Is Walking Really Exercise

s Walking Really ExerciseI recently read a post by my friend Karen McCoy (who is also a past interview) and she was talking about walking and how it is/is not exercise. She says walking is not an exercise. Walking is an activity.

This triggered something in me as I’ve been thinking about writing about this very subject as well, I just wasn’t sure on which direction to take it in. Well, thanks to Karen, now I do!

First of all, I want to say I agree with Karen. Plain and simple, walking is NOT an exercise, it is an activity. Let me give you an example: We walk to and from the TV to the refrigerator, some people have to walk to take the garbage out. Even though this is walking, this is NOT and exercise.

I can hear it now, “Andrew, that’s not the kind of walking I’m talking about. The walking I do is around the block, that’s exercise, right?” Well, now it goes to the idea as to what you consider to be exercise. The best definition of exercise I found was, again, from Karen.

“Exercise is when we train our bodies in a structured environment to attain a higher level of fitness and health.”

Using this definition, which is spot on in my book, walking around the block is NOT exercise. Now, just to add a bit of “Andrew Philosophy” to this, if you walk around the block with the intention of raising your heart rate and sweating, then maybe I can lean towards your way of thinking. But you’ll still have to convince me because a block isn’t that long of a walk (unless you live out in the country where a block could be a couple of MILES long!)

Saying all this, I will tell you I like to walk. I put on my headphones and listen to motivational stuff and different radio programs (I’m a Lex and Terry junkie!). But when I walk, I concentrate on upping my walking pace. So much so that when I’m done, I’m almost out of breath and yes, I’m sweating. So, I call this a form of power walking. I going out with the intention of attaining a higher level of fitness and health. I also do a push up and sit up routine before/after my “walk”, but that’s a whole different story.

My parents both walk everyday, but I defy ANYONE to keep up with them! Even those Dad is 73 years old and Mom is a tad over 29 years old (*grin*), they are in great shape. Why? Because their “walk” is done with the intention “to attain a higher level of fitness and health”. So, in saying that, Yes their walk is exercise.

Saying that, going out for an evening stroll with your sweetie is a nice thing to do (and it’s better than sitting down watching TV), but it is NOT exercise.

Do you get the difference?

Now, I also will say that if you are currently doing NOTHING in terms of exercising, then yes walking is a great start BUT makes sure you progress from a walk around the block to something more physical to attain a higher degree of fitness, ok?

Coach Red, The Interview Series’ VPT, says “if you have a fat dog, you’re not getting enough exercise“. In terms of going out and doing something for yourself, she’s right. Walking your dog is NOT considered exercise, but it IS better than sitting in the house doing nothing, and it’s great for your dog as well!

Easy Fitness Tips for Busy Moms

Easy Fitness Tips for Busy MomsMost moms lead extremely busy lives. With so much to do (work, taking care of the kids, keeping the house organized, etc.) – it’s no wonder that keeping a strict diet regime and scheduling time exclusively for exercise is almost impossible.

The following five easy-to-follow tips are meant to help busy moms who want to be in shape, look beautiful and stay healthy without sacrificing much time from their hectic schedules.

1. Avoid “eating after your kids”

No matter how tempting it is to “pick” from your kid’s food, or even worse – eat their leftovers, don’t do it! Children have completely different nutrition and caloric needs than adults. While that macaroni and cheese may not really have an immediate impact in your child’s weight, think twice before packing on 315 calories (90 from fat!) in a single serving.

2. Carry your baby with you

Nothing burns calories faster than exercising with weights. You get stronger while building lean muscle that helps increase your metabolism and burn additional calories. Instead of pushing the stroller everywhere you go, consider carrying your baby in your arms or even on a baby carrier/sling. Not only will this help you exercise, it will also help you develop a closer bond with your child. NOTE: When carrying your baby, make sure you have good posture by standing up straight and tightening your abdominal muscles. This will prevent any possible back injury which can result from constantly carrying the additional weight.

3. Get at least 30 minutes of “real” exercise

Let’s face it, “running around chasing after your baby” is not truly exercise. You need at least 10 minutes of constant physical activity to count it as “real” exercise. While it may be hard to schedule 30 minutes of jogging on that treadmill, try breaking it into three 10 minute daily sessions. This is much easier to fit into your schedule and will still have the effective calorie burning results of a full half hour workout.

4. Do the housework

Although most people don’t really enjoy doing the household chores, those tedious activities can really help you burn some serious calories. For example, 30 minutes of vacuuming the house burns between 75 and 125 calories. Other common tasks such as making the bed can burn up to 70 calories and even the act of cooking a healthy meal can help you burn off up to 50 calories.

5. Schedule physical play time for you and the kid(s)

Instead of sending the kids off to watch TV or play video games, try getting involved in a fun game with them that includes physical activity for you and them. Go for a stroller walk, throw a Frisbee, play ball, etc. You can also arrange for play dates with other moms and transform this time into a fun and entertaining social bonding experience.

Yvonne Levy is an internationally recognized Perinatal Fitness expert with the gift of making mommies and “mommies-to-be” of all shapes and sizes look and feel sexy, “hot” and beautiful.

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle

Tips for a Healthy LifestyleBegin your day with a morning meal:

Yes, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast refuels your body after a long night without food. It will help you focus at work and keep you energized! It’s simple to prepare breakfast that consists of cold cereals, fruit and low-fat dairy, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter… even lean meat (yes, last night’s chicken will work too).

Start Moving!

It’s easy to work fitness into your daily routine. Walk your dog, fly a kite, ride a horse (if you have one), bicycle or jog… anything–just start your day with some activity and you’ll be rewarded.

Take a 10-minute break every hour while you work on the computer or when you watch TV. Using the stairs instead of taking the elevator is an excellent way to get fit and burn extra calories. Start out by trying to follow these suggestions for at least a half day and build from there.

Sweat!

Help your heart push harder and be stronger by working up a sweat! You’ll look and feel better too. Start with a warm-up to stretch your muscles. Include at least 20 minutes of cardio exercise such as swimming, running or walking. Follow-up with an activity that helps you build muscle… try push-ups or lifting weights. Be sure to cool down by stretching or doing yoga.

Get fit with your family and friends:

Being active is much more fun with your family and friends too. Encourage other family members to be a part of your plan and stick with it. Plan at least one special exercise event, like a riding bikes, riding horses or even climbing. Work as team to achieve results!

Smart snack choices:

Snacks are an excellent way to refuel your body. Choose foods from different groups–a glass of low-fat dairy, whole grain crackers, an apple, peanut butter, raisins or even dry cereal. Choose 2 to 3 snacks per day to keep hunger in check. Here’s a quick guide to daily food choices:

Fats, Oils, and Sweets (sparingly) / Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese (2-3 servings) / Vegetables (3-5 servings) / Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts (2-3 servings) / Fruits (2-4 servings) / Breads, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta (6-11 servings)

Eat more grains, fruit and veggies and balance your diet:

All of these foods provide your body with power, natural vitamins, nutritional value and fiber. Besides… they taste great! You just have to be sensible about how often and how much you eat. Your body needs protein, carbohydrates, fat and a variety of natural foods with vitamin C and A. Checking the nutrition facts on food labels will help you get the best nutritional value possible.

Make physical activity and healthy eating fun!

Take advantage of activities your family and friends can enjoy doing together–try new things! Besides getting healthy, you create a lasting bond. Try new foods, activities, and even games to stay mentally focused and physically strong. The key to success–set realistic goals.

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