I had a traumatic ambulance ride that changed my life. While at work my jaw and teeth tingled, I had a sudden headache, and my vision got blurry. I was rushed to the hospital with an alarming blood pressure of 204/188. After several visits to the emergency room with similar symptoms and treatment for high blood pressure, I was advised to make some simple changes to my lifestyle, including walking.
Following a leave of absence from work I returned with a commitment to walk for 30 minutes a day. I chose to adopt the American Heart Association’s recommendation of walking 30 minutes a day combined with healthy eating habits. It wasn’t long before my body, mind and spirit recognized how easy and effective walking was for health and weight loss.
Do you want to improve your blood pressure? Blood sugar? Lower your cholesterol? Live a longer stronger life? Do you want to be fit? Have more energy? If you answered yes, and you are not participating in a regular aerobic activity, then you can start today by putting one foot in front of the other.
Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day, five days a week will improve circulation, lower cholesterol and improve blood pressure levels, and promote weight loss. It’s a great way to reduce anxiety, stress and feels good. It's amazing how good you feel after an energizing walk. Why not try it?
I have been walking since 2009 and have not stopped. I've said goodbye to 70 pounds and my last health assessment my blood pressure was 117/64, and I feel amazing. I sleep better, I feel better, and I have more energy. Walking has helped me deal with depression and stress. Walking saved my life.
What’s really wonderful is that walking is inexpensive and requires no gym equipment to participate. There is no need to travel, no waiting for equipment, and walking fits easily into anyone’s schedule. Walking is easier on the joints, and has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity and fun. It’s as simple as parking farther away from the building, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to lunch, walking with your pets, and participating in walking events
Research shows that walking 10,000 steps a day is all it takes to reduce stress, improve health and reduce the risk of disease. But remember, before starting any exercise program, it is important to consult with your health care provider.
Try it today. Insert your feet in comfortable shoes, go solo, or invite a coworker, friend or family member. Start gradually if needed and increase. Everyday look for simple ways to incorporate activity into your day to help you live a longer and stronger life.
For help in starting a walking exercise program, visit the American Heart Association’s website.
Paula Battle is a volunteer for the American Heart Association’s South Sound Division, and is a Leslie Sansone Certified Walk Leader.