All Entries For walking

Americans Walk Less and Gain More

My daughterís preschool is less than Ĺ mile from our house, so most days (weather permitting), I push my son up in our double stroller to get her. I feel bad enough driving her to school (my kids donít get up early enough to walk in the morning), but I usually try to combine it with other errands so that our environmental impact isnít quite as terrible.
Posted 10/29/2010  10:05:21 AM By: Jen Mueller : 80 comments   14,935 views
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10 Strength Training Exercises for Walkers

Strength training exercises are important for all of us to do, but they can be extremely helpful for walkers since they allow for greater muscle balance, flexibility and range of motion.

Upper body strength training exercises are just as important to incorporate into your workout routine as lower body exercises as they help to build stronger muscles needed to maintain good form and posture when walking, especially when fatigue begins to set in. A strong core also allows for better posture which allows for greater lung expansion so that your body can receive more oxygen with each breath.

Posted 10/27/2010  2:00:00 PM By: Nancy Howard : 24 comments   25,986 views
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Capitol Hill Takes on a Walking Challenge

So who doesn't like a challenge? We, here at SparkPeople, find that challenges are actually a great motivational tool in helping our members reach their goals. So if SparkPeople members are motivated by the challenges, could this work for our politicians and their staff members in our country's capital? After all, many of us our motivated by the mere thought competing against others which isn't always a bad thing.

Seven weeks ago a competition like no other in Washington, D.C. went out to members of Congress, their staff, as well as the Capitol Police. This friendly competition had nothing to do with political affiliations in the least. The competition you may ask--to see which Capitol Hill team could cover the greatest distance walking over a six week time period commencing on June 16th and ending on July 28th. The reward--the honor of being named the 'Top Walkers on the Hill' and receiving one of two highly sought after Blue Shoe trophies.

Posted 8/4/2010  8:40:43 AM By: Nancy Howard : 38 comments   12,532 views
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8 Ways to Step-Up Your Walking Workouts

Walking is a great form of exercise, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete. It’s cheap. It’s accessible. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment. And it’s something that nearly everyone can do.

Walking is a big part of my own fitness program. In addition to higher-intensity workouts that include running and Spinning, I get out and walk about 4 times per week to shake things up and get a little active recovery. Bonus: In addition to elevating your heart rate and increasing circulation, walking at a brisk pace can burn up to 300 calories per hour!

When you’re new to fitness, walking is a great way to start. But as you get fitter, can you still make walking work for you without turning into a runner? You bet! Here are some of my top recommendations to step-up the intensity of your walks.
Posted 7/28/2010  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 67 comments   26,509 views
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Please Put the Cell Phone Down When Driving

Earlier this week I was out for a morning run in my neighborhood--a route I have been running for almost 4 1/2 years now. While many people talk about being a defensive driver, I am proud to say I am a defensive runner. I understand that many drivers do not pay attention to things around them, but this issue becomes more problematic when drivers are too busy talking on their cell phones.

As a runner, I run on against the flow of traffic. I am always aware of my surroundings, especially the traffic running through the neighborhood. I run with only one ear piece so that I can hear sounds around me. I always stop at cross walks, being sure to look both ways before proceeding. And I make sure that I can be seen by others by donning a neon yellow hat and many times a neon tech shirt with reflectors on the sleeves.

Posted 6/19/2010  3:36:56 PM By: Nancy Howard : 181 comments   14,512 views
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Bring Your Walking Shoes to Work on Wednesday

How many of you use your lunch break to go out to eat with your co-workers, run errands, get your hair done or even catch up on some much needed work?

What if you took a little time away from your desk to lace up your shoes to go on a nice walk with your co-workers?

On Wednesday, April 28th people across the United States and Puerto Rico are being encouraged to use their lunch break to celebrate the 4th Annual National Walk @ Lunch Day by using this time to walk--to just get up and move. In a world where time is a premium, we must learn new ways of integrating activity into our day and this may very well be a start.

