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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Walk for a healthier heart

women walkingSometimes thought of as a “man’s disease”, women account for nearly 50 percent of all heart disease deaths. Each year, more women die from heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. And a greater percentage of women die within one year of a heart attack than men.

Fortunately, reducing your risk factors – not smoking, nutrition, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, inactivity, excessive weight, and stress – will go a long way in reducing your risk of heart disease.

Studies show that walking briskly will reduce coronary heart disease risk in women by 30 to 40 percent. Even those who walk at a slower pace have a 32 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with those who don’t walk at all.

By walking 30 minutes every day you can strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease. By walking every day you will:

  • Improve your circulation
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Reduce stress
  • Help you reach and maintain a healthy weight

Here is a success story we’d like to share from Velda:

Since I began the Walkingspree program I have lost inches around my waist, lowered my blood pressure which in turn lowered my chances of heart disease which has affected my family. So I am grateful for the motivation that the Walkingspree program has provided me with to make me a healthier Me!

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Attacking cholesterol through diet and exercise

Haagen Dazs Fat Free Frozen YogurtPotato chips, burgers, ice cream or butter drenched baked potatoes. If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, these are some of the many foods you may want to avoid or reduce your intake.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, you are not alone. According to the American Heart Association, 107 million, or 1 in 5 adults, has cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dL. A level above 200 is borderline high and extreme levels, those above 240, are at risk for heart disease. The association recommends no more than 300 mg of cholesterol a day. And if you already have high cholesterol, they recommend staying below 200 mg.

LDL cholesterol (think L for LOUSY cholesterol) clogs vessels while HDL (think H for HEALTHY) helps remove plaque from your blood stream.

A low cholesterol diet and exercise is one way to reduce your levels. Research shows that losing 10 pounds can reduce LDL cholesterol by 5 to 8 percent and regular exercise increases HDL cholesterol.

There are a lot of foods one should limit when trying to lower cholesterol intake, but what foods should you eat? Actually, the following foods can help improve your cholesterol numbers.

  • Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods
  • Fish and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Foods with added plant sterols or stanols, such as beta-sitosterol and -sitostanol (typically found in margarine spreads such as Promise activ or Benecol)

Also, there are tasty alternatives to foods you love, so …

  • Instead of potato chips (which have 10.6g of total fat, 3.1g of sat. fat)
    try Multigrain SunChips (5.9 total fat, 1 g sat. fat)
  • Instead of a broiled ground beef burger (20.1g total fat, 7.6g sat. fat, 1.4 g trans fat)
    try a veggie burger like Morningstar Farms(3.5g total fat, 0.5g sat. fat, 0g trans fat)
  • Instead of Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream (14g total fat, 8g sat. fat, cholesterol 75 mg)
    try Ben & Jerry’s hard fat-free frozen yogurt (0g total fat, 0g sat. fat, cholesterol 15 mg).
  • Instead of a pat of butter (2.3g total fat, 1.4g sat. fat, 6mg cholesterol)
    try some fat free yogurt which has practically no fat or cholesterol.
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Eat Smart! Celebrate the benefits of tea during National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month and on a cold wintery day, nothing can be more refreshing than a steaming cup of tea.

A cup of tea has many health benefits

Tea contains antioxidants, has less caffeine than coffee and actually keeps you hydrated.

It is the second most popular beverage in the world, behind water. All tea – be it white, green, black or oolong – comes from the same plant and all varieties are beneficial. The difference is in the processing. For example, white tea is harvested from young plants. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and has more amounts of polyphenols than black or oolong tea.

Research shows that the amount of polyphenols in 4-6 cups of green tea a day can lower risks of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. But do not add milk to your tea. German researchers have found that milk blocks the beneficial polyphenols in tea.

Tea has no calories plus it has a third less caffeine than coffee, about 30 milligrams. Green tea may even help boost your metabolism slightly. In a small study, participants burned about 65 more calories a day when they drank tea as compared to an equal amount of water. The study also reported a significant increase in fat oxidation (turning fat into energy) with tea over water.

Drinking 4 cups of tea not only hydrates as well as a liter of water, but is a great antioxidant, protects the immune system, guards against a variety of cancers and even boost your metabolism.

And with flu and cold season upon us, there is nothing more soothing than drinking a cup of hot tea.

Brewing the perfect cup of tea

Take your pick – white, green, black or oolong – and brew a pot of refreshing and healthy tea. The key to a great cup of tea is in the brewing time – longer does not make it better, it makes it bitter. Follow these simple four steps to a great cup of tea.

1) Place one bag or one teaspoon of leaves for each 8 oz. cup of water in your cup or teapot.

2) Heat the water in a kettle, boiling for black tea, hot, not boiling for white or green tea.

3) Pour over the tea and step away from the cup or pot. Resist all temptation to dunk the bag or stir the leaves during the brewing process.

4) Keep an eye on the clock – it only takes a few minutes.

Suggested brew times:

  • White: 4-5 minutes
  • Green: 1-2 minutes
  • Black: 2-3 minutes
  • Oolong : 3 minutes
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