Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart

Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart

Walking has all sorts of health benefits among them the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do.

Start where you’re at. Just put on your shoes and head out there. If all you can do is walk for five to ten minutes, start there. It’s a great start and that’s a lot more exercise than you’ve been getting. Stick with it for a week and then see if you can make it for 15 minutes.

If you can go for a 30-minute walk, start there. Pick up the pace, walk briskly and after a week or two, try to go for 45-minute walks. Or break up your walking workout into 3 shorter sessions interspersed throughout your day.

If you have any health conditions and in particular, if you’re suffering from high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease, discuss your walking plans with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a plan that’s appropriate and safe for you.

Getting out and walking will help you on several different levels. The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walkout in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk. That’s a terrific benefit of walking and something that will help you feel better right away. But the benefits don’t stop there.

The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day. As you get stronger those walks will get longer and you may even give swimming or riding your bike a try.

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight are some of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension regularly. Add to that the fact that walking helps you destress and it’s no wonder that walking regularly has such beneficial effects on your health. Ready to get started? Put on your shoes and go for that first walk.

Using A Pedometer To Get Your Walking In

Using A Pedometer To Get Your Walking In

Setting aside some time to go for a 45-minute walk isn’t always easy. We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?

There is and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local superstore or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit for example. But before you head out to spend any money, check your smartphone. Many models have a pedometer built-in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.

The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45-minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that, you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.

Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.

Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after-dinner stroll.

 

How To Get In The Habit Of Walking More

How To Get In The Habit Of Walking More

We were designed to walk for miles and miles to hunt and gather our food. Yet, in modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down.  That is not good for our bodies leading to a host of health problems. This is probably one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down on the couch for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.

In other words, getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well-ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.

A great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy. It helps to make it as easy as possible. Your favorite walk may offer beautiful vistas, but if it’s a 30-minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day. Instead, save that walk for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine. If you can, find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just lace up your shoes and start walking.

Taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time. It proves that you’re making a difference and are getting stronger and increasingly fitter.

Listening to your favorite music, podcast or audiobooks is also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk. Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.

Last but not least consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk but it also has some built-in accountability. It’s much easier to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.

Give these tips a try and see if they help you make walking a daily habit and an integral part of your health, your fitness, and your life.

Walking Is The Perfect Low Impact Exercise For Weight Loss.

Walking Is The Perfect Low Impact Exercise For Weight Loss.

If you’re not in the best of shape, start by going for a 10 or 15-minute walk around the neighborhood and work your way up from there. If you’re already in great shape, walking can still provide an effective workout. Walk fast and incorporate some hills and even stairs.

But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. If you’re like most of us, chances are you haven’t exercised much since you got out of college and need to start small. Maybe your doctor suggested that you move around more, or maybe you just want to be proactive about your health and well-being. In either case, walking is the perfect way to start.

Find a pair of comfortable shoes, put them on and go for a stroll through your neighborhood. You could also find a local park with a nice path you can walk on. If the weather doesn’t permit walking outside, head to your local mall and walk or hop on a treadmill.

You can even walk in place at home in front of your TV. Here’s a simple little idea to get you moving more. As you’re sitting on the couch at night watching TV, get up during commercial breaks and march in place until your favorite TV show comes back on. If you’re using a service like Netflix, make yourself walk in place for 10 minutes in between episodes. Or turn on the TV and challenge yourself to march in place during the entire show. Time will fly while you’re having fun watching TV and moving.

Speaking of having fun, going for a walk outside can be a lot of fun too. Mix up your route and walk in different areas of town, or visit different parks. Invite a friend to come along with you to walk. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to and having a walking buddy keeps you accountable. Last but not least, grab your phone or MP3 player and listen to music or audiobooks as you walk to make the time go by faster.

The main thing is that you get out there, move around, and get some exercise in a way that’s gentle on your joints, your heart, and the rest of your body and that’s what walking will do for you. Just give it a try and see if you don’t start to feel better, happier, and stronger after a few weeks of regular walks.

 

Understanding Hypnosis

Understanding Hypnosis

Understanding Hypnosis!

This article was originally written for the Hypnosis Network and is featured on their website the link is at the bottom of this article.

I believe this is a very accurate and comprehensive account of Hypnosis one which I share in most part so rather than spending hours recreating the wheel I am sharing this.  Please understand it is only one interpretation of Hypnotherapy and I am sure not everyone will agree so take what you need from this so that if and when you decide to have a hypnosis session or buy a product online you will have a better idea of what to expect and the questions to ask before you commit your time and hard earned cash to that person or product. (more…)

The Dirt On Clean Eating

The Dirt On Clean Eating

This article was written for the https://www.hcf.com.au/content/hcf/home by Roseannah Shelson

We see the term ‘clean eating’ everywhere – in celebrity interviews, Instagrammed breakfasts, podcasts and diet books – but what does it mean, and is it healthy?

Rosannah Snelson
June 2017

Whether it’s sugar-free, organic, paleo or raw, every day we’re bombarded with advice on how to eat ‘clean’ and be healthy. The messages are often confusing, not to mention conflicting.

