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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
Americans today get less daily physical activity than at any other time in history.
In the past, we got exercise by walking everywhere instead of driving and growing
our own food instead of going through a drive-through. Rather than spending hours
in front of the television, children played outside with their friends.
Today, we rely upon automobiles, computers, remote controls, and even vacuum robots
to make life easier for us. We have to look for ways to be deliberate in our exercise.
Would you like to slow down the aging process and help repair old DNA? How about reduce
the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity, colon and breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes,
stroke, and osteoporosis?
Research shows that walking 30 minutes or more daily may help reduce the risks of
certain health conditions as well as enhance mental well-being and improve blood pressure,
blood sugar levels and blood lipid levels. Walking has been linked to improving sleep,
supporting joint health, improving circulation, reducing the incidence of disability
in those over 65. In addition, walking properly can help improve posture and muscle
tone to prevent twisted ankles and developing calluses but it takes time and concentration
To walk correctly you need to relax your shoulders; keep them back and down. Stand
tall with a lifted chest, back straight. Bend arms 90 degrees at the elbow and swing
in time with the opposite leg. This balances the body. Point chin down and pull in
slightly to place neck in a neutral position. This supports the head and prevents
neck pain. Check that hips are level, knees pointing forward. Hold head straight;
do not tilt to one side. Strike the ground with your heel first, and then roll towards
balls of your feet and push off your toes.
The act of walking is beneficial, as it is a fundamental movement of the human body.
If you are just starting out on a walking program, after being mostly sedentary, walk
at a comfortable pace and work gradually on increasing your pace and distance.
A research study by the European Society of Cardiology Congress followed 69 people
between the ages of 30 and 60. Those who engaged in daily moderate exercise, such
as a brisk walk or jog, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and strength training
experienced anti-aging benefits that could add an additional three to seven years
to your life.
High-intensity interval training for walking could include 3 minutes of leisurely
walking followed by 3 minutes of fast walking, alternating during your walking session.
Researchers found interval walkers significantly improved aerobic fitness, leg strength,
and blood-pressure readings compared to walkers who used a continuous moderate pace
during their walking sessions.
Need some help getting started with a walking plan? Consider forming a team and joining
the Fall Walk Across Arkansas, starting September 17 and going through November 11.
This eight-week program encourages participants to get out and exercise! To join,
you simply need to form a team of 2 to 10 people, register your team and members online
at www.uaex.uada.edu/walk and start walking. Teams can begin registering now and start reporting their time
on September 17.
Throughout the 8 weeks, members will log the time they exercise each day on a weekly
basis. You don’t have to exercise as a team. While walking is the preferred method
of exercise, many other types of exercise can be counted, including housework, gardening,
etc. The goal is to get up and get moving!
Members will receive encouragement throughout the program through online newsletters,
which are full of tips and tricks to keep you on track including nutrition information.
And the best thing is it is free to join!
We already have our team formed in our office and hope you will join with us too!
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at email@example.com,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or
on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller.
An important component of walking is keeping your body hydrated. Since so many people
do not like plain water, try Citrus infused water instead. Infused water tastes great
and is low-calorie and low-cost.
Citrus Infused Water
Citrus – Lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit 2 small or 1 large. Slice thinly in whole
circles or quarter wedges. Leave skin on for added color and flavor. Trim away any
damaged or bruised areas on produce before adding to water. Use glass containers for
citrus; plastic containers can be damaged by the citrus. Refrigerate for several hours
or overnight to allow the most flavoring. Produce from the water can be used as a
garnish in drinking cups. Water will last up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.