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May 7, 2013

Take Strides Toward Better Health

Take Strides Toward Better Health

An increasing number of Americans are traveling toward good health the simple way: They’re walking. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found encouraging news. More than 6 in 10 U.S. adults walked for transportation or leisure.

You Walk, You Win

The people who hoofed it were almost three times more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. In return, they receive such benefits as:

·         A trimmer waistline

·         Lower cholesterol and blood sugar

·         Better mood and lower risk for depression

·         A reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers

·         An increased sex drive

And exercise is one of the most promising strategies for keeping your mind sharp and preventing dementia.

Blazing the Path

Ready to join the 145 million Americans who walk for fitness, fun or health? Plan your new walking program by asking yourself these questions:

·         How will you walk? Use proper form. Keep your chin up and your shoulders slightly back. Point your toes forward. Let your arms swing naturally.

·         Where will you walk? You can stroll to a place, such as a store or to work. Or look for a path near your home or office. To keep safe, walk with a group. Stay aware or your surroundings.

·         When will you walk? Start with five to 10 minutes three days a week. Increase the length and how often you walk over time.

·         Why will you walk? Find out what inspires you and take note.

There’s a reason walking is the most popular form of exercise. Almost anyone can do it. But check with your doctor before starting a new program, especially if you are older than 50, smoke or have health problems.

Lifestyles for Healthy Living

Spring 2013/BCBSM.com

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