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Monday, 21 January 2019

Top 10 Reasons to Walk

The Challenge ...Walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days in a row and repeat
Walk On Strong Walking group

 Hey there ... I am reposting this blog from 2014 to remind me (and you) of the amazing benefits to be had through a walking habit.  If you are just joining me here at Walk 30 and your wondering about walking , power walking or just health advice in general just use the search function and there are over 500 blog entries to choose from.

What are the top 10 reasons to walk?

  I just wanted to share this Top Ten list with you again from medicinenet.com ... it is a great list and I think that there are times when you just need to look at the facts and give your mind a good reason to get your body working.  

This week has been bitterly cold here in Canada and if you need a reason to stay indoors ... sub-zero temperatures will really do the trick.  I have been making an effort to get out the door more often in a day and walk a little more than my 30 minutes so having this handy list to read through definitely helps to silence my fitness rebel ... for a little while any way. :)

It doesn't matter whether you walk for 10 minutes at a time or if your pace is slow you just have to walk to get huge physical and mental health benefits.

1. Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.

2. Walking strengthens your heart if you're male. In one study, mortality rates among retired men who walked less than one mile per day were nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles per day.

3. Walking strengthens your heart if you're female. Women in the Nurse's Health Study (72,488 female nurses) who walked three hours or more per week reduced their risk of a heart attack or other coronary event by 35% compared with women who did not walk.

4. Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week. Think about that!

5. Walking is good for your bones. Research shows that postmenopausal women who walk approximately one mile each day have higher whole-body bone density than women who walk shorter distances, and walking is also effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.

6. Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.

7. Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer. Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women. Many studies have shown that exercise can prevent colon cancer, and even if an individual person develops colon cancer, the benefits of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.

8. Walking improves fitness. Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes can significantly increase cardio-respiratory fitness.

9. Walking in short bouts improves fitness, too! A study of sedentary women showed that short bouts of brisk walking (three 10-minute walks per day) resulted in similar improvements in fitness and were at least as effective in decreasing body fat as long bouts (one 30-minute walk per day).

10. Walking improves physical function. Research shows that walking improves fitness and physical function and prevents physical disability in older persons.

Thanks to the source: http://www.medicinenet.com

Give yourself a high five if you have made it out the door for your walk30 for the past week!! If you have missed a few ... that's okay too because we all have to miss a few now and then.  It is all about starting again that is where the magic is ... in the beginnings that we keep initiating.

Walk On Strong!

Monday, 24 December 2018

Create Health through Comittment ... Walk 30

Merry Christmas to All! 


I haven't posted in just over a year and it feels a bit awkward posting today.  Although I have been AOL in the blogging department I have been doing my best to keep up with my Walk30 habit. Walking everyday is my mainstay and a lifeline. It is not an easy thing to establish a life long habit ...  fitness, in general, has required my having to create some sort of obligation to others and I have almost always built in an aspect of commitment. 

In 1987, when we moved from Thunder Bay to southern Ontario with our young family, we had to reestablish some kind of fitness routine in our new community. I decided to take the fitness instructors course at the local YMCA and that turned out to be the best health decision that I would ever make. I had no intention of teaching fitness but at the end of the course and after the mandatory hours of practise teaching someone suggested that I take on a class or two as a volunteer instructor. I agreed and the rest is history. I taught at the Y for over 25 years and that obligation kept me fit teaching almost every type of class that was offered. I left the YMCA to teach Dance and Power Walking and just recently I went to an ashram in Quebec to acquire my Yoga teaching certificate. My husband and I also established a walking group that meets a few times a week ... that group has been meeting up and walking for over 12 years. 

Without the push and pull of teaching classes, getting up to meet with other walkers, creating goals through walking events and helping others with their path toward better health we would not have gained the health benefits that have blessed our lives. 

I highly recommend establishing an obligation to yourself and others to help you create that fitness habit. Maybe it's a race event ... I am heading to Ottawa in May for a Half Marathon with some friends and our goal is to have fun and finish! We will be walking all winter to get ready. Creating an obligation toward a healthier life could simply begin by asking a friend to walk with you on a certain day each week. You could even commit to WALK30 ... that's walking 30 minutes a day for 30 days in a row ... and then commit again ... and again:)

Have a very Merry Christmas and walk into the New Year with a renewed commitment to yourself and drag a friend along with you.

Walk On Strong,


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Healthy Snack for the New Year ... Hello 2017

Day 10 January 2017

It's hard to believe that it is a new year already.  If you are like me you might have indulged a bit too much over the holidays and gained a bit of extra bulge. I hope that you kept on walking30 in December because that always helps keep things under control. 
What I find most frustrating is that once I climb on the sugar train at holiday get togethers I find it almost impossible to stop the cravings for more sugar. You know the drill ... all of a sudden your best intentions are down the drain and you start looking toward the new year for a new plan. 
As a partial fix for the holiday dilemma I put together this recipe a few years ago and I make up a batch every month or so and store them in the fridge for a quick nutritious snack with just a touch of sugar from the chocolate and bit of dried fruit. 
If you have any suggestions or comments please share them.

