My name is Birgitt Haderlein, president of To Fit You. I do wellness coaching and personal training. I am excited to do my first article for the Lazybrook newsletter. It was great to see everyone at the last civic club meeting. I really want our community to be healthier and happier by spreading the word to as many of you as I can. I hope I was able to inspire some of you to start an exercise program. For those of you who were not able to make it, we went over exercises and stretches for some of those very important muscles. You know, the ones that help you get up off the chair and out of the house.
If you’re not predisposed to participating in strenuous athletic activity, thank goodness for a walking program. It has finally been recognized as an exercise that has come into it’s own. Research has shown that even slow walking offers health benefits. But if you are trying to lose weight you will need to do more than a leisurely stroll. You will need to challenge your heart and lungs to a point where your breathing is labored but you’re not out of breath.
There are 4 good reasons to start a walking program.
1. It is easy to get started and you can do it anywhere and anytime of the day
2. Burns calories and helps you manage your weight
3. Improves circulation, tones muscles and strengthens bones
4. Improves Happiness quotient
Not only does fitness walking do good things for your body; it’s great for your mind, too, according to Prevention’s Practical Encyclopedia of Walking for Health. Research has shown
that walking boosts mental performance, improves psychological well-being and enables you to solve problems, manage stress and reduce anxiety. Just think of walking as your personal therapist.
Proper walking posture allows your body to move smoothly and efficiently.
• Walk “proud” with your head up and eyes focused ahead.
• Keep your shoulders level, pulled back and down
• Lift your chest and contract your abdominal muscles, pressing them toward your spine.
Proper technique will help you walk longer and stronger. According to the Reebok Bodywalksm program, you should
apply these guidelines at each step:
1. Touch the ground heel first
2. Roll forward through the arch, over the ball of your foot to your toes, which push off to start another step.
3. Carry your arms at 90 degree angles, and pump them forward and back rather than side to side.
Go early or later in the day when it is cooler. Drink plenty of fluids. If you’re something of a procrastinator, call a friend or a neighbor to go with you. If you won’t do it for yourself you might do it because someone else is holding you accountable.
Look for me in the neighborhood, I walk twice a day, sometimes with dogs and occasionally with my new friend Vic. If you see me and have a question, please feel free to stop me and ask.