Posted 4/24/2010  12:03:58 PM By: Nancy Howard : 182 comments   17,612 views
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For Exercise Buddies, Four Legs are Better than Two

I have been a lover of animals ever since I was a tiny tot. We grew up with cats, a bird and a handful of goldfish for pets, but I never experienced the joy of dog ownership until I was in college and my roommate got a miniature daschund that I helped care for. I would feed her, play with her, take her out in the middle of the night, and take her on long walks each day when my roommate was away at work or class. It took dedication, work, and an adjustment to my schedule, but I loved that dog, and the benefits of her companionship made it all worth it. When my roommate and I went our separate ways, I knew I would have a dog of my own someday, but not until I was ready to adjust my routine and lifestyle to best accommodate the dog's needs.

However, things don't always go according to plan. Just a few weeks ago, my fiancé, Evan, found a stray dog near our home. It's not uncommon for us to chase down stray dogs, check for tags, or keep them in our fenced-in backyard until we can find their owners, so I didn't think much of it. But no one was looking for this dog that was very underweight and seemingly untrained, and by the time he had moved her from the backyard to our basement, I had a feeling she was here to stay. I wasn't sure that we had the time to care for a dog. I had always envisioned getting one in the future, maybe if I stayed at home or worked part time—not while we each worked full-time and part-time jobs that keep us away from home for long hours. After much planning, research and discussion, we adopted Ginger. My how our lives have changed over the last few weeks…
Posted 3/24/2010  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 171 comments   21,126 views
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Two Inspiring SparkPeople Members Take on Walking Events

At the end of February I had the pleasure of participating in the Mardi Gras Marathon and Half-marathon in New Orleans with fourteen other SparkPeople members. While many of us participating were runners, two members, RELLIMTENAJ (AKA Janet, at right in the photo) and Boopster69 (AKA Betty, at left in the photo) walked this great event. And if you think finishing a half-marathon walking isnít worthy of praise, I hope after reading this blog it will inspire you to take on the challenge of living your dream. These two women are an inspiration, not only to me, but to all of us who had the honor to meet these two phenomenal ladies.

Posted 3/20/2010  1:00:48 PM By: Nancy Howard : 114 comments   14,291 views
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DVD Review: Leslie Sansone's 'Walk Your Belly Flat'

A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to interview Leslie Sansone for the dailySpark. Sure, I knew who she was and that our members love her, but I had never actually tried any of the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVDs that made her the famous fitness guru she is today.

Leslie was kind enough to send me a free copy of her newest title, Leslie Sansone Walk At Home: Walk Your Belly Flat, a 3-mile walk you can do from the comfort of your living room. I busted it out on a cold day that I didn't want to head outdoors for a walk. Want to know what I thought about it? And more importantly, whether it'll help you lose that stubborn fat around your midsection?
Posted 1/15/2010  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 372 comments   112,511 views
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10 Questions with Walking Guru Leslie Sansone

Leslie Sansone really walks the walk. For 27 years, she has helped people get in shape by putting one foot in front of the other. Best known for her "Walk At Home" and "Walk Away the Pounds" fitness DVDs, she truly is America's fitness-walking authority. I recently was given the opportunity to interview Leslie via email, and the passion in her answers jumped off the screen.

Read on to see Leslie's answers to member-submitted questions, her #1 secret to keeping her walks fun and interesting, and her top 5 tips to starting a solid walking program.
Posted 11/4/2009  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 187 comments   61,145 views
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If Running Doesn't Work for You, Think About Race Walking

Recently at the dailySpark, we have celebrated with Coach Nancy and Coach Jen as they successfully completed the Chicago Marathon. We have also heard about how their training motivated Coach Nicole and Coach Stepf to take up running to successfully complete a race as well.