        Sue’s Healthy Chocolate, Seed, Nut Bars
 In bowl mix together:
2 cups ground almond meal
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flour
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
1/2 cup organic cranberries
4 tbs organic cacao powder (or baking cocoa)
Handful of coarsely chopped walnuts
Handful of coarsely chopped almonds
2 tbs peanut butter powder

Substitute raisins for cranberries or other dried fruit

Melt in a sauce pan on a very low heat or in a double boiler:

150 grams of 70% dark chocolate (1/2 a large Presidents Choice bar)
3/4 cup coconut oil
When this mixture is liquid ... add to the dry ingredients and ...
Mix well  

Prepare a 33 X 23X 5 cm pan with foil lining (buttered)
or plastic wrap (make sure that you have extra wrap on both ends so that you can remove the bars easily when cooled).

Pour the mixture into the pan and pack it down evenly and firmly.
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips can be scattered evenly over the top.
Next ...

Melt together:
75 grams of 70% dark chocolate (1/4 of a large PC bar)
1/3 cup coconut oil
Then spoon over the mixture in the pan evenly covering the chocolate chips.

Pop the pan in the freezer for an hour and then into the fridge until you are ready to cut into pieces. The bar should come out of the pan easily ... pull at the plastic wrap on the ends to release or flip it over on a cutting board if it has a foil lining. 

Remove plastic or foil ... cut into approximately 70 or 80 pieces.  There is usually a little bit of crumble left when you are cutting them up. If they are too crumbly you should be sure to add more coconut oil and/or chocolate to your next batch and be sure to pack it well into the pan before cooling.

These bars store well in the fridge for up to a month or so.
A serving would be one or two :)

Although it is very hard to eat just one or two! Good Luck!

That's it! ... I haven't done the math around calories ... but if you use good healthy ingredients and at least 70% dark chocolate along with portion control ... this can make a good bar to have before a workout or when the sugar bug bites you.
Walk On Strong!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Day 29 ... One More Day!!

Day 29 The End of Our September Walk30 Challenge

... and the beginning of our October Challenge is just a day away. 
How did your 30 days of walking30 go?  Were there days that it just seemed impossible to get those 30 minutes in?  Where there other days when you started out on a thirty minute walk to find that it had stretched into and hour or more? 
One thing that I always like to remember about a challenge is that it is there to stretch us ... help us to be the person we aspire to be and live the healthiest life possible.
 The last few days have been soggy and dull.
I found myself out in the rain at 11 p.m. tonight because I had more walking to do.  I had a stressful day and spent a lot of time on the phone. By 5 p.m. I felt like having a long nap and there was a bit too much TV in the evening. Sitting doesn't get the job done when it comes to a challenge so we grabbed our umbrellas and the dog and walked. 

If you got out the door more this month ... give yourself a pat on the back and promise yourself that you'll come and walk30 in October. The great thing about the Walk30 Challenge is that every month you have a new opportunity. Thanks for walking with me and make tomorrow the best walk yet!

Walk On Strong,

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Day 22, 23, 24 In the Home Stretch for the WAlk30 Challenge

Day 22, 23, 24 In the Home Stretch for the WAlk30 Challenge

There are just five days left in the September walk30 Challenge ... how are you doing?
Getting out the door these past few days has been a lot easier with this outstanding Fall weather. This beautiful, clear, slightly cool weather makes this the best time of year for walking.

 There are many Saturday mornings that it is a real pain getting out of bed when the alarm goes off ... but I am always glad I did!  It was cool enough for a coat when we started out but the sun warmed things up quickly.
As you can see from the pictures here we saw a blue heron in the water near the University path. We are blessed with some great trails in Waterloo Region.

Take care and Walk On Strong!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Day 19 and 20.. 10,000 Steps Versus Waling30

Day 19 and 20.. 10,000 Steps Versus Walking30

I wear a fitbit and I love it!  It helps me stay true to my 10 thousand step daily goal which in turn keeps me off my butt more during the day.  There has been a lot of research and talk lately about the dangers of sitting too long at your desk, computer or in front of the TV. Just putting in a few steps during a commercial or an hourly break can avoid or undo some of the damage done by the sitting habit. Check out this article about the sitting habit and its impact on your health from the Mayo clinic website:  What Are the Risks of Sitting Too Much? 
I have a voice that announces the hour on my computer so that I remember to get up and move... it doesn't always work but it helps:)

All that being said, getting 10,000 steps doesn't always mean that you are getting out the door for an old fashioned walk.  There is also an equal amount of research that touts the benefits of fresh air and nature for enhanced physical and mental health. Even if you break your walk30 into 10 minute walks you are still reaping that benefit and if your walk can take you to a park or past a tree ... all the better. Here is an article from The Globe and Mail: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.
A park in Paris ... that was a great walk!
 When you line up your day try to get some of that walking done outside if possible.  There are days when it is tough but there are always umbrellas and winter boots to help you out! 

So your step count goal can, and possibly should, include that walk30. We have been renovating the basement and it has been taking up a lot of time over the past few days ...  I still got in my walk30 and renovating took care of my 10 thousand step goal... life is good!

Walk On Strong!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Day 21 Dancing30 today!

Day 21 My first dance class of the fall session... a fun way to get those steps in!

I teach a crazy, fun dance class called a Chance2Dance and our first get together was tonight. It was an hour of good music and shaking your troubles away ... literally. So, along with a walk I got out my dancing duds and took to the dance floor.  There really is nothing better than getting lost in the music.

Remember to change up your routine occasionally ... it will keep you moving. That's it for day 21 ... only 9 days left in this Challenge ... keep it up!
Walk On Strong,