Start Your New Year Right

Greetings! I trust that this will find you well and enjoying life.

I believe strongly in a regular program of exercise. The benefits are many and speak for themselves. When I was younger I was a runner, until my body clearly let me know how hard it was on my joints. Many years ago I transitioned over to lap swimming and a good week for me is three workouts, which among other things does wonders for managing stress. Several years ago I acquired and trained my first canine duck hunting companion, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Sheba. Sheba requires a lot of exercise, so I have developed the habit of walking her briskly about two miles five mornings a week. I had always heard that walking does good things for you and have been amazed at its benefits and how it even compliments the lap swimming. The following is information on walking that I hope will encourage you to begin a regular walking program if you haven’t already and test the benefits for yourself.

According to a study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, walking briskly can be just as effective as running when it comes to reducing your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. The level of benefit you derive from this low-key exercise depends on three factors: intensity, duration and frequency. Because walking lacks the high impact of running, you need to walk more often for longer periods of time than you would if running. For example, you would need to walk 4.3 miles at a brisk pace to have the same amount of exercise as running three miles. However, an added benefit is that you can achieve the same benefits with less stress on joints.

The study also found that for every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some people may increase by two hours.

There are also less scientific benefits to walking. For example, depending on the level of intensity, exercise can either exhaust or energize you and walking tends to be more of an energizing force. It can help revitalize when you get an attack of the midday sleepies and is a healthier and less expensive alternative to coffee or caffeinated sodas. It also can give you the opportunity for one on one bonding with a spouse, child, friend or pet without a lot of distractions. Dogs benefit from the same health and mood enhancing benefits as humans, as evidence by their exuberance when you reach for their leash.

The American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in 30 minutes of physical activity per day, at least 15 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Unless you suffer from chronic pain, there are few excuses for not walking. Even if you travel, walking is an excellent no-gear way to get in some exercise. If it’s too hot or too cold outside, head to the local mall. Better yet, it doesn’t require any lessons: You’re an expert the moment you walk out the door.

If you have questions, comments or feel that I can be of service in any way with your retirement planning, don’t hesitate to call.

Best regards,

Jeff Christian CFP, CRPC

Set exorbitant standards and give your people hell when they don’t live up to them. There is nothing so demoralizing as a boss who tolerates second rate work.

David Ogilvy

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