Thousands of doctors recommend it. Hundreds of studies extol its benefits. It’s simple. It’s enjoyable. You can do it virtually anywhere. And, when it’s done right, walking can blast away fat as fast as jogging—maybe faster.
The secret is shifting from the typical window-shopping stroll to a more athletic gait and pace. It takes a little practice, but the payoff is a total-body makeover that’ll definitely put some strut in your step. The spring-loaded poles gently propel you along, making the increased pace feel easier and the body floats with 90% of the muscles engaged. Now the legs and feet are not doing all the work, because the poles distribute the work.
Nine walking tips this November, for people with diabetes.
1. It Takes Only Three Weeks to Make a Walking Habit
To make a habit, it is important to start each walk with the same routine and get yourself excited for your walk. It does not matter how far you walk, you can start with a walk to the mailbox if you like, Balance Walking Poles help you walk further and build up the walking habit. start-a-habit Sample Routine: Inspect feet and put on socks and walking shoes. Check blood sugar levels. Drink a glass of water and pack a bottle for the road. Put on identification that says you have diabetes. Pack a couple honey candies Take along a positive attitude
2. Choose the Right Shoes
Most people know that preventing blisters is important, because diabetes can slow wound healing. Properly fitted athletic shoes will help prevent blisters and other injuries. The best way to know if you have the right shoes for your unique feet is to visit a Foot Solutions store. Their fit experts have both the knowledge and the technology to help you find the perfect fit.
3. Socks are Important
Socks are also a critical defense against blisters. Cotton socks can retain sweat and cause blisters. Foot Solutions carries socks that help keep your feet dry and prevent blisters.
4. Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
Check your blood sugar levels before and after walking.
Speak with your doctor, if you are new to walking, and ask if you should check your blood sugar level during the walk.
5. Walk as Many Times a Day as You Can
Morning exercise is recommended, since it avoids the peak insulin part of the day, especially for Type 1 diabetics. An hour or two after each meal can be a good time to walk. Take your poles and burn up to twice the calories in half the time.
6. Be Aware That You May Need More or Less Insulin
When starting a walking program, consult with your physician on how to adjust your medications. http://diabetes.about.com/od/glossaryofterms/g/hypoglycemia.htm
7. If You Feel Thirsty – You Waited Too Long!
Drink before, during and after walking to prevent dehydration.
8. Know the Signs of Hypoglycemia
Know the signs and symptoms and listen to your body. Possible symptoms could be weakness, confusion and hunger. Balance Walking Poles can help if you feel dizzy, but if that unstable feeling comes from hypoglycemia stop and enjoy a honey candy or two.
9. Walk With a Friend
Walking with a partner has many benefits:
You can watch out for each other, and keep an eye on signs of blood sugar levels.
Walking with a friend can help keep you more regular in your exercise, but so will the routine you created.
If you both have a set of poles you can look at each other while talking and walking. If you are walking alone, Balance Walking Poles free you up to look around, instead of down at the ground.
The more you enjoy your walks, the more you will walk.
Ever wondered how you could reach 100 years old? Since the 1990s, author Dan Buettner has been traveling with teams of researchers to Blue Zones, or places where people live the longest. Though these areas are all over the world, each share five common habits you can adopt to live a long and healthy life, too.
According to National Geographic and the world’s best longevity researchers, the five major Blue Zones span the globe — from Okinawa, Japan, where people have the longest disability-free life expectancy, to Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, where Buettner says residents are four times as likely to reach age 90 than people in the United States.
At Mango Health, we believe that being informed about your health is an important part of living a long and happy life, so we’ve rounded up five healthy habits from these communities around the world that may help you promote your longevity:
Find ways to shed stress, whether it’s praying or reading a book. Researchers have found that each Blue Zone is characterized by a slower pace of life and lower stress levels, so learning to relax may be a big part of reaching old age. Not sure where to start? You might consider taking up daytime dozing: studies have even shown that taking a half-hour nap for five days a week can help lower your chance of heart disease by a third.
Another common thread among the Blue Zones is the presence of strong family and community connections. In fact, being lonely in the United States can takes about eight years off your life, in comparison to the most connected people. In Okinawa, parents prevent their children from loneliness by placing them in a moai, or a committed, long-term social network. If there are ever any tough times, maintaining connections can make sure you’re supported.
