Lifestyle     May 25, 2016

A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Question: How far do you think you will walk in your lifetime?
Answer: 115,000 – Yes that’s right, 115,000 miles!

That’s halfway to the moon or the equivalent mileage on my wife’s 10-year-old VW Beetle. Poor thing she needs a bit of TLC, as does the Beetle!

Whilst the Falls Awareness Week of 2013 continues, an important article was published this week that highlighted the importance of taking regular 15 minute walks every day – and especially after having a meal. Why?

Walking reduces your risk of developing type-2 diabetes and other conditions.

So whilst we are being encouraged to go for that 15-minute stroll, what’s the worst thing to do after a meal? Well, it’s the thing most of us probably feel like doing, in fact, it’s what I did last night – and that’s crash out on the sofa and reach for the TV remote control! Apparently, that’s very bad!

Its all about reducing our blood sugar level, which can be higher post meal. This is especially true in people in their 70’s and 80’s because their muscles have a higher resistance to insulin and lower secretion of insulin from the pancreas. This high blood sugar is an important factor in the progression of glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So the recommendation is to try and take a 15 minute stroll after letting your food go down for each meal you have. In fact, researchers say that a 15 minute walk is actually better for you than one full 45 minute walk. The most important walk of the day is said to be after our evening meal! Then you can crash on the sofa!

Wimbledon is soon to be upon us, and the former Women’s Champion Martina Navratilova is a real advocate of walking. She said purchasing a pedometer was a great motivation to get out and walk as she could check her progress. She highlights a study that showed a group of 60-70 year olds being put on a 12 month gentle exercise plan. All of them lost weight, most importantly around the abdominal area.

Martina gives a few tips on walking too. She advises:

Wear athletic shoes
Keep your head level looking straight ahead
Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and keep them close to your sides.
Swing your arms back and forth as you walk.
Let your heel strike the ground first
Take long smooth strides
Breathe deeply but naturally

For some, performing the above tips may be a bit daunting. So it may mean motivating ourselves to have a gentle stroll around the garden. What we would say is not to forget to take your careline alarm pendant with you. Most pendants have a range of around 100 metres, so if you do plan to go for a walk in your garden you know we are there if you need us!

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