Let’s take your Walking to the Next Level… of health, fitness and motivation. Just 15 minutes of low impact activity a day using 90 percent of your muscle improves; tone, cardiovascular and respiratory function, reduces joint impact, increase calorie burn, body balance, increased mobility and that’s for starters…
Balance Walking was recently introduced in January of 2013 to The Villages Florida and continues to grow. This is a 55 plus community with over 107,000 residents. I invited the residents to participate for no cost instruction and poles in an email blast, sent to 1200 residents. The first 8 hours of classes were filled in1 hour along with a waiting list of over 100 residents. In just a few short months over 500 Balance Walking residents were walking with poles, alone or in groups. This continued demand is on track to rise to well over 1000 residents by year end. I encourage all Walkers to join Balance Walkers to walk together, and in time discover how much greater the health benefits are with Balance Walking.
The Balance Walking poles and program has now become the official Pole Walking Club in The Villages and is on track to be the Next Pickle Ball Phenomena, as it is rolled out in the future to over 28 recreation facilities. The worlds’ first Walk n Neighbors Directory is filling daily in The Villages while reaching other retirement communities as well in the U.S.
Keep your eyes out for the News Headline which reads – “The Next Fitness and Health Wave in this Millennium – the answer to the ever increasing health epidemic we are facing in the US. The Health Equation may look like this; Poles + People = Better Health through Prevention delivered with an easy to do and motivational program. All ages, all health and fitness levels, all regions of the US.
In fact, the Balance Walking Poles will become an inter-generational innovative fitness tool, as it becomes the first activity of its kind to bridge the active aging with younger generations. We all desire more time together with family and friends, right….
Those who live, have visited or heard about The Villages know that this community on 23,000 acres and growing with over 91,000 residents, with 20 new homeowners a day is an absolutely amazing environment. Resident’s are encouraged to be involved with a healthy and active lifestyle in their community, as they have over 28 recreation centers, 62 swimming pools and 1,800 clubs. Oh, not to forget the 100s of holes of Golf.
My experience will confirm with a HUGE THUMBS UP that The Villages is not only America’s Friendliest Community and Healthiest Hometown in the U.S.. They in fact have what I know will continue to be the standard for all future healthy active retirement developments. I say retirement reluctantly as you see quickly everyone moving, engaged and happy not sitting, isolated or depressed. Living Life Actively Aging should begin at birth and continue for everyone, right? Why Not? Remember – “We do not stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.”tk
Another inspiration I was very excited to learn about is; a new partnership between the developer of The Villages, the University of South Florida and The Villages Health System which has been created to help Villages residents enjoy that optimum health. “Nothing is more important to a senior than his or her health,” said Gary Morse, developer of The Villages. “We’ve been searching for a creative, forward thinking university to work with local health care providers, study our community and bring us innovative ideas that will enhance the health of our retirees. We want to create America’s healthiest hometown.”
“Together, we have a bold goal, namely to help the residents of The Villages live longer and better,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine and chief executive officer of USF Health. “We’ll listen, we’ll assess and then we’ll implement a series of actions focusing on the ways to make the biggest difference in residents’ quality of life.”
In the past year I have visited and engaged with many residents there on 10 day trip’s to visit my active in laws, whom moved in January of 2012. While there with my family traveling on what seems like 100s of miles of golf cart paths I would take advantage of the great pathways to train with my Balance Walking Poles. While walking and adding the various levels of training innovations I was stopped in a 2 hour period by near to 25 residents. After sharing with them, they wanted to try my poles and they wanted to learn how to add the training to their daily walks. Many suggested I contact The Villages Recreation Department whom might be able to help introduce Balance Walking.
Well that has evolved in to a great invitation from John Rohan the Director of Recreation and Golf. He guided me to Alicia the Recreation Supervisor at Captiva Recreation Center whom is a talented Recreation Department Team member. I was able to meet with, share the program and train an hour to give her a real feel for how easy, fun, this new dimension brings to every day walking. She scheduled for January 25, 2013 — 3 classes which were filled to capacity in a several hours. So of course I offered to stay through Monday January 28th offering 2 more classes which were filled to capacity as well.
The great NEWS is I will be staying in The Villages to offer to those whom will contact me by phone at: 770-653-5995 or email at email@example.com several informal personal sessions over the weekend in order to help everyone get started. For those whom took the classes on Friday January 25th I will be offering more training as well over the weekend.
Below is the formal note that went out to a very small sampling of residents in The Villages
Balance Walking! January 25th! Free Event!
