Walking Towards Better Health
Why You Should Take A Walk
Success Story 1: Tom
Tom was a janitor in the building where I worked. One day he came to the fitness center asking me to take his blood pressure. It was 230/110 -- borderline hypertension is 140/90. I advised him to leave work immediately and go to the emergency room. Tom was gone from work about a week and when I saw him again, he told me the doctor had increased his blood pressure medicine.
Every morning, I would see Tom walking to work because we parked our cars in the same spot, about 5 blocks from the building. I told him he could decrease his blood pressure simply by walking; instead of parking 5 blocks from the building, he should park 8 blocks away. Eight blocks in our city cover approximately one mile. After doing this for one month, he could increase the distance to 12 blocks. He thanked me; I didn't see him for a while. About 6 weeks later, he came to my office and told me his blood pressure had dropped to 130/70; he was now walking 14 blocks to and from his car. I was elated and asked: What will you do in the winter time? His answer: I'm going to walk and cold weather isn't going to put an end to my program. He is still walking, and that was 8 years ago.
Success Story 2: Kim
Kim called my business begging me to train her though she didn't have a lot of money. She was 24 with 5 kids and had congestive heart failure, hypertension and weighed 315 pounds. I decided to train her pro bono for 6 weeks. After going through her pantry and throwing out all the processed food, we went outside for a walk. She could not walk half a block; that's about 6 houses from her home. She cried because she felt like a failure to her children and all she wanted to do was to be able to walk them to school.
I developed a fitness plan for her whereby she would walk that half of a block every day. Each week, we would add one house until she reached the end of the block. Needless to say, by the time we completed the 6 week program, she was walking her children to school. I advised her to continue walking every day, as much as possible. She should get off the bus a few stops from her house and always try to park far away from the entrance of a store. I was so proud because her heart's efficiency had gone up by 20% by the time her 6 weeks were up. I lost contact with her and I hope she is still heeding my advice.
Walking is a low impact activity that is aerobic in nature. Aerobic exercise is great for your heart and lungs; it affects blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, and of course, it helps control weight. It can be done anywhere, even in your home, and it won't cost you any money. If you are out of shape, please consider walking as a way to get you started on a path of good health. Do you have a walking story you wish to share?