Backus Checkup: Walking your way to better health
Looking to get more physically active? Beginning a new exercise routine doesn’t need to be complicated. For those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle or shed some unwanted weight, something as simple as walking be can an easy and effective way to get started.
“Taking a walk is stress reducing, enjoyable and good for your health,” said Dr. Jaqueline Cameron, a bariatric medicine specialist with the Hartford HealthCare Medical & Surgical Weight Loss Center. “Over time, regular physical activity like walking can consistently improve your brain, your heart, your lungs, your gut health and really, your whole person.”
About 30 minutes of walking a day can help you make progress toward your weight loss and fitness goals. If that seems like an unrealistic amount of time to fit into your daily schedule, Dr. Cameron suggests starting small and working your way up to being active for longer periods of time.
“It’s important to start where you are at,” she said. “Roughly 30 minutes a day is the recommended amount of time to be active, but if you’re doing zero right now, then start with two minutes or five minutes, maybe after lunch or dinner to help increase the metabolic bang for your buck.”
In addition to helping with weight loss and cardiovascular health, adding a walk to your daily routine can also help:
• Improve your mental health
• Reduce your risk of chronic disease
• Alleviate joint pain
• Improve sleep
• Stimulate the digestive system
“It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you have any history of cardiovascular problems,” Dr. Cameron added. “It’s important to keep in mind why you are doing it and moat of all, have fun!”
For more information about Hartford HealthCare’s weight loss services, visit www.WhatWillYouGain.org.
Backus Checkup is a regular feature provided by Hartford Healthcare.
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