Move! Protect yourself from the sun

Protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays

Summer is just around the corner, so why not celebrate with a fresh bottle or two of sunscreen?

You are probably walking outside more, so it makes sense to take a few minutes and protect yourself from skin cancer.

You are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays all year round, even on cloudy days, so it makes sense to cover up. Take these precautions when you go out walking this summer, and all year round.

- Stay in the shade during midday hours
- Cover exposed skin with clothing — if you can see through the fabric, so can the UV rays.
- Wear a wide brim hat to shade face, head, ears and neck
- Wear wraparound sunglasses with both UVA and UVB ray protection
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protective factor) of 15 or higher, regularly and generously

Sunscreens contain chemicals that interact with the skin to block UVB rays. The SPF number equates to UVB ray exposure. For example, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 means you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in in sun. So, one hour in the sun with an SPF 30 is the same as spending 2 minutes in the sun unprotected.

Sunscreens come in SPFs ranging from 15 to 100+, but higher numbers do not mean more protection — an SFP of 30 does not provide twice the protection of an SPF of 15. An SPF of 15 filters out 93 percent of UVB rays, SPF 30 about 97 percent, SPF 50 about 98 percent and SPF 100, about 99 percent.

The key is to reapply sunscreen generously every couple of hours when exposed to the sun. Use 1 ounce, about a shot glass size, to cover your arms, legs, neck and face. Apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Also, sunscreens have a shelf life of 2-3 years, so check the expiration date, too.

When you grab that bottle of water for your walk, you may want to grab the sunscreen, too.

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National Walking Day! April 1, 2015

National Walking Day – Benefits of Walking Infograph

Go for your personal best this Wednesday – National Start! Walking Day

The American Heart Association’s annual National Start! Walking Day – Wednesday, April 4 – is about fighting heart disease and stroke by becoming more active.

Did you know that one hour of vigorous exercise increases your life expectancy by two hours?

Did you know that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease?

Now challenge yourself this week and go for your personal best. If you haven’t been hitting your step goal, resolve to do it every day this week.

  • - During the week create more walking opportunities at work:
  • - Track the steps up a set of stairs or hallway and put up a sign “50 steps for this staircase or hallway”.
  • - Take the long way to the restroom, water cooler or coffee machine.
  • - Put up “Walk instead of Ride” signs beside the elevator doors to encourage using the stairs

With our busy lives, we are all fighting sitting disease. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease and places you at risk for many other illnesses. The good news is that walking can significantly reduce your risk of many diseases. To highlight all the benefits of walking, we’ve created this infographic that you can print and put up in your workplace or share online.

So we encourage employees and everyone to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your coworkers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

Learn more about the other amazing benefits of walking.

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Are you Walking Right? (Infograph)

Download this Walking Infograph for placing in your home or workplace.

Then check out the tips under the infograph on how to how to measure the intensity of your walk.

Measure the intensity of your workout
As you walk, measure the intensity. Knowing your level allows you to increase the intensity to maximize your workout or slow down to avoid overdoing it.

The Talk Test is one way to rate your intensity. You should aim for Moderate to Hard Effort.

  • Very light effort – you can carry on a conversation and talk in sentences
  • Moderate effort – you can talk, but not in full sentences
  • Hard effort – you can talk, but would rather not
  • Very, very hard effort – you cannot say a word

Keep track of your progress
Keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration. Just think how good you’ll feel when you see how many miles you’ve walked each week, month or year.

Reference your walking using the Walkingspree pedometer activity tracking. Your walking history can all be found when you upload and sign in.

Cool down after each walking session
To reduce stress on your heart and muscles, end each walking session by walking slowly for about five minutes. Then, repeat your stretches.

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A Valentine’s Day Wish

We hope you enjoy this video and will share it with your loved ones as you continue to take steps everyday to live a longer and healthier life. What better way to say “I Love You”!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Walkingspree!

If you have trouble viewing the video below, please try our alternate video version.

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Move Smart! Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Breast Cancer Ribbon

Walking is a great way to get healthy and stay healthy, and it may reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer or its recurrence. Walking can also help control your weight, which has been linked to breast cancer.

Researchers from Washington University and Harvard University evaluated nearly 65,000 women who filled out questionnaires on their level of physical activity at various periods of their lives, starting from age 12. Women whose activity was equivalent to 3.25 hours a week of running or 13 hours a week of walking had a 23 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared with those who had been less active.

“It did not seem to matter much what the activity was; the differences between strenuous, moderate, and walking activities were not statistically significant. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to get the risk-reducing effects of exercise,” commented Dr. Graham Colditz of Harvard.

In another study, breast cancer survivors who exercised at least three to five hours a week reduced their risk of recurrence or death from breast cancer by 40 percent compared to those who were inactive.

Weight also has been found to be a risk factor. Women who gain between 21 to 30 pounds after 18 have a 40 percent increase in risk of breast cancer even if she wasn’t a perfect weight when she was younger, an American Cancer Society study found. The reason is tied to the rise of overall body fat which results in increased insulin and estrogen levels, both of which have been linked to breast cancer.

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