Come try out this new form of walking that will burn more calories than regular walking and tone you all over.
Remember to wear workout clothing and tennis shoe.
Meet 15 minutes before your schedule time at Wilkerson’s Creek Park in Sumter Landing. (Pavilion next to Sonny’s)
There will be three sessions Friday, January 25th:
10am – 11:30am
1pm – 2:30pm
3pm – 4:30pm
We’re only taking 12 people in each session. Even though it is a free event, please sign up at any regional center ASAP to get in…
I spent over an hour with the Terry Kennedy and can say; “it really is an awesome activity and you can EASILY cater it to your fitness level”
Oh not to forget the other filled sessions on
Two sessions Monday, January 28th:
10am – 11:30am
1pm – 2:30pm
See Ya All There…
Poles will be provided to the attendees to use during the classes. Those whom want to have their own poles can purchase in advance need only to contact Terry Kennedy or go directly to the order site by clicking HERE
A quick update with a few photos from our 8 week publisher study completed with woman from all over the US. They all ranged in ages from 35-65, were desiring weight loss and not a regular exerciser. The Publication with results and testimonials will be available very soon. Though the study is complete; most participants are continuing to walk daily, eat healthy, tone and give themselves quiet time.
We will be continuing with the next phase of the program by offered an opportunity to all participants to become walk leaders or coaches by simply registering online. All these program materials to them will be at no cost. As new walk leaders or coaches they will be provided all the marketing materials including a webpage to promote their program. And to help them grow their neighborhood and or work site program they will be provided all the Poles and Accessories at wholesale.
Wow, every week now I am beginning to hear and see people excited as they take the once standard Walking exercise and add Poles. These Poles are being used for specific; rehabilitation therapies, wellness programming for disease processes such as diabetes, arthritis, neuromuscular challenges and of course cardiovascular-related diseases. All of these health challenges need an activity at some point like Nordic Walking because the ease at which one can coordinate this repetitive movement for significant health gains is remarkable!
This is the icing on the cake… Nordic Walking allows you to start at every level of Fitness, whether you might be looking to lose weight and or gain average to elite levels of conditioning. One of the most appealing factors is that by adding the Poles to Walking and practicing the easily learned technique, you find quickly that improved conditioning takes less time than most all other fitness products and programs. Nordic Walking is not better than other exercise, but I will guarantee that it simply has no limitations…
An amazing fact is 90% muscle activation will be achieved with relatively low physical exertion when compared to the 60-70% muscle activation of regular walking. In other words, you get “more for less.” Physical therapist, doctors, fitness coaches and likely your neighbors everywhere are all just now discovering this fantastically simple and effective fitness tool. No demographic of health, fitness, age, and coordination level is going to be left behind.
Please join us today, just jump into the next walking wave, by getting in touch with Terry Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org . He will advise you of the best starting point based on your needs; with proper fitted poles, instructional materials, and available coaches or walk leaders.
Yesterdays walk was a blast.. Fourteen people and their poles trekked over 3 miles through beautiful Grant Park on the most gorgeous fall day. We were fortunate to have Terry Kennedy,(the guru of balance walking) join us with his family. Terrys passion and enthusiasm for balance walking was an added motivation for our seasoned pole walkers and even our first time beginner pole walkers.
It was Boo at the Zoo day, Halloween costumes were everywhere, children and their parents were dressed for the event, the Farmers market was open, two guys were drumming on empty plastic paint buckets, an acoustic harmonica player was off to one side, the playground was full, people were walking their dogs, there was a little boot camp set up on on the side of a hill , the parking lot was overflowing and the fabulous bungalow homes were decorated for the season I feel confident that when people went home that afternoon the thing that was talked about most was “that group of people with the poles”! That’s not something you see everyday! And YES, we are bringing the fanny packs back!
So thanks to all for walking with us. Thanks for driving the distance and making the time to launch the First walk of the new “WALK THIS WAY” club.
Special thanks to Tracy Meazell, who had worked until 1:00am the night before, for walking with us. Talk about dedication. Tracy has a great walk planned for November in the woods ( no rubber tips ) at Leita Thompson Park in Roswell.
On an instructor note, if anyone had any soreness or pain from the walk yesterday please let us know. It was a longer walk than recommended for the first time walkers with poles, and it is always a good idea to stretch afterward.
I enjoyed being with everyone and look forward to our walks! (and stretching!).
This needs to be a wake-up call for all of us today. 5000 Steps equates to a sedentary lifestyle, not to mention most Americans are not getting enough exercise daily. It comes down to Balance in a world that is competing for our choices each day. Those of us in the health and fitness business clearly see the train wreck. In fact some of us are being challenged with the same challenging choices daily.
