Starting an exercise program is at the top of many people’s New Year’s resolutions list. And many of us will indeed dutifully start an exercise program on January 2. But how many of us will still be exercising come February? Or May? Or next January?
With the crazy rush of shopping, cooking, and cleaning, plus all of the food and treats people share at home and in the office, the holiday season is a very difficult time to stay fit. Who has the time to work out?
For years, scientists have touted 10,000 as the ideal quantity of daily steps you need to stay fit. But reaching that almost mythical number—which amounts to about five miles for most adults—can seem out of reach amid work, commutes, school, and life in general.
Aristotle and Steve Jobs both did it. Did what exactly? Walking at work.
My chocolate Lab, Nessie, has just told me the secret to establishing a regular daily exercise regime: Walk the dog!
If you're lucky enough to have a household companion that needs to get out of the house, you can use this “chore” to help you get the exercise you know you need but that your busy lifestyle is keeping you from getting.
Winter is the right season to slow down our lives and build in more time for rest and quiet. Unfortunately, the holiday season can add so many extra calories that it is the one time of year when you want to be sure to maintain your exercise schedule (if you have one) or start a modest one (if you don’t). Here are a few tips for winter fitness to keep you going whether you exercise indoors or outdoors.
Of all the ways to stay fit, walking is the easiest, safest, and cheapest. It can also be the most fun: a fine day, a good companion, an attainable goal (say, a scenic spot) three or four miles away. On city streets, in the woods, or even round and round the high school track, walking is the best way to experience a landscape. If it's too rainy for anything but a treadmill indoors, at least you can read or watch TV. And after your workout, you know you've done yourself some good.
Read more in the Berkeley Wellness Letter.
October is a great month to get in step with your company’s walking program. It’s autumn now, which means brisk walking in crisp air through nature’s leaf palette exploding in fully-formed 3-D HD Technicolor. While not all of us can have the classic East coast experience, there are plenty of places to get your fall fix. In the San Francisco Bay Area the Japanese Maple trees will soon be flashing red in Golden Gate Park at the Japanese Tea Garden, and there are beautiful pockets of Liquidambar (sweet gum) trees all over the Bay Area that will eventually turn red, yellow, orange, and even purple. Sonoma County and Mt. Tamalpais are loaded with gorgeous trails, and areas around Palo Alto and Sacramento are also extremely lush with fall colors this time of year.
Do you remember the opening sequence to The Six Million Dollar Man? “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him”¦ we have the technology.” I loved the Atari-esque “scientific” sound effects of that ”˜70s show and the famous scene where Steve Austin runs 60 mph on a treadmill. But it doesn’t take cyborg limbs to get in better shape. According to the January issue of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, we’ve all got access to the technology needed to rebuild ourselves: our legs.
Most of us slow down a bit during the winter months, exercise-wise. It’s part of our genetic makeup - shorter days with less natural light and colder temperatures encourage our bodies to “bear down” and hibernate a little. But bear with it - during these slower times of the year, it’s the little things that count. Thirty minutes of moderate physical activity each day, such as walking, is recommended for optimal health. But according to a Stanford University research study*, three ten-minute bouts of walking during the day may provide the same benefits as a single half-hour session. One of the possible benefits mentioned involves the “cool down” period, where your heart rate remains elevated for up to 30 additional minutes after you have completed your exercise period.