Walking is good for you
In the hustle and bustle of the day, exercise is often the first thing to get cut from the to-do list. One way to keep it a priority — and keep it fun — is by forming a walking group.
Want to knock out two of the Power 9® in one shot? Starting a walking group will not only help you “Move Naturally,” it also helps you find the “Right Tribe,” a social group that supports healthy behaviors.
Studies show that people are more likely to keep a regular fitness schedule when they exercise in groups of two or more.
Need more reasons to walk? It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your overall health, and carving out a little bit of time to do something for yourself every day is good for your mental health.
Whether you want to walk around the block or get in a few miles, there’s sure to be people near you with similar goals and timeframes. Here are a few tips on how to find them:
- Put a notice in your community inviting people to a start-up meeting and chat with your neighbors to see if they’re interested.
- Ask co-workers if they would be interested in an early-morning or lunch-hour walking group.
- Organize walks through Meetup.com , a website that allows you to find existing groups or start your own.
Nine lifestyle habits you can adopt to feel better, live longer and be happier.
- Move naturally. We can get more physical activity naturally if we live in walk-able communities, de-convenience our homes and grow gardens. Walking is the best activity for longevity.
- Know your purpose. People who know why they wake up in the morning live up to seven years longer than those who don’t.
- Down shift. To reverse chronic inflammation caused by stress, find time each day to meditate, nap, pray, or enjoy a happy hour.
- The 80 percent rule. Cut 20 percent of your calories with evidence-based practices: eat a big breakfast, eat with your family, use 10-inch plates and stop when you feel 80 percent full.
- Plant slant. Eat mostly a plant-based diet heavy on beans, nuts and green plants. This is consistent with the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations to make fruits, vegetables and grains the majority of your intake.
- Wine at 5. If you have a healthy relationship with alcohol, one to two glasses of wine daily could help add years to your life, especially when consumed with a healthy diet.
- Family first. Living in a thriving family is worth a half-dozen extra years of life expectancy. Invest time in your kids, nurture a monogamous relationship and keep your aging parents nearby.
- Belong. Recommit or reconnect to your faith community, or explore a new one. No matter which faith, studies found that people who devote time to their faith community four times a month live an extra 4 – 14 years.
- Right tribe. Your friends have a long-term impact on your health and longevity. Taking stock in who your friends are and expanding your social circle to include healthy-minded, supportive people might be the most powerful thing you can do to add years to your life.
Source: The Blue Zones – Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner.
Visit the Blue Zones Project for more tips and ideas.