Exercise is the key to a healthy life

Published 8:33 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

I love to walk.

Whether it’s at the crack of dawn or when the streetlights emanate brightly, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my favorite person in the world (myself) and Mother Nature.

Walking for pleasure helps me to de-stress, unwind and ease my mind from the day’s many happenings. I love seeing the early morning dew and smelling the pungent aroma of freshly cut grass during the day or hearing the faint sound of crickets chirping and nature calling, during the night. Walking is relaxing and of course, psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial.

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Now that spring is here, it’s a perfect time to get out and walk, sightsee and enjoy the crisp breeze of the season. And, contrary to popular belief, walking is not just for senior citizens but it can be a unique experience for young and old alike.

We all know that physical inactivity can lead to poor health, and inactivity mixed with eating sweets and junk food is a lethal combination. Trust me, it’s hard for me to put down the salt and vinegar and Spicy Doritos chips, the red velvet cake and Breyers ice cream myself, so I feel your pain. However, a little bit of movement, like walking, goes a long way in shedding those extra calories gained from those guilty pleasures. The U.S. Surgeon General has urged Americans to “get in shape” by doing at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity, such as brisk walking for example, every day.  You could spend that time walking multiple times up and down your driveway to check the mail or taking out the trash, right?

By taking two or more short walks throughout the day and becoming more physically active, you decrease your chances of having high blood pressure, heart disease, colon and breast cancers or non-insulin-dependent diabetes or being obese. (I don’t even want to talk about the obesity problem in Dallas County; that’s a story for another time.) Exercising regularly can help you live a longer and healthier life. Walking is just one form of exercise that rejuvenates, reenergizes, rebuilds and relaxes you with minimal effort.

Whether you’d like to admit it or not, nobody likes to exercise but it must be done. Walking is easy for me (because I’m lazy) and I don’t easily get bored with it. If you don’t like to walk, go jogging, do intensive housework, run, swim or play a sport; just do it consistently.

I think I’ll stick with walking.