Winning with Walking
We often associate exercise with something that has to be harsh, punishing, and unenjoyable so then, we try to avoid it because, well that just sounds awful!!! Or we associate exercise with losing weight and since we continue to feel like we “fail” at the whole weight loss thing, we also think we “fail” when we exercise. We know we should exercise, but we continue to procrastinate and we fool ourselves into believing that it has to be something hard and formal, that we need a membership or some reason to make it official.
Exercise does not have to be official, but I do recommend it become a part of your lifestyle.
What about walking?
I think that walking sometimes gets overlooked as an excellent choice of exercise because maybe, to some, it doesn’t seem challenging enough. But I’m here to tell you, walking is free and it’s effective and I believe it to be an excellent choice of exercise to add to your lifestyle!!
We know that walking:
Improves circulation, strengthens muscles, supports your joints, strengthens your bones, slows mental decline, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s, improves sleep, lightens your mood, boosts immune function, along with many other benefits!!
Walking is an excellent way to fellowship too!!
Exercise is beneficial to everyone, but it can be especially useful for people in substance abuse treatment and aiding in long-term recovery. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning) improving nerve cell connections. Exercise helps to improve oxygen flow to the brain. More oxygen getting to the brain is a good thing. Our brains use about 20% of our body’s total oxygen supply, so if we’re not getting enough oxygen up there, it’s easy to feel “foggy” or unfocused.
Regular exercise is known to release endorphins, which can help to moderate brain chemistry, improve mood, regulate cravings for drugs or alcohol, and even sugars and fats. It can also improve sleep quality.
In addition, exercise appears to release endocannabinoids and galanin, which can reduce stress.
Walking wards off heart disease brings up the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart. Women who walk 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20%, and by 40% when they stepped up the pace, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. And older men may reduce their risk of stroke by two-thirds by taking a daily walk as well!!
In times such as this, let’s face it, we know how important it is to boost our immune system and the need to be proactive!!!
Walking can help protect your immune health!! A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. Their symptoms were also less severe if they did get sick. That was compared to adults in the study who were sedentary.
Many people have the idea that they’re too out of shape, they lack the time, or they have some physical limitation like an old injury that keeps them from exercising. I truly believe that there is something everyone can do. You just have to choose to get moving and get started. And yes, getting started can be a difficult step.
The bottom line is that exercise can be a valuable part of our lifestyle, especially for recovery and long-term sobriety process for a number of reasons, and you don’t have to (nor do I suggest that you) become a fitness fanatic to see the benefits of exercise. Just take those first steps, get out there, and just move.
One last thing…. Invest in your long-term health now and you’ll see the difference that walking can make to your Mind, your Body, your spirit, and your social life. Walking in a group is a great way to get started and stay motivated!
Coming up on Saturday, September 18th, The Extension will be hosting the family fun Lucky Dog Walk for Recovery fundraiser, bringing awareness to substance abuse, addiction, and recovery!!! Show Your Support!! Please consider grabbing some friends, two-legged and/or four-legged, bring your family, or come solo ~ we’ll walk with you ~ and join us on our journey to a healthier lifestyle, Mind ~ Body ~ Spirit!!!
“I AM” Kinda Fit Ministry
“I AM has sent me”