Tag Archives: walking

Bike commuting may extend your life – Study

Mark Twain famously said, “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.”

Few people realize that he was talking about riding the penny farthing bicycle which had a huge front wheel and took some skill to master. If you want a fun read on his adventure, you can experience Mark Twain in the original – Taming the bicycle.

But I digressed. New research by the University of Glasgow and published in the BMJ, has found that cycling to work is associated with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease, compared to a non-active commute.

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Overall the study found that commuters who cycled were associated with a 41% lower risk of premature death.

Walking to work was associated with 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but not cancer or premature death overall.

This study analyzed data from 264,337 participants from UK Biobank who were asked questions about their usual mode of commuting to work and then followed up for 5 years. The new cases of cancer, heart attacks and deaths in that 5-year period were assessed and related to their mode of commuting.

The researchers believe that their findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike may present major opportunities for public health improvement.

Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said: “Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes. Those who cycled the full length of their commute had an over 40% lower risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality over the 5 years of follow-up.

“If these associations are causal, these findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike, such as cycle lanes, city bike hire, subsidized cycle purchase schemes and increasing provision for cycles on public transport may present major opportunities for public health improvement.”

The greater benefits seen with cycling compared with walking may be because cycle commuters covered longer distances in their commutes than the walkers, the intensity of cycling is higher than walking and the cycle commuters had higher levels of fitness

Dr Carlos Celis-Morales, said: “Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death. This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists – typically 6 miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week – and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling.”

For the record, I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. Check out my Page – Why you should walk more for additional details.

Tony

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Check out interval walking – Harvard

I have written numerous times about the value of walking as an exercise. I have a Page – Why you should walk more which I hope you will check out for further details on this superb form of exercise. Well, now comes Harvard Health Publications with a fresh look at this old exercise – Interval Walking.

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Warm weather is here, and you may be walking more to take advantage of being outside. Why not ramp up your routine with bursts of fast-paced walking? The technique, known as interval walking, “is a great way to get the most exercise bang for your buck,” says Dr. Aaron Baggish, associate director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

About interval training

Interval walking is a form of interval training, which describes any form of exercise in which you purposely speed up or slow down at regular intervals throughout the session. The benefits of interval training in athletes and people in cardiac rehabilitation are well studied. Dr. Baggish says interval walking hasn’t been examined as much, but he believes the same benefits apply. “Something about strenuous exercise is good for the body. It improves endurance, reduces blood pressure, and helps with weight loss,” he explains. Continue reading

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Use exercise to help depression – WebMD

I have done a number of posts on depression – a mood disorder very common and often misunderstood. One of the first things you need to know about depression is that it is a disorder of cognition not just mood, according to Robert D. Edger, M.D. speaking before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program® . You don’t just buck  up or keep smiling to get rid of it. You usually need a medical intervention. Statistics show that possibly 75 percent of sufferers do not get medical help.

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Here are my pup and me riding in Chicago’s annual Bike the Drive up Lake Shore Drive. A bike is a super tool for fighting depression.

Here are a few suggestions from WebMD that at least offer some relief from depression. Needless to say, I was happy to see that, once more, exercise casts some light into the darkness of this situation.  Click on the link to read them all. Continue reading

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Hodgepodge of health

Some fitness, some funny, some diet … hodgepodge. Enjoy!

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Tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking program linked to reduced disability

Falls are a top cause of disability for older adults. But a study published Sept. 26, 2016, in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that adopting a regular routine of moderate physical activity, such as walking, helps older adults remain mobile longer and may also help them to recover faster from physical disabilities, according to Harvard Health Publications.

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Researchers analyzed information from a previous randomized controlled trial that divided 1,600 sedentary adults ages 70 to 89 into two groups. One group received ongoing health education classes that included upper-body stretching exercises. The other group took part in a structured exercise program several days a week that included walking and some strength, flexibility, and balance training.

Researchers assessed both groups over a period of three-and-a-half years. The new study concludes that people in the exercise group reduced the amount of time spent suffering from major disability by 25%, compared with people in the health education group. People in the exercise group also appeared less likely to experience disability in the first place, and more likely to recover if they did.

While falls cause serious injuries to older adults, the exercise walking benefits all ages, please check out my Page – Why you should walk more to see how good it is for you.