Eat less meat.
Whether it’s chicken, pork, or beef, you’re most likely to think of meat if you think of the word “protein.” But Americans who eat the highest levels of meat in this country have about 70 percent higher mortality and a four-to-five-times-worse chance of developing cancer than people who eat less meat. Consider going for a cup of beans instead — it’s a strong source of protein and is much cheaper as well. Each of the Blue Zones consumes diets characterized by moderate caloric intake, mostly from plant sources. In fact, on the Greek island of Ikaria, the population has 20% less cancer, half the rate of heart disease, and almost no dementia. To get started, try out this recipe for Ikarian Longevity Stew.
If going to the gym seems like a pain, consider gentler ways to include physical activity naturally. People of the Blue Zones often engineer “nudges” to be active, such as gardening or walking. Sometimes it may even be preferable to slow down and do things the old-fashioned way, whether it’s kneading dough by hand or taking the stairs instead. It may seem inconvenient at first, but taking steps like these will help you get into the habit of incorporating some extra activity in your daily life.
Know your purpose.
Across the Blue Zones, each community was shared a sense of purpose, such as caring for grandchildren or civic volunteering. Often this was tied to religious faith — though denomination doesn’t seem to matter, attending faith-based services for four times a month does seem to have an effect on longevity. So whether it’s your job, a hobby, or your faith, make sure you have your reason for waking up in the morning.
Looking for more resources to help you live a long and healthy life?
?An empowering piece of research was released in 2014 from Indiana University stating if a person stays in a seated position for more than 60 minutes, it has a drastic result on the body. Sitting for over an hour forces half the circulation to the legs to be cut-off. “The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same.”(1) If this is not enough information to scare you straight out of your chair add a “90% drop in a circulating blood enzyme called lipase, that is responsible for breaking down fat.”(2) All these factors affect the amount of oxygen delivered to your cells.
The empowering part of this study is that if you get up and move before the clock strikes an hour these impairments do not happen. Please note that the study does not show the circulation cut-off just decreasing if you do not let yourself sit for an hour straight, it shows that there was zero cut-off. The report also made it quite clear that exercising for hours at the end of the day does not affect these results. Information is power, and you now know if you walk just 5 minutes every 55 minutes, that your arterial functions will stay the same.
The human body can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without oxygen. When circulation is decreased the amount of oxygen being delivered is also decreased. “Max VO2 is the maximum amount of oxygen a body can use to make fuel. Low VO2 is a good predictor of disease and early mortality.”(3) It is possible to boost your VO2 with exercise, so let’s get moving.
Do you need additional reasons to remember to walk every hour? Balance Walking poles can be a tangible reminder to get up and move, and the poles also help you get the job done faster. Get the most value from those few minutes every hour, just by adding poles to your walk your cardiovascular raises up to 20%, which raises your oxygen levels. When you start walking with poles you start engaging 90% of the muscles in your body and start burning up to 50% more calories. By taking a set of poles on the walk a person can almost double the walk benefits in half the time.http://balancewalking.com
If you take a look at Europe, you will notice there are not as many gyms and you will also notice many people using walking poles. There are over 8 million Europeans that use this form of exercise. Do you know anyone who sits for more then an hour? Share this information with them, and don’t let anyone stop you from taking a walk before the clock strikes the one hour time bomb.
1. Indiana University study released on Sept. 8, 2014 “Short walk breaks
found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting”
The Boomer generation is redefining what our current expectations are, from their personal choices for healthy food over fast food, to how they exercise selecting Balance Walking over high-impact running. They are kind to their bodies and in-tune with the correlation between healthy choices and longevity. This generation is having an impact on almost every industry, and to get a sense of the transformative effects Boomers have on the economy, review the impact on these 3 business areas:
Employment/Retirement: Not all Baby Boomers want to retire the way previous generations have. Ray Margiano said that “Baby Boomers should be called ‘Zoomers’, because this group paved the way for healthier alternatives to live and work by, and are redefining what retirement is and will be”. This generation is seeking new work opportunities after retiring, and the good news is that companies today are hiring the 65+ individual. "In fact, 57% of private sector employers planned to hire seniors in 2015”. –Career Builder Survey, 2014 A popular retirement career for Boomer’s is a Foot Solutions Franchiseand there are quite a few reasons for this choice. It has high profit margins for the investor/operator or the owner/operator, so people have the option to work in the store. It is an opportunity to help their peers, because the main goal at Foot Solutions is to keep people mobile and pain-free. “By 2030, the number of Americans over 65 will have grown by 75% to 69 million”.webmd , that would be a lot of retired people for society to bear, so be thankful that the Boomer generation wants to keep on working.
