Walking boosts brain power

You know that walking is good for your heart, but did you know that walking also slows the decline of memory loss related to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

People with Alzheimer’s who walked 5 miles a week, about 10,000 steps, showed a slower decline in brain volume. Also, healthy adults who walked six miles a week maintained brain volume and significantly reduced cognitive decline.
The findings, from a 20-year study conducted by Dr. Cyrus Raji Ph.D. and his team from the Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that “across the board greater amounts of physical activity were associated with greater brain volume.”

“Walking can improve your brain’s resistance to the disease and reduce memory loss over time,” said Raji.

So when you’re out walking this week, know that 2,000 steps of your daily walk are keeping you smart!

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Tips on staying away from Halloween candy


Walk into any store during the month of October and the first items you see are stacks and stacks of candy tempting you to pick up a bag or two. It seems like every desk at the office has an overflowing candy bowl, so how do you cope with the temptation? Here are a few tricks to help you stay away from those sugary treats.

  • Focus your energy on displays and costumes – hold contests, check out decorations, etc.
  • Keep chewing gum available as an alternative to popping a small treat in your mouth.
  • Walk away from the food table at work.
    If there is a food table, bring some healthy snacks like popcorn, small bags of nuts, or bite-size fruits and veggies.
  • Set a limit as to how many pieces of candy or treats you will have at parties and stick to it. Remember, moderation is okay, mindless eating is not.
  • When you buy candy, buy stuff you don’t like.
  • Buy your candy the day before and limit the amount you bring into the house.
  • If you find yourself raiding the candy bowl while waiting for Trick-or-Treaters to appear at your door, consider handing out non-food items like temporary tattoos, stickers or glow sticks.
  • Have your spouse hand out the candy while you take the kids out around the neighborhood – a great way to get in extra steps.
  • Let your spouse take any leftover treats to their office the next day to remove temptation from the house.

If you have any tips that work for you, please share them on our Facebook page, or post them at the bottom of this post. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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2012 COUNT STEP-A-LOT HALLOWEEN CONTEST

It’s that time of year again! Time for our annual Halloween Contest.

The annual Walkingspree Count Step-a-Lot Halloween Contest is the perfect way to take more steps and have fun at the same time. And, if you’re dipping into the Halloween goodies, it is a great way to burn off some calories, too.

To help motivate you to take more steps this Halloween, whether it’s out walking with your kids from house to house or dancing up a storm at a Halloween party or traipsing to the door handing out treats, we’re offering you the chance to win a $100 gift card!

Good luck and have fun!

REQUIREMENTS:

Send us a photo or a video of you wearing or holding your pedometer with some sort of Halloween theme in the picture. You can be dressed up, or you can be in front of a Halloween decorated yard as long as it’s Halloween theme related.

The winning photo or video will be posted on the Walkingspree blog and in the Walkingspree facebook page. You must have your pedometer showing in the photo or video or you won’t be eligible for the prize.

All entries must be in by noon EST. Thursday, Nov. 1st. Send your entry to success@walkingspree.com.

AWARDS:

There will be two category awards:
1. Most creative costume/theme.
2. Best group photo – get a group of coworkers together for a photo.

The winners will each receive a $100.00 Amazon Gift Certificate. The group prize goes to the submitter of the photo unless accompanied by a list of individuals in the photo, in which a draw can be done for the group if preferred.

Check out more photos from previous Walkingspree Count Step-a-Lot Halloween Contests.
- 2011 photo gallery >>
- 2010 photo gallery >>
- 2009 photo gallery >>

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Visual aids help you make better food choices

Taking the time to read nutrition labels can help you make healthier choices. But sometimes a picture is louder than words. Seeing, for example, the equivalent of an ingredient may help motivate you to make a healthier choice or to walk away from a particular food.

The folks at sugarstacks.com have done just that with sugar. This site covers a variety of foods from beverages to snacks to desserts. Below is an example of their visual comparisons. After a few minutes on this website, you will have a whole new appreciation of the phrase “One lump, or two?”

If you’re interested in visual equivalents of fat in foods, check out the flyer the University of Connecticut Department of Nutritional Science put together. This resource shows you that there are nine teaspoons of fat in a fast food hamburger and two teaspoons in 10 French fries. But who eats just 10 French fries?

Remember, using the Walkingspree Food Tracker tool makes it easy to look up nutritional values of foods, and it helps you track and monitor nutrients like fats and sugar and sodium.

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Sitting too much can shorten your life

Here’s some information that should make you stand up and take notice. Several studies have linked how long you sit to how long you live.

Sitting too much can be hazardous to your health

People who sat 11 or more hours per day had a 40 percent increase risk of death in the next three years – regardless of other activity levels.

People who sat between eight to 11 hours a day increased their risk of death by 15 percent.

In another study, spending just two hours per day watching TV or sitting in front of a screen doubled their risk of heart disease and increased their risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent.

And the World Health Organization says physical inactivity is the main cause for 21-25 percent of breast and colon cancers, 27 percent of diabetes and approximately 30 percent of ischaemic heart disease burden.

Take a moment to realize how much you sit during the day – whether it be in your car commuting, at the office or at home – and work in some stand up time.

  • Move as much as possible during office hours
  • Take a mini break every 20-30 minutes and move
  • Set a timer, like your computer or cell phone alarm, to remind you to get up and move
  • Stand up when talking on the phone
  • Hold stand up or walking meetings
  • Talk to a coworker face-to-face instead of emailing them
  • Limit your TV time; walk around the house during every commercial.

Not only will these strategies help you prolong your life, you’ll be getting in some extra steps.

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