Tony

 

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Can exercise erase damage from excessive sitting? – Harvard

I confess that only last year I was ignorant of the fact that sitting for a prolonged period was very hazardous to your health. Since then, I have erased much of my ignorance with a number of posts. You can check them out on my Page – Do you know the dangers of too much sitting? So I was gratified to read the latest info on sitting from the Harvard Medical School.

“Can an hour of brisk walking counteract the downsides of sitting for most of the day? Maybe, according to a study published online July 27, 2016, by The Lancet.

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Since biking is one the of the suggested exercises, I thought I would include this shot of Gabi and me riding in Chicago’s annual Bike the Drive on famed Lake Shore Drive. 

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Walking an hour a day best for longevity – Study

I have written numerous times in these pages that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. I have an entire Page on the Why you should walk more so I was more than a little pleased to read the American Cancer Society study on the benefits of walking an hour a day.

“Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and others have found that getting 3 to 5 times the amount of recommended leisure-time physical activity results in the greatest benefit in terms of a longer life. The study was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. One way to achieve this benefit is by walking an hour a day.

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“The US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society are among organizations that recommend adults get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity or 75 minutes (1.25) hours of vigorous intensity activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week. Moderate-intensity activities are those at the level of a brisk walk. Vigorous-intensity activities increase your heart rate and breathing, and make you sweat. Continue reading

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Harvard on Simple Weight Loss Principles

Seconds on the lips; a lifetime on the hips.

We have all heard that old cliche and nodded knowingly. But the fact that two-thirds of us are overweight and half of the heavies are actually obese demonstrates that not enough of us are acting as if we believed it.
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I have written an entire page entitled How to lose weight – and keep it off breaking down the principles and techniques I have used for the past several years to reach my ideal weight and maintain it. I am a regular guy not a saint or superhuman. You can do it, too.

Now comes Harvard Medical School with an item echoing and elucidating my sentiments on weight loss and weight maintenance.

“The pleasure of eating a candy bar lasts but a few minutes. Burning off the calories it delivers can take nearly three-quarters of an hour. Continue reading

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Interval training techniques for quick fat loss – Infographic

Although weight loss was the primary focus of this blog at the outset, it has been pushed to the back burner in favor of straight forward healthy living which consists of  intelligent eating with regular exercise. However, if a person if a person finds himself overweight and wants some speedier results. Interval training just might fill the bill.

Interval training is a type of physical exercise that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to anaerobic exercise, while the recovery periods involve activity of lower intensity. Varying the intensity of effort exercises the heart muscle, providing a cardiovascular workout, improving aerobic capacity and permitting the person to exercise for longer and/or more intense levels. According to Wikipedia.

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Just to keep things in perspective, please check out my Page – How to lose weight – (and keep it off).

Tony

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6 tips to help you keep a walking regimen on track – Harvard

I have written more than once the words walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world, vastly unappreciated. It’s nice to see this further support from a special Harvard Health ReportWalking for Health.

“Regular walks are an incredibly popular way to exercise — and it’s easy to see why. Walking is easy and free (except for a good pair of shoes), and can be done just about anywhere. But it’s those very qualities that can also make it very tempting to skip. If your walking routine is in danger of lapsing, try one or more of these strategies to keep going.

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“1. Have a backup plan. For example, if you sleep in and miss your morning walk, you’ll know that you’re going to walk during lunch instead. Or, maybe you know that dinner with friends will prevent you from taking your evening stroll, so instead you sneak in a 15-minute walk in the morning and another before you meet your friends. And keeping a pair of sneakers in your car gives you the option to squeeze in a walk whenever you have a little extra time. Continue reading

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You Should Walk More – Infographic

I am a firm believer in walking as an exercise for good health. Although I ride my bike nearly daily and love it as well as the exercise benefits I derive from it, biking is not weight-bearing exercise. Walking is. Your bones benefit from walking,  so you are defending yourself from osteoporosis with every step.

We all need weight-bearing exercise as well as cardio.

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To read further on walking , check out my Page – Why you should walk more.

Tony

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Can You Add Some Exercise to Your Day?

This is really painting with a fine brush on the whole premise of eat less; move more; live longer, but I thought it was worth mentioning. I’m sure you can figure out any number of variations on this that apply to your own life. The mental framework may be more important than the physical exertion.

