House Calls

SUM 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Page 22 of 54

Walk it Out body and mind 18 { summer 2018 } h o u s e c a l l s INDOOR VS. OUTDOOR STROLLS Walking outside lets you breathe in fresh air, soak up Vitamin D, and take in Lowcountry vistas. But in the heat of summer, indoor strolls may be a little more manageable, especially for elders, pregnant women, and small children, all of whom are at higher risk for conditions like heat exhaustion. "Indoor walking has no restrictions; you can go anytime of year and in any weather," says Dziak. Treadmills are great, but if you don't feel comfortable on the machine (or find it too tedious), she suggests making loops inside a large space like a shopping mall. Want to get outside safely in the summer? Plan for an early-morning or late-evening walk, or scout out a shaded route. Our Charleston County Parks offer paved, shaded, safe trails. H enry David Thoreau once wrote, "An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day," and he might have been onto something. Like other forms of exercise, walking gets our hearts pumping and muscles moving, but it also provides some lesser-advertised—though seriously substantial—mental health perks. "Walking can create a meditative-like state of mind that is clear from distraction," explains Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated exercise specialist Alison Dziak. Here, Dziak shares why routine strolls are blessings indeed. Blow off steam. It's easy to let stress build up to a near boil; luckily, walking helps reduce both mental and physical stress-related symptoms like anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. For Dziak's cardiac rehabilitation patients, "exercise, most often in the form of walking, is a way to escape stress and focus on something positive," she says. Calm your mind. Unlike more taxing forms of exercise like running or interval training, walking demands little mental effort—a welcome relief from a hectic day. "If you are in great running shape, jogging may not take much mental effort," Dziak notes. "But newer runners may have a hard time not focusing on the act of running." Problem solve. If you're stuck in a creative rut—be it writer's block or an argument with your spouse—taking a stroll can help. "It allows you to break away from a situation and have some time to gain clarity," Dziak says. In fact, a 2014 Stanford University study found that students who walked scored 60 percent better on a creativity test afterward than their peers who remained sedentary. Multitask. To get your creative juices flowing even more, tune into a thought- provoking podcast while you stroll— something you'd likely be unable to do during an exercise class or a more strenuous activity. Walking: It may not be as hip as barre, Pilates, or interval training, but boy does it offer benefits—perhaps more than you may have considered – B Y H A I L E Y M I D D L E B R O O K Another perk of walking on the treadmill? You're able to add an incline, which substantially increases calories burned and works additional muscles like the calves and glutes.

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