As an athlete I have run for conditioning for most of my life. After having thyroid surgery in 2002, I took up running more seriously as a mode and method for weight control. Between 2002 and 2004 I ran in several marathon relays and 5 K's as well as a mini-marathon and four half-marathons. Unfortunately, thyroid disease trumps half-marathon training and my weight slowly climbed up anyway. During the training, old ankle and knee injuries resurfaced as well. I also suffered a partial Achilles rupture while playing volleyball, which took me well over a year to rehabilitate. Because of all of this, I took a break from running and ventured into biking and other cross-training options. I seem to only find time to work out at 5:30 in the morning which leaves little opportunity for training challenge when you live in the suburbs. After several years of riding the same early morning routes, I had become burnt out on biking. With all the running talk swirling around the office, I had thoughts of taking up running again. After several weeks, many of those old injuries resurfaced and left me really sore and miserable for the rest of the day regardless of the workout duration and intensity. I tried switching to a run/walk method to see if that would work better. It was during that running to walking transition one morning that I re-discovered race walking.

Posted 10/22/2009  11:13:44 AM By: Tanya Jolliffe : 79 comments   19,166 views
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Poll: Have You Walked or Run for a Cause?

Now that fall racing season is in full swing, this is prime time to lace up your walking or running shoes to raise money for a great cause. Not only are you able to get in shape, but many charities depend heavily on the funds raised from these events in order to help those afflicted with various illnesses and conditions. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I couldn't think of a better way to spend time with great friends for a great cause on a gorgeous Saturday morning!

This past weekend I had the honor and joy of walking in the 27th Annual Dallas Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure with my high school classmates. Not only did we have a wonderful time, we were there to embrace life with a classmate who was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago. Thankfully she is doing well. What a blessing to share a day with friends and celebrating life as it was meant to be lived!

Posted 10/21/2009  2:12:57 PM By: Nancy Howard : 293 comments   11,173 views
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Product Review: Nike+ (Plus) SportBand

Once or twice a week, I run. I can go for about 3 miles (4 on a good day) before boredom officially sets in and I'm ready for something else. Don't get me wrong. I love the time I spend running—time outdoors, a kick butt workout, zoning out with my iPod—I'm just not a hardcore runner. I don't care (or even know for that matter) how fast I run, how far I go, or how many calories I burn. I just track the total time I spend running. I accept the fact that I might be slow or that I might not get very far, but I'm not competing with anyone or training for a race, so why should it matter? I like the simple pleasure of it—running just for the sake of running, without caring too much about the numbers.

Recently, however, Nike released the Nike+ SportBand (SRP $59), which promises to tell you—in real-time—all of those details: pace, mileage, calorie burn and time. You've probably seen the version they released for the iPod nano earlier, but you have to have a nano to use it. This one is all-inclusive: a sensor for your shoe and a wristband/watch that displays all the details.

Sounds pretty cool, right? SparkPeople bought a Nike+ SportBand for us to test and review for our readers. I jumped at the chance to try it. After all, I never spent much time looking at pace or distance of my runs before. Plus, fitness gadgets, like workout clothes, can be fun and motivating. I tested the band for a few weeks and asked several SparkPeople members (who bought their own SportBands) for their reviews, too. Want to hear what we thought about it?
Posted 9/2/2009  7:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 71 comments   63,546 views
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If the Shoe Fits

Over the past 30-35 years there has been a huge revolution in the world of athletic footwear. There are literally hundreds of shoes on the market today for every sport one can think of. But, it is very important to wear the proper shoe for the activity you will be participating in so that your foot receives the proper support and stability.

As a runner, I have had many people ask me over the years what shoes they should get if they want to start running. More times than not, it is not the answer they want to hear. Shoes are the only real equipment a runner needs, but unfortunately one that many people do not want to take the time to go get fitted for. I have been told, "but I am not really a runner yet, so why can't I just buy what you wear?"
Posted 8/1/2009  5:44:56 AM By: Nancy Howard : 150 comments   19,212 views
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Consider An Active Commute For Better Health

Although it's a great way to get some extra activity, only about 17% of Americans walk or bike to work each day. Why is that number so low? Would you consider this kind of commute if you knew it could improve your overall health--regardless of your regular exercise routine? A new study shows the health benefits of an active commute.
Posted 7/21/2009  2:49:45 PM By: Jen Mueller : 140 comments   14,037 views
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