Today is April 7
National Walking Day
7 surprising health benefits of walking
Individuals looking for a way to incorporate exercise into their lives need look no further than their own feet. Walking offers numerous health benefits to people of all ages, and it’s particularly beneficial to fitness novices. Walking can facilitate a transition between inactivity and increased intensity for those who may have been away from exercise for some time.
According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking is “the closest thing people have to a wonder drug.” Any physical activity is a boon to personal health, and walking provides a host of benefits.
1. Strengthens bones: Walking can slow down the loss of bone mass due to osteoporosis. Arthritis.org notes that a study of postmenopausal women found that 30 minutes of walking each day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40 percent.
2. Boosts cardio endurance: Regular walks can improve cardiovascular endurance, which can help people progress to more rigorous physical activity.
3. Burns calories: People can walk to burn calories and maintain or lose weight. The number of calories burned will depend on how briskly people walk, the distance they cover, their body weight, and the terrain on which they walk.
4. Improves cardiovascular health: The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Walking can fit that bill. Walking five days a week can reduce risk for coronary heart disease by roughly 19 percent, according to a report in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
5. Counteracts effects of weight-promoting genes: Researchers at Harvard Medical School looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in more than 12,000 people who walked briskly for about an hour a day. Walking reduced the effects of weight-promoting genes by 50 percent.
6. Tame cravings: People who have a sweet tooth can take notice that walking may steer people away from overindulgence. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and reduce the chocolate consumed in stressful situations. Walking also helped to reduce cravings for other sugary snacks.
7. Reduces joint pain: Walking improves blood flow and helps protect the joints. This can keep people from developing arthritis and other stiffness.
Walking has many health benefits that can support the entire body
Egg Salad Week
Classic Egg Salad
|large hard-boiled EGGS, sliced||
|fresh lemon juice||
|finely chopped celery||
|Lettuce leaves (for serving)|
- RESERVE and refrigerate 4 center egg slices for garnish, if desired. CHOP remaining eggs.
- MIX mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, salt and pepper in medium bowl. ADD chopped eggs and celery; MIX well. REFRIGERATE, covered, to blend flavors.
- SERVE on lettuce leaves, garnished with reserved egg slices.
- Easy 12-Minute Method for Hard-Boiled Eggs: PLACE eggs in a saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. ADD cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. HEAT over high heat just to boiling. REMOVE from the burner. COVER pan. Let eggs stand in hot water for about 12 minutes for large eggs (9 minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large eggs). DRAIN. SHOCK the eggs in a bowl of ice water to cool them immediately. Hard-boiled eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling.For more egg recipes visit here.
Stress Awareness Month
Adult Coloring Books and Their Benefits
Coloring is no longer just for kids. In a recent trend, adults across the country have been flocking to coloring books as a way to relax and unwind. Coloring has been said to be able to help you achieve mindfulness, banish anxiety, and even deal with trauma.
Coloring allows your amygdala, the fear center of your brain, to relax – and not just while you are coloring. Giving your amygdala periodic rests actually reduces your stress overall. Coloring is a meditative, free-time activity you can schedule, making it perfect for retraining your amygdala to respond less harshly to stress.
In simple terms, coloring has a de-stressing effect because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on the activity and not on our worries. Adult coloring books can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues, as well. For many, boredom, lack of structure, and stress are triggers for these issues. This applies to individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders, stress disorders, depressive disorders, eating and binge eating disorders, anger management issues, and substance abuse issues.
The time and focus that coloring requires generally helps the individual remove the focus from the negative issues that are bothering them, and focuses them in a safe and productive way.
Coloring also utilizes areas of the brain that enhance focus and concentration. So believe it or not, coloring has intellectual benefits, as well. It also helps with problem solving and organizational skills. Our frontal lobes are responsible for these higher level activities and functions of the brain, and coloring detailed pictures activates all those areas.
Adult coloring books are highly effective for many reasons, even if they do feel like they are only a fad. Try one out and you may just surprise yourself!