Take a Walk on Mother’s Day


What could be better than walking with a loved one on Mother’s Day?

By Debbie Barbiero

 

The simple act of caring for someone, giving them a helping hand, a hug and a smile, should be celebrated on Mother’s Day. We don’t have to be biological mothers to sit and listen to a friend without judging, to make someone a nice meal, to share our time and our joy.

All these are good ways to mark Mother’s Day, but there’s another way, too: Take a walk. Chances are the weather will cooperate and you can go to a park or beach, but even if you and a friend or family member decide to walk in a mall, take some time to notice the natural beauty around you — or in the case of the mall, the friendly faces. Reflect on all that is good in your life and appreciate the true meaning of Mother's Day.

Walk Past Mother's Day

Don’t stop on Mother’s Day Sunday. Remember that the combination of healthful eating and moving more is what we need for healthy weight. This is easier said than done. We all have excuses: It's too hot, too cold, I'm tired, it’s raining, it’s windy, I forgot my sneakers, I don’t want to sweat. The list goes on…and on.

While some people love to exercise, many others hate it and yet, despite the litany of excuses, the benefits of exercise far outweigh the alternative. When we move our bodies, we burn far more calories than we ever do at rest, and that contributes to weight loss. But there’s more. We have more energy, our metabolism kicks up and we regulate our blood sugar. Our muscles strengthen, our skin looks better, we feel more relaxed and sleep better. Exercise reduces the risk of developing some cancers, strengthens our immune systems, helps lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, stroke and heart disease, and helps us cope with depression, anxiety and stress.

Ten Thousand Steps

To benefit from exercise, you don’t have to do anything more strenuous than walk. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, easy to keep track of if you wear a pedometer. These little devices are sold in sporting goods stores as well as general department stores such as Target and Wal Mart, as well as online. Clip one on when you get up in the morning and leave it on until you go to bed. Determine to walk 100 steps more tomorrow. Gradually increase your numbers every day and before you know it, you will reach your goal. Strive for at least an hour of exercise daily.

Here are a few ways to work in more steps: Take a one-mile walk on the treadmill before work, walk a mile during your lunch break, and then hop on the treadmill for another mile before bed. If you walk the dog when you get home — or take a walk with your spouse, child or neighbor — you will have managed to get in four miles in a single day. Easily. Walking four miles a day four times a week burns 1,600 calories, or about half a pound. Just walking.

There will be days when you can’t walk this much, but try to work in a little exercise. Remember, five minutes of exercise is better than no minutes of exercise.


Debbie Barbiero is a certified health and life coach based in Connecticut. Her website is www.debshealthyplate.com