So you are wanting to get in shape. One of the best ways to firm up is to walk. Most doctors advise to start out small such as a walk up to the mailbox and build from there. The magic number usually is 30 minutes per day. That is not much. Before beginning any exercise routine, please see your health professional.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am big on trying to live a more healthier life. It’s part of the reason that I am interested in the health professions. And thanks to working with others, I have learned so much more. That is where I learned about the Blue Zones.
Typically the people who live in the Blue Zones live longer than anywhere in the world. Dan Buettner and his team identified five areas around the world where the majority of centurions live. They are:
- Sardinia, Italy
- Okinawa, Japan
- Nacoya, Costa Rica
- Loma Linda, California
- Ikaria, Greece.
Ikaria, Greece caught my interest since they have such a low number of dementia, and heart disease, both of which run in my family. Most of the centurions average about five miles walking per day. Previous to volunteering, I could honestly say that I was lucky to get a quarter mile a day in.
As I would like to not experience diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and hypertension, I have worked towards implementing a healthier life style. Prior to the holidays, I was walking three miles a day. Things got a little crazy during December. It is time to get back into to my goal of averaging five miles a day.
This does not mean that it will be walking five miles as a nature walk or in a park. The interesting tidbit I gain from reading about the centurions is many of them average that many miles passively. So therefore, I generally try to walk a few miles to supplement working in the garden, taking the dog for a walk, mowing the lawn with a push mower, and anything else which will help me to be more active.
Anyone can increase their step count just by parking at the end of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, intentionally forgetting to pick up something so you have to go back for it.
Walking does the body good. I have lost a few pounds, but have lost mostly inches. But, the most important results are my BMI is down, my ratio of good and bad triglycerides put me in the positive, and I am at a lower risk of getting diabetes.
For me, walking is a positive influence in my life. I am healthier because I walk.