“There is general societal confusion around health, and if you take on board every bit of health literature out there, ultimately there’s nothing left to eat,” Sarah McMahon, Psychologist at BodyMatters Australasia said during a Radio National interview.

“There are a lot of diets and theories around food – raw movement, veganism, clean and pure eating – where there isn’t a great deal of research,” McMahon warns.

In today’s media environment just about anyone with an audience – from a chef or model to a blogger or TV personality – can offer advice on nutrition, despite being unqualified. This can lead to people making uninformed and unsafe decisions about their diet, and creates a culture where disordered or abnormal eating is largely normalised.

What is clean eating?

There’s no scientific definition of ‘clean eating’, but it seems to be based on healthy choices – eat plenty of wholegrains, fruits and vegetables; reduce salt, sugar and alcohol; and eliminate processed foods. The crux of clean eating is to consume food the way nature delivered it, or as close to this as possible.

Dietician Susie Burrell says, “Generally, the clean eating recommendations are a harmless, if not beneficial, dietary choice. It’s when people take it too far – cutting out all carbohydrates, sugar, dairy, grains or legumes for example – that clean eating can result in a number of dietary deficiencies.”

Health experts are so worried about the rise of obsessive eating that in 1997 they coined the term ‘orthorexia’, which means “fixation on righteous eating”. The main difference between orthorexia and anorexia is the fixation on perceived health, rather than weight loss, however weight loss often follows. People with orthorexia are obsessed with eating only foods they judge to be healthy; but the irony is that their health can actually end up suffering.

“This is one of the paradoxical elements of orthorexia, that someone is in the pursuit of health but the illness itself makes them unhealthy,” McMahon said.

The risks of clean eating

In the mind

Let’s start with the name. By defining some foods as ‘clean’, it implies that other foods are somehow ‘dirty’ or ‘bad’, and this isn’t a good mindset when it comes to healthy eating.

“Nutrition is complex; it’s not as simple as sorting foods in categories of good and bad and eliminating those seen to be ‘dirty’ or ‘impure’. Healthy eating is about a balanced approach to food and not demonising any particular food group,” Burrell reminds us.

While attempting to improve your diet is generally a good thing, if obsessive food behaviour starts to occupy too much of your time, or causes you stress, it may be masking other issues and you should seek professional advice.

“When diet and exercise habits start to negatively impact other areas of life, whether it be relationships, mood or anxiety over eating out, this is when we start to get concerned,” says Burrell.

Disordered eating conditions, such as orthorexia, can lead to a clinical eating disorder so if you think your attitude towards food has become unhealthy or obsessive, seek out help. Even if your GP isn’t a specialist in eating disorders, they can be a good first stop. Your GP can provide a referral to a dietician with specialised knowledge in health, nutrition and eating disorders. The Butterfly Foundation of Eating Disorders can help if you’re worried about your child or a loved one.

In the body

Generally, any diet that recommends cutting out entire food groups should be carefully examined – unless you have a medical reason to do so (e.g. lactose intolerance or coeliac disease). By excluding sugars, carbohydrates, dairy, or anything else, you run the risk of depriving yourself of important nutrients and upsetting the way your body functions.

In the case of sugar, most people can benefit from reducing their intake of processed sugars but “it’s when this obsession turns to all sugars, including starchy vegetables and fruits, as well as the majority of carbohydrate-rich foods like rice, bread, cereal, pasta, legumes and grains, that our nutrition starts to be negatively impacted,” says Burrell.

Avoiding fruits and vegetables is also a concern as this can cause your fibre intake to drop dramatically, particularly the types of fibre required to keep your bowels working well.

“When intake of fibre reduces initially, you’re unlikely to notice any significant change. But over time it’s common to see changes to bowel habits, reduced energy and feelings of fatigue,” says Burrell.

Avoiding carbohydrates can rapidly deplete fat stores, resulting in fast weight loss. While this initial effect may seem encouraging, it’s unhealthy. Your body may not be technically ‘starving’, but abnormally low levels of carbohydrate affect metabolism, appetite and cognitive functioning. When you begin eating normally again, you can experience rapid weight gain as your body clings to the extra calories.

“For some, this can lead to years of unhealthy dieting and a bad relationship with food,” warns Burrell.

Dairy is important for getting enough calcium and reducing your risk of weakened bones (osteopenia) and osteoporosis. If you can’t tolerate dairy and have been medically recommended to avoid it, seek advice from your dietitian on how to keep your calcium levels safe.

“For months you won’t notice any change, but as your body starts to realise it isn’t getting enough calcium, it’ll start to slow down some other functions, such as regulating muscle and heart functioning and nerve transmission,” says Burrell.

The bottom line

We live in a culture where diet messages are everywhere and anyone can spruik nutrition advice. It’s important to recognise that while well intentioned, being ‘too good’ can actually become a bad thing for your health and wellbeing.

“When things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Most extreme dietary changes, especially if they involve cutting out food groups, will have consequences. A balanced diet is still the way to go,” says Burrell.

McMahon agrees: “One of the main things we can come back to is the idea of moderation and balance.”

For more information and tips on a healthy diet according to the recommended guidelines, visit the Eat for Health website.

For information or support about eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorder’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 (Mon – Fri, 8am – 9pm AEST).

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