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We all love Nancy Sinatra’sThese Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” right? The older ones among us probably danced away a few pounds to that song! Well…forget the ‘boots’ I have legs and feet and that’s just what they are made for. When I was a kid…(here I go again with my childhood stories – :)), I remember saying to my sister that I never get tired of walking, and that I could just walk forever because it is so simple, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. I couldn’t conceive how one could ever tire of this; and I proceeded to demonstrate. Oh my gosh…I truly was a silly little girl! I actually laugh inside when I remember this.  Obviously I was young and full of energy. I think back a couple years to when Lee and I were in Italy, we walked an incredible amount each day, and every night we had swollen ankles! So much for ‘walking forever.’

Walking is, however a great way to get cardio and oxygen into your blood. You can fast walk, or slow walk, but walking in general will provide awesome benefits. Experts say that peak benefits come from 30 minutes of exercise several times a week, and that walking may be the single best, and easiest exercise you can do to improve your health. Obviously children walk without giving it a second thought, but for adults we have to push ourselves to get up and out and take a daily walk. I’m sure ‘some’ are better disciplined for this than others, but the majority are lacking in a regular exercise routine. Again, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, whenever I’m in the majority of something, it’s something I would have preferred to be found in the ‘minority’ of.

Research has shown that we can protect our brain against memory loss and dementia, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes if we take up walking on a regular basis. That’s pretty good. Now if I can just remember where my walking shoes are!

I recently read about a man named Rick Genter. He was morbidly obese 10 years ago, at 400 lbs.  His daily activity consisted of sitting in front of a computer…the WHOLE DAY. According to Rick, obesity runs in his family. I cringe when I hear people use the term “it runs in my family,” when they are obviously using it as an excuse not to have to break the cycle, especially when it requires a little hard work and dedication. Rick had ‘high’ everything; high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and was undoubtedly on his way to diabetes and/or a heart attack. After joining a medically supervised weight loss program, he began walking 30 minutes a day. It got easier as he lost weight and eventually he began to increase his walking and started walking to work (even in the winter), 7 miles each way. Rick’s hard work and dedication paid off and he not only broke the ‘runs in the family’ excuse, but he lost 186 lbs. thereby meeting his goal weight of 200 lbs., and all within just 1 year after he started dieting and walking. This success and positive change opened new doors for him, as change always does. He found a new job, and got married. Today he weighs 195 lbs., and has kept his weight off for 9 years, as he continues to walk – the very thing he attributes his success to.

Like I say in my book, The ME-gan Lifestyle, there is no need for a gym membership, a trainer or even to buy your own equipment – why? You have the means, and they are all free and within your reach to lose weight. Walk, run, push-ups, sit-ups, jump rope, etc. Start off slowly, but aim big! One step at a time, you can reach your goal. It’s always wise to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially those of us who have been inactive. HEALTH is # 1, so make YOUR HEALTH a priority. You and your family deserve it! So stop sitting so much and get up & out and start walking!

Take a walk on the ME-gan side of life that leads to health & happiness! Love,

Mary

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