Wellness & Fitness: The Baby Boomer generation can be credited for building this industry that is currently exploding with new followers from every generation. This generation takes the time to research what is best for their body. “Six out of ten Boomers exercise multiple times a week. As a result, they are creating a demand for wellness and prevention products and services that will only grow as they age”. – Engage Boomers. People in America are beginning to realize why Balance Walking is so popular in Europe and Australia. By adding Nordic Walking Poles the exercise increases in benefits to the body, engaging 90% of muscles and burning up to twice the calories in half the time. Adding poles to the walk makes it easier on the body, reducing stress on the joints up to 30%, while the spring-loaded poles gently propel the body along so the perceived rate of exertion is decreased. I am not sure who coined the phrase, "work out smarter, not harder" but I would bet it was a Baby Boomer.
Brain Games: Boomers do not want to just maintain their youthful energy and activity levels, they want their minds to remain sharp. The silent generation has "one in every three seniors dying from dementia. The brain fitness market has grown dramatically due to Boomer investment in games and services that aim to improve mental dexterity and brain fitness". – Engage Boomers In fifteen more years there will be 69 million Americans over 65, it will be very interesting to see how this industry grows to meet the Boomers needs. I expect this will be an exploding niche market. “As people begin to experience declines in their sensory capabilities, they will demand – and respond to – products and services that help them maintain their active lifestyles”. transgenerational.org.
Boomers are the largest and biggest spending generation. They are a powerful force for the economy. The company that keeps its eye on the holistic approach will be rewarded, because this generation does not want to fix it as much as it would like to just keep the body running smoothly. Preventative maintenance extends life! Baby Boomers are reinventing aging, and have the potential to become a social resource of unprecedented proportions.
The obvious question upon spotting someone walking along with poles in their hands – for those who are not aware that enthusiasts claim it burns 46 per cent more calories than normal walking – is why?
“We do get funny looks when we’re out walking,” admits Helen Beckley, 32. “Safety in numbers – we’re all looking mad together, and we enjoy it, so we don’t mind. But if I got a dirham for every time someone passing me said: ‘Oh, you’ve forgotten the snow,’ I’d be very rich!”
Beckley became the UAE’s first qualified Nordic Walking instructor two years ago and works with ProActive sports company, which runs twice-weekly Nordic Walking sessions on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
“It originated from cross-country skiing and it’s what cross-country skiers do in the off-season,” she says, “so people associate it with snow.”
Nordic Walking is not to be confused with trekking, hill walking or trail running, which use different poles and techniques. Nordic walking poles are gripped and released so as to give the upper-body muscles a workout at the same time as the legs.
“The poles help to propel the walker along,” explains Beckley. “It means you work harder than usual, yet the support given by the poles makes it feel easier.”
Beckley alternates her routes each week and varies the focus of the sessions too.
“Sometimes we’ll find some slopes – hills would probably be a bit of an exaggeration – to go up and down. I always try to include a bit of strength work as well so we might stop and do some press-ups or triceps dips on the benches en route.”
In Dubai, British expatriate Joanna Macdonald, 53, leads groups pole-walking – or “soul walking” as she likes to call it. Whereas Beckley’s groups are run primarily as a way for people to get fit, Macdonald set up Keenfit Middle East in Dubai seven years ago.
“Previously, I was head of corporate affairs for HSBC and then Barclays, I had two young children and I worked 24/7. The miracles of life were passing me by,” she recalls. “I had an epiphany, and decided to change my priorities. Running Keenfit walking groups was a wonderful way to meet people again. When you’re walking, you let go and talk about things. People keep their eyes down when they first start. I tell them to acknowledge people who walk by with their eyes, because you feel so much happier by making eye contact.”
