Walk Your Way to Better Health

“Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far” ~ Thomas Jefferson.

US President Jefferson maintained this centuries ago and it continues to be true, walking is the best exercise. It is gentle, low-impact, easy, available to everyone and it costs nothing. Aside from this here are a number of healthy benefits associated with walking:

 

Heart Health

A brisk 30-minute walk daily helps to strengthen your heart and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. This type of cardio lowers the levels of bad cholesterol and raises the levels of good cholesterol as well as helping to control blood pressure.

 

Lowered Risk of Disease

Walking regularly helps to lower the risks of type 2 diabetes and makes individuals less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb.

 

Weight Loss

Walking burns calories and the number depends on your speed. A 30-minute walk can burn anywhere from 75 to 150 calories which in turn helps to shed those unwanted pounds. Add a short walk to your routine is a great way to fix exercise into your day

 

Tightening and Toning

Part in parcel with weight loss is the tightening and toning that results from exercise. Walking defines the calves, quads and hamstrings and lifts the glutes. Proper form and posture will also result in toning the waist and abdominal muscles.

 

Maintains Good Mental Health

Studies have shown that the act of walking can be a mood booster equally as effective as anti-depressants in cases of mild depression. As with any exercise endorphins (those happy, feel-good chemicals) are released, reducing stress and anxiety and improving mental health. Further studies have shown that older people who walk regularly are also less likely to develop memory loss and dementia.

 

Vitamin Boosting and Energizing

Taking that walk outdoors is a great way to get Vitamin D which is linked to bone health and a strengthened immune system.

Walking is also one of the best natural energizers, boosting circulation and increasing oxygen supply to the cells. This natural boost from exercise helps you to feel more alert and alive.

This type of exercise can be incorporated into an overall Total Wellness Weight Loss Program. Dr. Lederman can work with you to customize a program that improves metabolism, replenishes nutrients, removes toxins, rebalances hormones and helps to establish a new lifestyle and dietary habits. Call or book a consultation to learn more.

Spring Cleaning for Your Body

The spring season brings with it new life and a fresh start which prompts many to take on the task of spring cleaning in their homes. This type of refresh should not be limited to just the home. Spring is also a great time to cleanse the body and establish (or re-establish) clean eating habits.

The term clean eating simply means trying to avoid consuming processed foods that are full of refined sugar, soy and other ingredients that have little or no nutritional value. Clean eating typically involves cutting out the white (sugar, white bread, pasta and rice) and cutting out alcohol; and fueling the body with healthy sources of fat (olive oil, coconut oil, and nut oils) and lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Doing so will have you feeling healthy and energized.

So how does one go about spring cleaning for the body? Here are some tips to help get clean eating underway:

Clean out those Cupboards
Before stocking the pantry, refrigerator and freezer with good ingredients, clear out all the bad ones. Get rid of anything containing ingredients that can’t be pronounced or things labeled “low-fat” or “fat-free”. Next, create a list of clean-eating items to make your shopping easy and budget accordingly for the re-stocking. The first trip to the grocery store when making this lifestyle change will be a big one.

Plan Ahead and Prep
Once you’ve shopped for all those great ingredients take some time to do some meal planning and prep for the week. It’s easier to make healthier meal choices when they are right in front of you and require minimal effort.

Eat what’s in Season
Seasonal eating is a delicious and nutritious way to start your body’s spring cleaning. Loading up your diet with spring fruits and vegetables like asparagus, avocado, fava beans, artichokes and leafy greens will also load you up with vitamins and minerals. Utilizing lighter cooking methods such as steaming or eating them raw is the best way to enjoy the bounty of the season.

Eat Often
In order to keep your metabolism strong and running smoothly, it is important to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, starting with heartier foods in the morning and lightening up throughout the day. Those frequent meals should consist of healthy choices like salads, grains and light proteins. With a little planning and preparation, you can feel good about munching throughout the day.

Get Back Up Again
If you fall, just get back up again. Despite the best-laid plans sometimes efforts get derailed. A change in eating habits, especially at the outset can be difficult so don’t beat yourself up for falling off the wagon. Just pick yourself up and get back to it. Temptations exist and its ok to treat yourself on occasion, but just ensure it doesn’t happen often and that you don’t binge. Clean eating is not intended to be a strict regimen but rather a means to live a healthy and active life. It’s all about balance.

Clean eating will require some education and should be approached as a learning opportunity. Dr. Lederman can assist you with that learning and work with you on a wellness and weight loss program with easy-to-follow guidelines that can be easily integrated into everyday life. Give Total Wellness a call to learn more.

A Green Thumb for spring

If the month of March could be defined by a colour it would probably be the colour green. This is the month that ushers in the spring season bringing lush and leafy colour back into the natural environment, perhaps even adding a hint of green to your thumb and inspiring the planting of a garden.