So let’s begin with the end in sight now, to choose healthy actions each day, and bring back balance to living healthier today. And should you get off track, get back on, with the end in sight today…
I might suggest we start today and look for supporting pillars ( people, products, and places ) that deliver safely health and fitness education, motivation and leadership . With my recent invitation to serve on the board with the “Weekly Fitness Challenge” I know there is an organization serving to that end. This organization is assembling a worldwide team to bring back Healthy Balance by using mentors in “Changing the Shape of the World” . The essence is start where you are, and begin to gather together with others to commit as you are likely to succeed… A team of two, a group of many – at work, with family, friends and neighbors as this builds the needed motivation and mentorship.
Let’s get started now and Step It Up! Begin at work if you are one of those that sit much of your day. Be flexible when you encounter work challenges that rob you of your allocated time by simply returning back to your fitness routine when your work permits time. Remember we are paid to work, yet all know we function with higher productivity when endorphins kick in behind the desk. Ask your employer to join in, as this will cement the working relationship. Avoid at all cost of being judgmental with every bump ( fitness disruption ) in your new routine as this can become an achilles heel ( the reasons you quit ) to your long term success.
This is the beauty of walking with the new Balance Walking Poles as you will find quickly — convenience, ease of use, and endorphins kicking in — with your routine. Not to mention those that see you walking or jogging with poles will in their curiosity ask questions about the poles and succumb to getting their own poles, especially when you talk – more calories. And if you do not believe me, try it anyway, as I will let time prove me right here.
To get started let’s do some quick math first, which will evolve in to a written goal, followed with an achieved goal. OK, take a 5 minute break at work on the move with your poles every 60 minutes and you will have on an average 8 hour work day — 40minutes of activity. Wow! Let’s see that is 5 workdays which converts in to 3 hours and 20minutes. Now of course no need to stick with 5 minutes as your schedule may permit longer or shorter periods of time. The calories used while walking with your poles nearly doubles over regular walking. This of course is dependent on your speed and skills.
Here are some good numbers for Steps and Stats
2.5 feet: average person’s stride length
2,100 average steps: about one mile
10,000 steps: about 5 miles
10,000 steps “without poles”: expends about 300 – 400 cal. (depends on body size ,walking speed, and skill)
10,000 steps “with poles”: expends about 500 to 600 cal. (depends on body size, walking speed,and skill)
1,200 steps: 10 minutes of walking
3,100 – 4,000 steps: 30 minutes of moderately intense walking
Note: all these equivalents are averages that will vary among individuals
Sources: Research Digest, Walking.about.com with additional calculations with Poles
Ranking Steps for a more active lifestyle
sedentary: <5,000 steps/day
low active: 5,000-7,499 steps/day
somewhat active: 7,500-9,999 steps/day
active: >or=10,000 steps/day
highly active: >12,500 steps/day
Source: Tudor-Locke C, Bassett DR Jr., Sports Medicine
We will continue to study and research over and over and even debate exercise and disease processes. And with that debate on how much, how long and on and … I suggest lets all get up and move. The study below at least recognizes that you can not sit or virtually remain motionless most of the day and think that one 30minute session is all you need 5 days a week.
Even With Regular Exercise, People With Inactive Lifestyles More at Risk for Chronic Diseases
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2011) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of Americans have inactive lifestyles (they take fewer than 5,000 steps a day) and 75 percent do not meet the weekly exercise recommendations (150 minutes of moderate activity each week and muscle-strengthening activity twice a week) to maintain good health. read more click here
Balance Walking because of each of the 4 pillars that involve more than just the physical activity of planting poles and moving, we believe the positive contributions to those challenged with good health may benefit with Balance Walking, in improved health, in that moment and beyond…
When I came across this article that said in a study; that walking to the photocopier and fidgeting at your desk contributes more than you think to your cardiorespiratory fitness, I thought, GREAT (your kidding). How far do we lower the bar to get people to believe they can do very little and be healthier.
I do agree 100%, that getting up and moving if you sit daily is paramount to better health. The research link I attached says; that fidgeting, doing loops around the copier or foot tapping among other things is helping your fitness. We should realize that sitting motionless for years at a time at your desk for hours a day is a fast track to the grave. Lets not kid ourselves in to doing very little at work physically and believe this will make you FIT.
I do believe that an office activity break that can be of consistent duration, along with a measurable intensity is the key to “improved Health” (and of course add balanced nutrients and quite time). Yet to speak on “improved Fitness” is another thing all together; as we need a specific activity, for a specific duration, with a measurable intensity (and the best overall activity will include components ideally that emphasis CV, Strength and Flexibility) with short and long range goals.
One of the greatest benefits we have found in an office setting with Balance Walking is one can simply get up from their desk, place the rubber paws on the poles and go for a quick walk. Even if it is only quick 3 to 10min loops in hallways, parking garages/lots or sidewalks. The advantage with Balance Walking here is that you are standing and moving using 90% of your muscle which delivers an accumulative effect up to twice that of regular walking. Not to mention the much needed de stress time. You hear this all the time from runners ” a runners high” as you will also experience the increase in endorphins while walking with poles.
Let’s not forget, after your quick walk their are some great stretches for neck, back and legs. There are many more benefits that I have not covered here which can be found on the main website at www.balancewalking.com
Take a quick read of the this fidget study in Canada that explored IPA (incidental physical activities).
Colin Milner the CEO of the International Council on Active Aging has released a short time back 10 points that hit home for adults regardless of age ( lets say starting at 30…). In keeping with Balance Walking and its 4 basic health pillars you will discover quickly how perfect using these poles virtually anytime by anyone will help you to maintain a more healthy and active life.
These 10 quick insights are really great personal thoughts and prompters for yourself..
10 Ways to Extend a Healthy Life
Active-aging expert offers “e-tips” for attaining and maintaining health in 2011
(Vancouver-December 27, 2010) What’s the difference between the day before your birthday and the day after? “Practically speaking, nothing at all,” declares Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (www.icaa.cc), a membership organization that brings together professionals in the independent and assisted living, fitness, rehabilitation and wellness fields to dispel society’s myths about aging..
“Whether you’re turning 30, 40, 50, 65, or 90, there’s no reason to assume you’re doomed to decline after a certain age—especially if you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and active.”
Milner offers the following “E-tips” to help you extend a healthy life, or embark on one if you haven’t yet done so (citations available on request):
Expectations: If you’ve been following a healthy lifestyle up ’til now, simply keep going; if you need to make changes, anticipate succeeding, not failing—and don’t let age be a barrier. Research has shown that thinking positively about getting older can extend your life by as much as 7.5 years.
Enthusiasm: Few people are thrilled with every aspect of their lives, but many have at least one area—family, friends, work, avocation—they feel good about. Identify an activity or connection that sparks your enthusiasm and make it your lifeline; try to extend that enthusiasm to other areas of your life.
Energy: Having the energy and motivation you need to age well are hallmarks of healthy living. If you’re fatigued all the time, don’t let apathy and lethargy drag you down; get a checkup to try to determine the cause—and the solution.
Eating: Eating a balanced diet and attaining/maintaining a normal weight are keys to physical and mental health; if you need to lose weight or make changes in your diet, keep your expectations high—you can do it.
Exercise: Staying physically active fuels the body and mind. If you’re already exercising regularly, keep it up; if you’re getting started, know your skill level, set goals, progress at your own pace, and be consistent.
Engagement: Volunteers have higher levels of well-being and life satisfaction than those who don’t volunteer; volunteering and other forms of civic and social engagement can play an important role in maintaining good health in later life. “Get involved,” Milner urges.
Emotions: Everyone feels down at times, but full-blown depression is a major cause of disability. If you’re feeling out of sorts for two weeks or more, talk with your doctor or take an online screening test at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/. In many instances, simply exercising and eating right can change your mood.
Education: Life-long learning is important to living an independent and fulfilling life. Start now to learn a new area of knowledge or physical activity. It’s good for the brain.
Effort: Changing expectations and embarking on new behaviors take energy and effort, but the results are well worth it.
Enjoyment: A healthy life generally is a joyous one. “Savor the process of being or becoming active, engaged, and truly alive,” Milner enthuses.
“The new year is a great time to take stock and ask yourself, ‘where do I want to go from here?,’” Milner says. “Emphasize the positive and don’t let your age, or anyone else, deter you.”
About the International Council on Active Aging
The International Council on Active Aging® is the professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry. ICAA supports professionals who develop wellness facilities, programs and services for adults over 50. The association is focused on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness—and provides its members with education, information, resources and tools. As an active-aging educator and advocate, ICAA has advised numerous organizations and governmental bodies, including the US Administration on Aging, the National Institute on Aging (one of the US National Institutes of Health), the US Department of Health and Human Services, Canada’s Special Senate Committee on Aging, and the British Columbia ministries of Health, and Healthy Living and Sport.