Macdonald’s Canadian Keenfit walking poles, which she sells for Dh250, come with three different toggles at the bottom so they can be adjusted for sand, flat paths and fields.
Since launching the business, Macdonald has helped to establish Keenfit-affiliated groups as far away as Africa. A representative of the Saudi National Guard, who learnt to pole-walk with Macdonald in Dubai, now has his troops doing it in Jeddah.
“Pole-walking is a great stepping stone to get back to exercise for people who carry a lot of weight or haven’t been flexible for a long time,” says Macdonald. “The poles aren’t just there to give you extra cardio, they’re also there to support you so you’re walking in perfect alignment. Like yoga, pole-walking helps to create balance.”
This is an article published in the CMTA Magazine and written by JOSEPH GREGORY STILWELL, DPM, FACFAS, read about all the Benefits of Balance Walking…
Imagine being a four-legged animal, using Nordic walking poles to prowl city streets with the strength and balance of a big cat on a savannah. Now imagine using Nordic walking poles to participate in yoga and Pilates. Imagine walking outside, breathing deeply, chest wide and spine lifted tall.
Exercise walking? Some of us just want to increase our confidence on stairs, step gracefully over a curb or get help with a weak ankle or painful back. Nordic walking poles have a patented three-piece strap that allows the user to open the palm of the hand and push downward into the poles, lifting the rib cage and giving the lungs plenty of room for expansion. A whole hour can be spent using the poles for bending, stretching or squatting—all exercises that help with balance.
Those of us with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease are used to walking a little differently. We may “lurch” when fatigued, the result of our upper bodies favoring one side or another as we walk. With a set of walking poles, though, we become rhythmic, smooth and mostly pain-free. While few of us can achieve the physical therapists’ ideal of symmetry between the two halves of the body, with walking poles we can function as if our length, strength and flexibility were equal throughout our bodies.
Walking poles offer people with CMT not just a way to get and stay fit, but also a training aid for walking and balance. Medical studies on “pole walking” uniformly show better breathing, less stress on joints, and other significant advantages over running, including more calories burned in less time. In a related note, evidence has been mounting that using a tempo like a simple musical rhythm helps with neurological re-training. Walking with poles at a basic metronome-like pace results in smoother nerve conduction. For urban or hard surface walking, a rubber tip can be placed on the end of each pole. This allows one to truly push into the pole, lift the spine and propel the legs forward. These high-traction rubber tips help keep one from sliding when performing a leg up stretch or pushing the body into a lifted twist using the arms and shoulders.
The beauty of using two Nordic-style poles when walking is that as your legs get tired and foot drop or ankle rolling gets worse, the poles can be “push-pulled” to use the stronger muscles of the shoulders and trunk to take stress off the tired legs and feet. Plus, you can always stop and do some stretches, deep knee bends or twists with the poles to bring a spring to your step.
My wife and son and I recently pole-walked through the Loop area of Chicago. It was a joy to be able to gaze upward at the tall buildings with confidence that our poles would keep us upright, stable and able to lean back to peruse the beautiful architecture. The same technique works in wooded areas or parks where we can admire the tree tops, listen to nature’s sounds and even muse at the clouds—much like being a kid again.
PICK UP A PAIR OF POLES AT 10% OFF AND THE CMTA GETS 30% OF SALE.
Interested in implementing Dr. Greg’s recommendations and getting
Nordic fit? Balance Walking will donate $30 to the CMTA for each
set of poles sold. The CMTA and your body will both thank you!
Visit www.balancewalking.com and enter the coupon code “CMTA”
to get started! A free motivational book is included in your order.
CMTA Advisory Board member Dr. Greg Stilwell demonstrating the body alignment Balance Walking Poles promote.
There was a study released last year, that prompted our company to make some changes. The results of the study showed, if we rearranged our schedules and got up every hour we would not have less circulation problems – the study revealed that we would have none. The information from the Indiana University Study was empowering, so we dove right in. After that dive, I learned a few things I would suggest implementing before starting a Corporate Wellness Program.
BEFORE STARTING – Make sure there is water in the pool!
1. Keep it simple. Try not to feel overwhelmed, or be overwhelming. A few small changes at a time can be a positive way to not appear overwhelming . A corporation trying to change an individual mind set, may not be appreciated, so try presenting it as a new option your company is offering. Do not overwhelm the company with a lot of new expenses. Make a budget and decide what the company will invest in employee health.
2. Assign a project manager to be in charge of the program.
As the owner or upper management, actively participate in your wellness program. This one shift of responsibility had a very positive impact in our office.
3. Set your goal, and map out your direction. For instance, our goal was to see if wellness could help our office have more productivity and less sick days. Our direction started with information and positive thinking, building on that foundation with the values of exercise, rest and nutrition. We found ourselves a year later in a much healthier place than when we began.
FIVE CHANGES WE MADE AT OUR OFFICE AT THE BEGINNING OF OUR WELLNESS JOURNEY
1. POSITIVE THINKING: We started with positive thinking, because science keeps releasing more studies showing how much power our thoughts have over our physical body. One of these years we are going to stop being surprised by the research findings and say something like,
“I knew the mind could do that.” Meanwhile, share the studies that surprise people with how much power they have. Keep the sharing simple and relevant.
2. EXERCISE: As a walking company we would go Balance Walking after work, or even have walk meetings during work, but we were still sitting for hours at a time. An enlightening piece of research was released on September 8, 2014 from Indiana University stating if the body stays in a seated position for 60 minutes it results in half the circulation to the legs being cut-off. “The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same.”(1)
If this is not enough information to scare you straight
out of your chair add a “90% drop in a circulating
blood enzyme called lipase, that is responsible for
breaking down fat. In addition, electrical activity in
our leg muscles radically decrease the longer we sit.”(2)
The empowering part of the article reports, that if you
get up before the clock strikes twelve this impairment
does not happen. The report also made it quite clear
that exercising after work does not affect these results.
The way we chose to incorporate this fact into our office life is that we decreased lunch breaks to half an hour and walk breaks every hour for 5 -15 minutes. By adding poles to the walk we can double the walk benefits in half the time.
3. REST: We did some research and found that the most productive people work for 52 minutes at t a time, then break. Working in bursts with purpose made sense, so we gave it a try. We had a staggered start daily, with everyone being on a different schedule it did not work for us to have the program manager announce 52 minutes. What worked for us was to have each employee come up with their own system. A few associates use a fit bit, one found a solar alarm clock, most employees use their phone. Keep it a simple and flexible reminder to move.
4. NUTRITION: We replaced the soda in the machine with water bottles. It is very important to avoid purified or distilled water, to hydrate properly supply bottles of natural spring water. We have found it to be a good investment to supply a free bowl of nuts for employees to snack on. The protein is a good snacking option, and appetites satiate quickly when they have to do the cracking themselves. We believe the cost of nuts to be offset by people not having to think of a snack. There is a positive impact just knowing the bowl is there. We can grow in the area of nutrition, the office does share healthy food tips, but eating is so personal that currently we just pass along reading suggestions for them to look up after work.
5. BALANCE: In order to start sitting less, we have to start standing more. We must support our foundation. Did you know 90% of all people wear improperly fitted shoes? The right shoes or custom inserts can align the body. This is especially valuable information for corporations that have associates standing for hours at a time. We found Foot Solutions have an expert certified staff that performs the best foot and gait analysis using the most advanced state-of-the-art technology. Call 1-888-FIT-FOOT to see if there is a store near you.
Whatever your office situation is, we at Balance Walking would be happy to help you get a wellness program started. Our program manager said the hardest part was the first week, and she is willing to give free consultations to get people through it. Now that we are up and running, our office is more receptive about new information, which was not the case when we first started. We gave ourselves a pat on the back when a report on RSI (eye strain)came out, telling people who work on computers to focus on something at least 20 feet away every hour to save their eyes. We have been doing that for a year on our walks, before the study was even released.
Our walk meetings have been wildly successful, and adding poles have proven valuable for walk meetings because people are able to look directly at the person they are conversing with. There are many benefits of adding poles during a walk, just one is that they free people from having to look at the ground in front of their feet allowing them to look around and relax the hard working neck and shoulder area. If you have any questions about starting your Corporate Wellness Program, or would like to purchase Balance Walking Poles in bulk for your office, contact information is below. If you would like to save 50% on an order just type ‘halfoff’ in the discount box. Order Poles
References: 1. Indiana University study released on Sept. 8, 2014 “Short walk breaks found to reverse negative effects of sitting” 2. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2012/02/22 3. The University of Illinois.
If you avoid walking, because each step is painful due to foot neuropathy, learn more now. Balance Walking is a safe, easy, low-impact exercise that you can perform with your doctor’s approval.
Reasons to add poles to your walk:
– improves blood circulation and oxygen levels
-helps to reduce stress up to 30% on joints and there are 33 joints in each foot.
-reduces cramps and rigidity caused by contracted muscles
-strengthens weak muscles and improves range of motion
-if you have trouble balancing, this is like walking with four points of contact instead of two.
Balance Walking Poles often enable those suffering from Neuropathy to walk more confidently, longer, with reduced pain and reduced or even corrected foot drag.
WARNING: Avoid harmful repetitive weight-bearing exercises and do not exercise for prolonged periods of time, instead try walking for about ten minutes every hour. This is important because “damaged nerves can regenerate as long as the cells that make them up are still alive. By performing regular exercise you can facilitate this process, minimize the adverse impact of foot neuropathy and regain a better quality of life.”1
This hour mark is of additional importance, because if the body stays in a seated position for 60 minutes it results in half the circulation to the legs being cut-off. Set an alarm to remind yourself to get up after 50 minutes, because a study from Indiana University shows if you get up your circulation will not be impaired at all. “The study participants who walked for five minutes for each hour
of sitting saw their arterial function stay the same.”2
If this is not enough information to scare you straight out of your chair add a “90% drop in a circulating blood enzyme called lipase, that is responsible for breaking down fat. In addition, electrical activity in our leg muscles radically decrease the longer we sit.”3 When transitioning the body from sitting to standing, take a minute to point and flex your feet to get the blood flowing all the way down. Increasing circulation to the feet is a beneficial thing to do in the morning, before getting out of bed. Start your day on the right foot.
References: 1. Livestrong.com “Does Exercise help Neuropathy of the Feet 2. Indiana University study released on Sept. 8, 2014 “Short walk breaks found to reverse negative effects of prolonged sitting” 3. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2012/02/22 Order at BalanceWalking.com Get more information: email@example.com
I think there are still a few people that don’t know what Balance Walking is, I realized this when a man walked by and said, “the snow has melted – why the poles?” So I am writing a post about the simple value of adding a set of poles to your walk.
#1. It is simple to get started doing something new and fun and easy. You have been walking for decades – YOU GOT THIS.
#2. It fits in your busy schedule, just keep a set of poles in your car and grab them when you have a few minutes to burn.
#3. Burns up to twice the calories in half the time, now that is using your time wisely.
#4. A wise use of money, with gym memberships you have a monthly fee and poles are a one time cost of $49.95
The concept of adding poles to walking started in Europe, where this form of exercise is very popular. I read an article in a German publication that said “if someone is out walking briskly Europeans look at them and wonder why they don’t have their poles.?”They understand the added value is so beneficial for the body, that just walking is not as productive.
BENEFITNESS For the Body
Engages 90% of the muscles, including the core.
Eases stress on joints up to 30%, and enhances cardiovascular performance up to 22%.
Adding poles to the walk increase the heart rate without increasing the perceived rate of exertion – basically you can walk farther, and get more out of it in half the time. Just the simple act of holding the poles promotes good posture, which improves body alignment.
Because it lowers the exertion rate, it also lowers the metabolic cost, which is the factor that determines how much your body will benefit from the exercise.
The many benefits added to the body are obvious, but there are also a benefits for the mind.
BENEFITNESS For the Mind
A lower metabolic cost, gets more oxygen rich blood delivered to your brain,
which causes a variety of benefits from increased cognitive functioning to a better mood.
The poles take away the need to look at your feet or the ground in front of you. Balance Walking free’s you to be able to look around and enjoy the view. This simple act allows your heavy brain to balance on the spine, which gives your neck a break.
Balance Walking is just fun, lets face it walking can feel monotonous, but adding poles to your walk adds a fresh, new experience.
CTA: Click link below to receive a free PDF flow chart and a 50% OFF coupon