Walking A Healthy Habit For Life!
1996, the Surgeon General recommended that people of all
ages should participate in moderate daily physical activity
and the national health objective Healthy People 2010 identifies
physical activity as one of our nation's leading health
indicators. In America today people like to think of themselves
as active, robust, and rugged. But in fact, the consequences
of a sedentary lifestyle have begun to threaten the decades-long
progress that we have made in reducing death and suffering
from cardiovascular disease.
Activity and Health, the landmark Surgeon General's
report of 1996, identified substantial health benefits of
regular participation in physical activity, including reducing
the risks of dying prematurely; dying prematurely from heart
disease; and developing diabetes, high blood pressure, or
is an aerobic exercise that will condition the heart and
lungs. A moderate intensity workout of 30 minutes a day
on almost every day can have both short and long term benefits
to help lower your risks of heart disease, diabetes, and
certain types of cancer. More exciting news is that recent
studies have shown that these 30 minutes can be even further
reduced to include three 10-minute segments daily.
West Virginia, 68 percent of the adult population reported
little or no physical activity in 1998 and West Virginia
ranked third worst among the 50 states for having no leisure-time
physical exercise at all. Making walking a healthy habit
for life will improve heart, brain, and other body functions
at all ages. Successfully communicating this information
to communities in ways that actually prompt individuals
to put on their walking shoes and walk (the easiest and
most popular form of physical exercise) will lead to developing
walking as a healthy lifetime habit.
a successful walking program requires some thought. To ensure
the best time for you. If you stick with a specific
time you will be more likely to continue the program Morning
walks often give you more energy to get through the day.
If you don't have 30 minutes in the morning, three 10-minute
segments will provide the same benefit. You can make up
the extra time during lunch or after your evening meal.
a convenient and safe walking course. An outdoor course
should be a smooth surface and safe from traffic. Walking
indoors at a shopping mall, school or recreation center
is also a safe alternative. Wherever you walk make sure
it is well lit.
with a friend. For many people walking with a partner
or friend makes the walk more enjoyable and help you stick
to the program. Choose someone that has the same schedule
comfortable walking shoes. Although you can wear any
clothing to walk, the best materials are cotton, fleece-lined
cotton, wool or breathable nylon. During the winter you
should dress in layers and in summer where porous fabrics
that allow sweat to evaporate. Proper footwear is important.
Thick flexible soles that cushion the sole of the foot and
absorb shock for the rest of the body are best.
best warm-up for walking is walking. Start by walking
slowly for about five minutes. Then moderate walking. Walk
as if you are going somewhere. You should be able to carry
on a conversation while you walk. If you need to start slowly,
walk for only 10-minute segments the first week. Increase
to 20-minutes the second week, and 30-minutes after 3 weeks.
it up. Whatever you do keep walking. Once walking becomes
a healthy habit for life you will look forward to walking
and it will become a part of your daily routine. The same
as brushing your teeth and taking a shower!
the community structural environment in our area supports
walking. The Heritage Trail runs through Wheeling and is
nearly ready to connect to Brooke County. Local malls and
schools also allow indoor walking. Remember walking is an
ideal form of physical activity. It's easy to do, requires
no special skills or equipment, can be done by the vast
majority of the population with little risk of injury, and
is functional: it gets you places. So make walking a healthy
habit for your lifetime!