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As you may know, the U.S. Surgeon General has recommended that all Americans get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Walking is a great way to get it! Walking has been reported to be Americans' favorite physical activity. It is inexpensive; can be done almost anywhere; and is good for your heart and overall health. The only equipment required for walking is a good pair of shoes and socks.
Water, Water, EverywhereDepending on our age, water makes up at least half of our body weight. Water moves nutrients around in the body; carries away waste; adds moisture to the eyes, nose and mouth; keeps skin hydrated; protects against heat exhaustion; and helps carry medications to the right part of the body.
Do You Drink Enough Water?
The type, intensity and frequency of physical activity affects how much water is needed. If you do not drink enough water or other fluids, you might experience signs of dehydration. You may feel lightheaded, dizzy or nauseated. If you do not drink any fluid to correct this situation, your body temperature may rise and could lead to heat stroke.
Staying Hydrated During ExerciseIt is important to replace any fluid losses that occur during exercise. One way of checking yourself to see if you are hydrated is to weigh yourself without clothes before and after you exercise. The difference in weight before and after you exercise is water weight and needs to be replaced. To replace the water you have lost, drink 16 ounces of fluid for every pound lost. If you are unable to weigh yourself, another indicator of dehydration is the color of your urine. Urine should be straw colored, not the color of apple juice.
Hydration Myth Buster
Fact or fiction: Caffeine containing beverages will contribute to your daily fluid needs?FACT. Research shows that caffeine containing beverages such as soft drinks, tea and coffee can also contribute to meeting your daily fluid needs as much as noncaffeinated beverages. Remember, some of these beverages may have calories and plain water is calorie free.
What About Sports Drinks?Sports drinks are designed for active people. The flavored drinks may increase the amount you are able to drink and help replace the lost fluid lost in sweat. For most people, the most important fluid during exercise is plain water. The extra calories in sports drinks can add up quickly. A typical sports drink has 50-80 calories per 8 ounce serving. Many containers hold 20 ounces or 2.5 servings per bottle which amounts to 125 calories.
Make Your Own Sports Drink - RecipeRecipe No. 1
Recipe No. 2
Sports drink Recipes from International Center for Sports Nutrition.
Don't Forget...Remember to wash out your water bottles using hot, soapy water. A sanitizing solution of 1 tsp of household bleach to 1 gallon water should be mixed and added to the bottle. Shake the bottle and allow it to sit for one minute before rinsing out.
Make Your Own Water Bottle
Design your own special bottle. Always keep it with you. Count the number of bottles of water you drink each day. Share this number with family and friends.
Walking Your Way To 10,000 Steps A DayHealth experts recommend accumulating 10,000 steps per day. The potential health benefits of increasing the number of steps you take in a day include improved weight control, blood pressure, and cholesterol, as well as a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. You can use a step counter as a "movement motivator" to help track how many steps you take during the course of a day. These simple, palm-sized gadgets can be purchased cheaply for about $10-25 and are clipped onto your waistband.
How Active Should you Be?
You may have to make an effort to achieve 10,000 steps per day, especially if you have a job that requires you to sit at work. Wear a step counter for about a week without making any changes to your normal routine, and record the number of steps you take each day before going to bed to determine your daily average. Then, try to increase your daily number of steps by 500. For example, if you take an average of 2,000 steps per day, your first goal should be to achieve 2,500 steps per day the following week. Though not an exact science, the number of steps you take each day can indicate your activity level:
Based on the average person's stride, taking around 2,100 steps is equal to walking 1 mile, and taking around 10,000 steps is equal to walking 5 miles.
Adding More Steps To Your DayYou can increase your daily steps through a variety of activities. Here are a few suggestions:
Strategies For Weight ManagementIf you are using activity as part of your strategy to lose weight, you may need to increase your number of steps to 15,000-18,000 per day. For every 2,000 steps you take, you burn 75-100 calories. The actual number of calories you burn depends on your activity level. If you jog 2,100 steps, you will burn more calories than if you walk.
Making Healthy Food ChoicesRemember, you have to take extra steps to offset some food choices. If you choose a large order of fries instead of a small, you will need to add 6,520 extra steps to your day. If you choose a biggie cola instead of a medium, you will need to add 4,000 extra steps to your day. If you choose a quarter pounder rather than a plain hamburger, you will need to add 2,900 steps to your day.
Final Thoughts...The main reason you should count your steps and work toward achieving 10,000 a day is that you will become more active than you were before you counted steps. Any increase in activity helps your health and weight.
Hydration Information and "Eat Smart, Move More" Information Submitted By: