Surgeon General Call to Action to Make Walking a National Health Priority

The U.S. Surgeon General is calling on Americans to “step it up” – and walk more. That this easy and free activity could prevent serious health problems. “Increasing people’s physical activity level will significantly reduce their risk of chronic disease and premature death and support positive mental health and healthy aging,” the report says.

On Wednesday, September 9th, 2015, Dr. Vivek Murthy launched the “Step It Up” campaign in Washington, D.C., a national effort to promote walking and wheelchair rolling.  “The science tells us that 22 minutes of brisk walking or moderate physical activity can get you these health benefits of reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes,” Murthy explained.

In the Surgeon Genera’s “Call to Action,” he states that half of American adults, or 117 million people, are living with a chronic disease such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death in the United States.

Despite the known health benefits of moderate exercise, government data shows that only half of U.S. adults and about a quarter of high school students reported getting the recommended amount of physical activity.

The Surgeon General also wants to make it easier for people to walk around their communities. His report urges government agencies, city planners and developers to design and maintain more pedestrian-friendly communities.

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MORE steps/calories Burned…. LESS awkward elevator moments

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Eat Smart! Keep up your metabolism

Drinking water boost your metabolismWeight management is all about calories in and calories out, but how fast your body burns calories depends on a number of factors. Your size and composition (muscle to fat ratio) impact how your body burns calories – the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn. Also, men tend to burn more calories than women and the body’s metabolism slows year after year after age 40.

So when developing a healthy eating plan and working your walking program, keep these in mind.

Stop yo-yo dieting, it confuses your body. Drastically reducing your daily calories or skipping meals signals your body that you are starving. Your body will shift its metabolism into survival mode by burning fewer calories and storing more as fat. Also, when you eat too few calories you risk losing muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat.

Keep your body running efficiently by eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day, approximately every three to four hours. This forces your metabolism to burn calories all day long. Think of it like stoking a furnace, a fat burning furnace.

Be realistic about your weight loss goal. Aim for a weight loss of one to two pounds per week which can be done by reducing your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Studies show that people who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep it off.

Drink water, drink water, drink water. Your body needs water to process calories, so when you are dehydrated your metabolism may slow. Studies show that people who drink eight to 12 glasses of water throughout the day have a higher metabolic rate than those who drink four glasses.

Your body burns more calories digesting protein than fat or carbohydrates. Replace some of your carbs with lean protein like chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, beans, eggs or low-fat yogurt and eat protein at every meal.

Build muscle to burn more calories. Incorporate strength training into your exercise plan and interval walking into your routine. Changing up the intensity levels while walking will increase your metabolic rate. Boost your walking speed a few minutes at a time during your walk. Also, increase resistance by walking up hills or adjusting the incline on the treadmill. Taking the stairs also helps build leg muscles.

Remember, the more you move throughout the day, the more calories you burn.

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New Study shows 25 minutes of Walking Increases Longevity

A new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology has found that just 25 minutes of walking per day could increase one’s lifespan and reduce aging. Study researcher, Sanjay Sharma, who described exercise as an antidepressant that can improve cognitive function and retard the onset of dementia, added that physical activity can add between three to seven years of life.

For the study, researchers from Saarland University in Germany placed men and women between 30 and 60 years old on a staged exercise program. The participants were not regular exercisers but they did not smoke and were considered healthy. The researchers then tracked the key markers of ageing in the participants’ blood and found that in just a period of six month, there were changes in their body that help repair the DNA.

Study researcher Sanjay Sharma, from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London, said that exercising moderately could reduce risks of death from heart attack by up to 50 percent when one is in his or her 50s and 60’s, which can be considered a big deal. Those who start to exercise at age 70 likewise have reduced risks for atrial fibrillation, a rhythm disturbance affecting about 10 percent of people who are over 80 years old.

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A Guide to Fall Food Infographic

Fall brings an array of color to your meals with pumpkin, squash, apples and more. The Guide to Fall Food Infographic shows benefits and diet tips for several fall foods.
A Guide to Fall Food
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