Benefits of Walking

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re doing well!little-girls-walking-773024_1280

The overwhelming majority of us humans have been blessed with the ability to walk. However, with our ever increasing sedentary lifestyle fewer of us are taking advantage of this ability.

If you are anything like me and you don’t have any formal exercise routine, walking can be a great way to start your journey towards living a more active lifestyle. Although walking may not replace a more rigorous exercise routine it can provide numerous health benefits.

It is important to mention that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity. The CDC mentions that one way to meet this recommendation is through brisk walking. Although this post only focuses on walking the CDC also recommends performing muscle strengthening activities at least two times a week.

Some of the physical benefits of walking include:

Heart Health:

Walking improves our blood circulation which helps maintain a healthy heart. Research shows that walking regularly can protect us from heart disease and over time can strengthen the heart. Also, walking can help reduce blood pressure.

Bone, Muscle, and Joint Health:

For those who suffer from osteoporosis walking can help stop the loss of bone mass. Walking also tones and strengthens the leg and abdominal muscles. Walking is especially important for joint health because the joint cartilage does not have a direct blood supply and so the only way our joints get the vital nutrition that they need is if we move.

Better Sleep:

Research shows that walking can help relieve some of the effects of insomnia allowing for better sleep.

Weight Management:

Walking at a brisk pace can help burn calories which can eventually lead to weight loss. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight walking can help you maintain a healthy figure.

Walking also benefits our mental health and well-being.

Better Mood:

A study by Cal State Long Beach revealed that the more steps people took in a day the better their mood was. Also, walking releases endorphins which are natural pain killers.

Better Memory:

A study by the University of California San Francisco showed that age related memory decline was lower in people who walked.

Lowers Risk of Alzheimer’s:

A study of men between the ages of 71 and 93 showed that those that walked more than a quarter mile a day had a decreased rate of incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The excuse that most of us use is that we don’t have time to walk. However, recent research shows that we can break up our exercise routine into short periods of exercise performed multiple times a day.

The most important step we can take for our own well-being is to simply start walking a few minutes a day and gradually work our way up in increasing our time and speed.

With Love,

Yasmin

 

The One Book That Will Change Your Life

Hey Everyone!

Hope you’re doing well!

Throughout my life as a student I have had to read many books and novels. However, the book that has had the greatest positive impact in my everyday life is The How of Happiness by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. This was an assigned reading for one of my psychology courses and it was definitely a worthwhile read that I would highly recommend to everyone!

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The How of Happiness is a self-help book that teaches you how to work towards becoming a happier person. However, what separates this book from the hundreds of other similar books is that this particular book is based on real scientific research that has been conducted on this topic.

Basically, this self-help book is very accurate and reliable because at its core it is based on scientific research. The author herself is a University Lecturer and researcher at the University of California Riverside.

The key idea of this book is that happiness is something that can be attained by actively working towards achieving it. The author points out her research that shows 50 percent of our happiness is based on our genetics, 10 percent of our happiness is based on our life situations (such as whether we are rich or poor; healthy or unhealthy etc.) and most importantly 40 percent of our happiness is based on our own thoughts and behaviors (which we can change).

The purpose of this book is to help you take advantage of this 40 percent that is within our control. The author presents and describes 12 different happiness enhancing strategies. however, not every strategy will work for every individual. This is why the author provides the reader with a (very simple) diagnostic self-test to determine which two or three strategies will work best for him or her.

After determining which strategies will work best for you, you can go to the chapters on those strategies in order to start implementing them in your life. Or you can read about all 12 strategies and see if you would benefit from them. The strategies include:

  1. Expressing Gratitude
  2. Cultivating Optimism
  3. Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison
  4. Practicing Acts of Kindness
  5. Nurturing Social Relationships
  6. Developing Strategies for Coping
  7. Learning to Forgive
  8. Increasing Flow
  9. Savoring Life’s Joys
  10. Committing to your Goals
  11. Practicing Religion and Spirituality
  12. Taking Care of Your Body

Some of these strategies may sound too easy or too cheesy however, in the last part of the book the author explains how and why these strategies work. This book also contains a special section with tips for those that may be feeling depressed.

Overall, this book is written in a manner that is very easy to read and understand. I have learned so much from this book and from the bottom of my heart I hope that each person that reads this post will also read this great book and hopefully go on their own personal journey to living a happier and more fulfilling life.

With Love,

Yasmin