Tag Archives: walking

Time to go for a Walk

For good cardio, the immediate thing that springs to mind is jogging around the block or jumping on the rowing machine for 30 minutes. Not everyone enjoys running for a variety of different reasons, including fitness itself and the strain on the back and joints.

A great alternative, not practised by enough people is in fact walking. Incorporating a walking routine into your working week could contribute towards numerous health benefits, whilst giving you a perfect chance to get out and take in some fresh air – It’s time to walk yourself fit people!

The following walking beginners guide is provided to you by the Healthy Hideout:

  • Why should I walk? – It’s a great alternative to running first and foremost. According to the Walking Organisation (UK), walking offers various aerobic benefits when walking at a constant pace of around 4mph. It’s also a lot less stressing on the back and joints. Remember it’s free too – Anyone can do it, and there’s no limit to how many people can do it together.
  • Is walking for you? – As mentioned above, walking is a low-impact,  low intensity exercise designed to help restore balance and energy. It helps to build endurance and stamina whilst giving you a chance to get out of the house.  Even a well paced 10-minute walk around the park can help to improve fitness.
  • Your heart will thank you – Walking gets the heart pumping faster which helps to strength the muscle. This helps to lower your overall blood pressure, reducing the risk of coronary disease and strokes.
  • Good for the legs – When compared with running, walking works to build all the muscles in the leg – not just the calves and thighs. As there is no “strike” motion with walking, the stress on the joints and knees is drastically reduced. With walking you may “strike” with 1 – 1.5 times your own body weight, unlike running which can be 3 – 4 times your own body weight.
  • It’s a think tank – An unbeatable combination of natural light combined with physical outdoor exercise helps to release “feel-good” chemicals into the blood stream. Whether you walk in a city park or head out to the country side, walking will help clear your mind and sleep better too.
  • Calorie crusher – Fitness walking or “speed walking” as it’s commonly known will burn approximately 200 calories every 30 minutes. To help put this into perspective, this applies to a 65kg person walking at around 4 mph.
  • Great physical benefits – According to the World Health Organisation, “A walker loses weight, lowers cholestoreol and reduces conditions associated with hypertension. Walking can help with slowing the ageing process, maintaining physical balance and flexibility and increasing stamina” – You can’t really argue with these benefits?
  • Strengthen your bones – As walking is classed as a weight bearing exercise, it will help to develop bone strength, whilst helping against the development of osteoporosis.

Improve your lung power!

With summer fast approaching some of us may be working on our beach ready bodies before hitting the sandy coastlines. In order to look our best, we must of course exercise and we all know that exercise requires effort. Some cardiovascular activities leave many of us breathless before we’ve even started. So how can you prevent that “getting gased” feeling – Here are some the Healthy Hideouts top ways to help improve lung power!

A gentle stroll with your dog is great exercise!

A gentle stroll with your dog is great exercise!

  1. It’s a mental game – It may seem a little odd at first, but research carried out by Harvard demonstrated that having an optimistic mindset helped improve lung function. 670 men aged 63 were followed for eight years with the optimists having greater lung performance than the pessimists.
  2. An apple a day – A study carried out by Nottingham university found that people who ate at least 5 apples a week had better lung function and suffered from less “wheeziness” compared to those who didn’t. If you’re not a fan of eating apples the classic way, why not try dicing them into salads or desserts.
  3. Dental health is important – Research showed that people with gum disease who found to be 1 1/2 times more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disease that affects people aged 65 plus. Combine this with the fact that you’re 70% more likely to suffer from heart problems and you soon realise that brushing your teeth is more than just a routine “chore.”
  4. Take the stairs – Although the lift is almost always tempting, exercise that makes your heart work such as taking the stairs forces your lungs to work hard. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of walking 3 to 4 times a day helped improve breathing for people with emphysema.
  5. Tomatoes please! – Research by Nottingham University has shown that people who ate tomatoes at least three times a week were found to have improved lung function and less wheeziness. Incorporate tomatoes into your meals by adding fresh tomatoes or passatas to sauces.

6 tips to help fend away cancer

Each year, over 10 million cases of cancer are diagnosed across the globe. It’s a subject that receives much attention, and in some cases the advice given can put a real dampener on things. However, it is possible to make small and simple lifestyle changes to ensure you decrease the chances of becoming one of these cases.

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 6 tips to help defend against cancer:

