HERE’S a healthy idea: Let your feet help your heart and improve your well-being.
Doctors say walking five days a week for 30 minutes at a time may lower your chances of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Walking may also make your bones and muscles stronger, burn calories and lift your mood.
To start a walking program—or just to walk more—try some tips from the brochure “Walking…A Step in the Right Direction” from the Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a national information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health:
Focus on fun
• Walk in places you enjoy, such as a park or shopping center. Make sure that it is safe to do so.
• Bring along a friend or family member to chat with or listen to some of your favorite music as you walk. Keep the volume low so that you can hear noises around you.
• Walk with others, when possible, and take a phone and ID with you.
Celebrate your progress
• Keep track of your efforts with a journal or log. Record date, time and distance.
• Set goals and reward yourself with something like 30 minutes of quiet time to yourself.
You can get more healthful tips from WIN’s “Walking…A Step in the Right Direction.” The free brochure features tips, a sample walking program and stretches for walkers. Go to www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/walking.htm to read and download the brochure.
It’s a publication of WIN’s Sisters Together program, which is designed to encourage African-American women ages 18 and older to get to and stay at a healthy weight by being more physically active and consuming healthier foods and beverages. Go to the Sisters Together webpage at www.win.niddk.nih.gov/sisters to learn more about that program and access other materials.
For further information, visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov or like WIN at facebook.com/win.niddk.nih.gov.
North American Precis Syndicate