Just as we are always being tempted by tasty caloric treats, ice cream in the summer, chips and candy around the apartment or at the office, we need to focus our attention on similar calorie burning ‘treats’ for our body.

This is the path not taken. Instead of walking up the sidewalk on the right, I veer left and climb up the grassy hill.

Here is one that I use regularly. During the summer, I walk my dog in a park not far from my apartment. I use that park because there are trees which provide shade for us. My little poodle really suffers from the sun. As you may or may not know, poodles don’t shed. That is good news for me who is allergic, but bad news for her because she has no under layer of fur to keep her warm in the winter and protect from the direct sun in summer. In addition, having had skin cancer, I have no wish for extra ‘rays.’ I wrote a Page on Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular.

I walk her down Randolph St. which is several floors above the park. After our walk we need to get back up to the street. As you can see from the photo, there is a sidewalk and also a grassy hill. I always walk up the grass. It is a lot steeper than the sidewalk and I can feel the pull and burn in my upper leg muscles as I climb to the top. I suppose it is not more than 40 feet from top to bottom, but it is a nice brief workout for my legs. I can definitely feel the difference in resistance compared to walking up via the sidewalk.
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How to Start Exercising After Taking a Break

Has it been a while since you’ve exercised? Life can sometimes get in the way of your physical activity routine. Whether it’s a vacation, illness, or other commitment that interrupted your exercise schedule or you just got lazy, you can start again and achieve success. The important thing is not to get down on yourself if you had a lapse. Pick yourself up from here and go on. Remember, your body needs regular exercise.

The National Institute of Health suggests the following:
Think about the reasons you started exercising and how much you’ve already accomplished.
1. Start again at a comfortable level and gradually build back up.
2. Try an activity you’ve never done before.
3. Believe in yourself!
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Can Walking Cut Chocolate Cravings?

A short, brisk walk can help to curb your cravings for cocoa, according to a study reported in LiveScience.

As a chocolate lover and avid bicycle rider, I manage my calories to include chocolate and still maintain my weight. If you are concerned about adding pounds, or inches, a brisk walk might be in order for you.

“Researchers at the University of Exeter had 25 regular chocolate eaters abstain from their favorite snack for three days. They were then assigned to either take a brisk 15-minute walk or to rest.

“The participants then performed tasks that would normally increase their chocolate jones, including a mental challenge and opening a chocolate bar. The walkers reported lower cravings both during the walk and for about 10 minutes afterward. They were also less likely to be tempted by unwrapping the candy bar,” LiveScience reported.
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Mall-Walking is Good for You, But …

You probably already have heard about mall-walking, right? Groups of seniors gather in shopping malls to get their exercise walking in a heated/air-conditioned area with clean rest rooms available. Mall-walking is a good way for folks to socialize as well as accomplish a daily exercise session.
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A downside to mall-walking, however, is that after the walk folks get together at a food court for breakfast or a snack. As I mentioned in the portion control posts, muffins in food courts often pack 400+ calories into their tasty outsized shapes.

At a rate of 100 calories per mile, you would need to walk over four miles to break even on this transaction. If you only walked two miles, about a half hour, you would be 200 calories in deficit after your exercise.

You really do need to keep focused about your eating in relation to your exercise.

Don’t Out-Eat your Exercise.

This is not meant to discourage you from walking in malls or otherwise. Walking in my opinion is the Cinderella of the exercise world – vastly unappreciated. Check out Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health, How Good is Walking for You? – Infographic, How to Burn More Calories Walking – Infographic, Is Walking as Effective an Exercise as Running?, Why You Should be Walking More.

Tony

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5 Benefits of Walking – Harvard

As regular readers know, I am a giant fan of walking. You can check out my Page (above) Why You Should Walk More for further details.

It seems Harvard HEALTHbeat agrees with me. “The next time you have a check-up, don’t be surprised if your doctor hands you a prescription to walk. Yes, this simple activity that you’ve been doing since you were about a year old is now being touted as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Infographic from one of my posts on walking benefits, not Harvard.

“Of course, you probably know that any physical activity, including walking, is a boon to your overall health. But walking in particular comes with a host of benefits. Here’s a list of five that may surprise you.

1. It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.

4. It eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

“To learn more about the numerous benefits of walking, as well as easy ways to incorporate a walk into your daily routine, order Walking for Health,  a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

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