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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Walking Away Cares While Walking to Lose Weight

We all know that carrying excess weight is a bigger issue than just weight loss and that most people (there are some real exceptions) know already, in theory, how to do it. Walking to lose weight is a perfect example. We all know how to walk. There are multiple options during any day for us to walk as opposed to drive or call someone or pay someone else to do something. In the UK, Australia and the USA today the public channels of communication send out consistent themes of walking off weight to counter the so-called obesity epidemic.

These successful campaigns towards lifting community health through exercise is a great endorsement for our societal interest in wellbeing. Some people may not respond to the wellbeing philosophy however a lot of people who have a desire for total lifestyle health, do. Just as normally I do not go to a doctor because I am well, anyone whose life feels good to them consistently, doesn't choose to see a wellbeing practitioner.

With the quest for weight loss being a prime time motivator combine it with walking and you have a surefire attention getter.

I am a passionate devotee of walking as a fruitful addition to most lifestyles. Why? I have a history of walking from my childhood but it was not considered by me or others as exercise. It was my means to get to school and university, into the local shopping centre, etc. However it was my only exercise. My understanding of the body's need for exercise and the rudiments of game playing through participating in local sports and competitions, was lacking. As a reader I felt no lack of course. Any spare time not spent reading was a waste from my point of view. When the 'talent' to successfully play a sport wasn't immediately forthcoming I assumed I didn't have it, some unknown and not really desired quality of the sporty. I felt intimidated and lacking so much so that I avoided trying out and often missed chances that in retrospect were available to me.

What has this got to do with walking to lose weight? A lot actually. For all those who had a similar disinterest in exercise when young, or developed a lack of interest, walking is an easy low impact way to start what is effectively a new lifestyle. For most people who want what I did i.e. to live actively for the rest of my life (it is interesting that death is considered 'rest') and by that I mean to enjoy my life as fully as when I was a child or young adult, then finding ways to enable our bodies to be active is the key. Bodies that have been allowed or encouraged to be under exercised don't function as well in a lively life as those bodies that have been used well. I often admire older professional dancers. It seems typical of them that they maintain at least some of the commitment to their bodies into old age and frequently are lithe and limber. This is what I mean when I say it is a lifestyle change. Taking up walking or any exercise to lose weight is a decision to exercise in some way for the rest of your life.

This is a good thing. What needs first to change for those who have a disinterest or dislike of exercise is to get walking as a starting point then actively use your mind to find ways to really enjoy it. This may be gradual but it is worth it. I did this when I was first starting to bring activity back into my life after my almost complete inactivity for several years.

Walking regularly and often can act as a turning point for it offers many benefits beyond weight loss. Walking alone for an extended period (a minimum of 15 minutes) at a brisk rate (or at a pace where it is difficult to talk) calms the mind and has an outstanding number of medical benefits. For me and the many others who enjoy it so much it is hard not to get enthusiastic about a routine that is as effective as meditation for those who need stimulation rather than relaxation.

The meditative benefits of course are most likely when walking alone. There are other and many benefits of being involved with a support group as well.

Walking walks away cares because combined with the advantages of weight loss for someone who is not exercising already, it helps decrease anxiety and increases clear thinking, creativity, memory and adds fun to your life if you let it!

Walking can be done almost anywhere and I like the walking alternatives as much as walking outside- inside on a treadmill at home or at a gym, walking classes (yes these can be great fun and aerobic), DVDs and counting steps with a pedometer, the Wii, etc. For those who need a sense of control over their concerns walking can deliver. It does this by offering you a concrete way to start feeling better about taking action. Yes sometimes it does have to be that gradual a process. Once you gain confidence in yourself and the process, it will speed up. However in the meantime find ways to enjoy exactly where you are. Sometimes these many benefits from walking are attributed to the weight loss alone and that is unfortunate because the two are linked. Continuing walking also helps keep the weight off and continues the wellbeing benefits.

Walking to lose weight becomes everything you want it to be.

Oni Raynbo practices what she preaches by demonstrating a commitment to her own and others' well being. The best example is the one you set yourself. Do what you love and if you don't love what you do but want to-find a way to love it. Walking to lose weight is a hub for all sorts of good things. It is a way to be passionately interested in living a good and full life and the means to do so.

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