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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h o u s e c a l l s { summer 2018 } 19 Because walking is something we do sporadically throughout the day, it's easy to overlook it as exercise. But according to a 2013 study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, regular walking produces similar physical results as other more strenuous forms of activity: It can decrease body fat and cholesterol levels, lower body mass index, strengthen bones, and improve resting heart rate. Plus, it engages every lower-body muscle—quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, hips, and core—making it a good activity for both beginners and regular exercisers wanting to supplement their training. An added bonus? It's totally free (with beaches nearby, even shoes are optional). Read on for tips on proper form and ways to make the most out of your strides. MAKE IT COUNT Amp Up Your Strolls - Add weights (carefully). Combining weight training and walking seems like hitting two birds with one stone, but arm and ankle weights can cause a lot of stress on the body and alter your natural stride. Instead, opt for a weighted belt (lighter is better for starting out) that leaves your limbs free to move normally. - Go long. In general, the more distance you cover—regardless of speed—the more calories you'll burn. (On average, a 180-pound person walking a normal pace burns 100 calories per mile, while someone STEP IT UP! PROPER FORM: who's 120 pounds burns 65.) Build endurance by walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, then stroll at an easier pace for 10 minutes, which will help rid your legs of any lactic acid buildup. - Make it a happy hour. While solo walks offer valuable "me" time, recruiting a friend or family member can make the trip faster and more enjoyable; plus, having someone to meet helps hold you accountable. Instead of chatting over cocktails, try catching up during a stroll around the neighborhood. Because walking relies on your core, it's important to engage your abs and back, standing straight with your shoulders rolled away from your ears. Try not to let your pelvis dip too far forward (this can cause pain in the lower back) and keep your lower belly activated. Even when you're trying to go faster, be careful not to over-stride as doing so can put extra stress on the hips, knees, and the arches of your feet. To pick up the pace, quicken your stride rather than lengthen it. Ideally, your foot should hit the ground on the center of your heel, roll forward, then push off from the big toe. While you walk, focus on keeping your feet pointed straight ahead. Proper shoes are key to avoiding injury— find a pair that is breathable, flexible, and cushioned but not clunky. Running shoe companies ASICS and New Balance both have walking-specific footwear.

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