live three miles from work so I do not walk to work, but I do walk home on days the bus runs once an hour. I love the vigorous feeling of walking on a warm summer day, but I truly love the heat and Southern California is my friend in the summer time. Although most people probably could not handle the heat of summer when it comes to walking, now that it is getting cooler in the northern hemisphere there is less of an excuse not to walk. If it is manageable try walking to work for a week, or try walking home from work at least one day this week. I like to walk the three miles home from work at least twice a week, and it takes less than an hour. However, if you like to run it the miles can go by even faster than this. If walking to and from work is impossible, try to incorporate more walking into your daily activities. For example, stop circling the parking lot looking for the perfect front space and actually park in the back! This sounds heinous to those who love to moan and groan about walking a few tiny feet, but those steps add up in the end. It takes 5,208 ft to walk a mile, so each of these steps add and up, but you need to start stepping for these to count. Also, you could try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even walking for fifteen minutes during your lunch break like I do. I love the Southern California heat, so when I am inside an air conditioned building I look forward to my escape and being able to spend my break walking in the heat. Also, the air conditioning is more motivation for me to stay active and get up and walk around as much as possible. Do you want to find out how many calories you are burning during each work out? If so, this handy little calorie burning calculator will hit the spot!
Where Should I Go Hiking?
So where would you like to go walking on the weekends. If you live in Southern California I recommend going up to the San Bernardino Mountains for a hike. There are many types of hikes that range from easy jaunts to more difficult treks. The Indian Rock Trail is barely a mile and a nice stroll with slight up and downhill inclines. I used to go running out to the Indian Rock Camp Trail on a daily basis when I lived up in the San Bernardino Mountains, so it is a definite must see if you are in the area. The wonderful thing about the end of this trail is that you can look at the wonderful metate rocks, which comes from the Spanish word for a large rock to grind on. The Serrano Indians used to grind acorns into meal on these rocks, and the impressions left by their mortars can still be seen today. I used to run/walk out to the metate rock and run my hand over the deep holes left by the mortars, and it helped me to feel a connection with the people who ground the acorns there so many years earlier. Of course my long runs/walks out to this isolated region ended when bear ran right in front of me and I ended up flagging down a passing sheriff to give me a ride home. I used to love my runs/walks, out to Indian Rock Camp to visit the metate rocks, but the bear made me reconsider these solitary jaunts.
Another wonderful hike is the Pinnacles Trail, which is much more difficult with its upheld steep upheld inclines. However, this trail is much easier than it was when I was very little because the Sierra Club went through and put in a a more navigable trail. Before this the hike amount to navigating around large rocks, but these are such beautiful rock formation and worth seeing at least once. Also, hiking uphill is a very good work out and you can burn quite a bit of calories doing this. The amount of calories varies per person, but you can use the calorie burning calculator above to determine approximately how many calories will be consumed. The Pinnacles Trail is approximately three and half miles, so this steep incline makes for a great work out on the way up. Once you get to the top you can see all the way down to Lake Silverwood below and in the distance one can see "Mount Baldy" in the San Antonio Mountains, which is named because there are very few trees growing at it higher altitudes. Hiking is well worth the exercise, and a great way to get out of your car for a change. Of course I would encourage you to drive up to Lake Arrowhead so you can try these beautiful trails, but make sure to get out of the car once you get there. Walking more and driving less is a great way to get a work out and burn some calories.