  • Introduce onions into everything – We understand that not everyone is a fan of onions! Yet onions are not just to be seen to add delicious flavor to all your home cooked meals. A diet high in onions has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by almost 50%. The onion is most powerful when eaten raw, but if your not up to task, lightly cooking them also helps the main the good stuff.
  • Eat grapes with your partner – Grapes are a great source of resveratrol, a compound found in wine that helps to protect us against cancer. Taking it in through the grape means you’re getting all the benefits without the alcohol. Being close to your partner simply helps to strengthen both your immune systems.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes – It’s mentioned time and time again, but a 30 minute walk is all that’s needed to reduce your risk of breast cancer. A study of 170 overweight women in Seattle, USA showed that moderate exercise reduced the levels of oestrogen found in the body, a hormone related to the cancerous cell.
  • Skip the Sunbed – If you desperate to get a tan, try to avoid the sunbeds all together as they can drastically increase your chances of skin-cancer. Instead, why not opt for the spray tan option which is now widely available at most local health spas.
  • Fancy a beer? – Not to be mistaken as completely useless, beer helps to protect us against the harmful bacterium “Helicobacter Pylori” which has been linked to stomach cancer. Obviously, it’s not an excuse to overdo it – Excessive alcohol over the course of a week can actually increase the chances of some cancers.
  • Get a Cantaloupe Melon – Cantaloupe melons are a great source of carotenoids, a chemical shown to help reduce the risk of lung cancer. Although not seen as convenient, prepare your melon in advance.  Keep chunks of it stored in an airtight container in the fridge, and help yourself throughout the day.

Top 10 Healthy Heart exercises

Keeping your heart healthy should be at the top of your priority list each and everyday. But with our busy modern day lifestyles and hectic agendas, finding the time to work our tickers can sometimes prove difficult. The following exercise suggestions are great ways of working the heart, but be sure to not overdo it – You want to be feeling up for doing exercise the next day too!

Jogging makes for a great heart workout!

Jogging makes for a great heart workout!

Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 10 healthy heart exercises;

  1. Surge walking – The next time you’re out for your daily brisk trot around the block, try incorporating short sharp surges into your route. By doing this, not does your body burn more calories, you’ll be conditioning yourself for walking at a faster pace for comfortably.
  2. Spring clean every week – The effort that we take to give our homes that annuals spring clean each year, should be applied to every house tidy up we do. Go for the energetic clean! Don’t stick to just one floor at a time, make use of your homes stairs. They’re the best calorie burner after all!
  3. The Stairs Game – Although this may not appeal to those with a busy schedule, set yourself the task of climbing a set of stairs every time you see them. It’s a free and easy way of getting an intensive burst of exercises each day
  4. Go Swimming – A great scientific fact to remember – Water is 800 times denser than air. Even moving around in water with your head above the surface is an intensive workout for the body. Try starting with treading water, gradually moving yourself into a set of lengths and routines.
  5. It’s time to Dance – Dancing burns an average of 500 calories per hour, using muscles you don’t normally exercise in the process. Some experts say that patients who regularly dance at a club or with friends have healthier hearts than those who don’t.
  6. Run for the hills! – Walking, jogging or even riding a bike up a hill introduces the great resistance of gravity. Tackle some hills once or twice a week and be sure to lean forwards when walking to engage different types of muscles.
  7. Follow the fittest – When exercising with friends who are fitter or faster than you, you’re forced out of your comfort zone.  This helps you to develop your fitness levels quicker, whilst working out with someone else ensures you actually keep to a regular routine.
  8. The Great Outdoors – When walking on tougher terrains such as grass fields and rugged dirt track, your body works more muscles when compared to walking on pavement. Country walks are often prettier on the eye as well, so why not get out of the city this weekend?
  9. Pre-programmed – If you already utilise electronic exercise equipment at your gym or at home, try to introduce yourself to the programs that have “inclined” routines. This will work your body and improve the strength of your heart.
  10. Time for Sports – Make it your target this year to introduce a new physically active hobby. Casual sports such as tennis, badminton, swimming and even cycling force the heart to work intensively. They’re also a great way to catch up with friends and socialise throughout the working week.

What exercises do you incorporate into your weekly routine? Here at the Healthy Hideout, we’d love to hear any suggestions you have for great heart intensive ideas. Get in touch!

Daily Walking can beat 24 illnesses

If asked to go on a daily run or trip to the gym you may think that it’s far too much effort to be sustained, but a daily walk seems much more attainable. The benefits of a daily walk can be huge so the Healthy Hideout looks at how you and your family’s health could benefit.

Simply taking a 30 minute walk every day can significantly cut your risk of 24 illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Scientific research has shown that taking a brisk daily walk can improve health while slowing down our body’s deterioration due to old age. These numerous health benefits have been attributed to walking after researchers examined over 40 previous studies conducted in that last four years.

Child walking to School

Child walking to School. Photo: Pawpaw67 on flickr.com

The researchers found that keeping fit and maintaining an active lifestyle ranks alongside not smoking as the best choices you can make for you and your family to stay healthy. In addition it seems that the benefits help both men and women in all age groups.

The study was based on a moderate level of exercise, defined as cycling or walking briskly for 150 minutes per week or 5 lots of 30 minutes exercise 5 days a week. Growing evidence also suggests that such exercise could lead to a lowered risk of dementia in later life, which is a fear for many people.

The health benefits include a lowered risk of: heart disease; dementia; type 2 diabetes; osteoporosis, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure and depression among others. There is less evidence when it comes to specific types of cancer.

Moreover, if you can increase your exercise to about an hour a day the results are even more notable with a decrease in illnesses such as cancer and improvement in overall health.

The findings show that the best health is achieved when we lead an active lifestyle, eliminate smoking, eat healthy diets and keep our weight out of the overweight category. What things do you do to keep active and lead a healthy lifestyle?