Tuesday Tip: Walk Your Way to Feeling Great
By Yehudit Garmaise
Warm, sunny weather makes it easier than ever to lace up some comfortable shoes to walk off stress, clear your head, breathe fresh air, feel great, and have fun.
Whether heading to 1st Avenue, the Gravesend Bay waterfront across from Ceasar’s Bay Shopping Center, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, or just around the neighborhood, Boro Park residents should keep a few things in mind to stay safe, while also getting in good cardiovascular workouts.
Choose a regular time of day to walk that works for you so you can make it a part of your routine daily. Maybe you can more easily fit in a walk in the early morning, or maybe you have more time and headspace for exercise after dinner. Do what works for you.
Start out slowly: Less physically active people should start with 5-minute brisk walks around the block. After one week of 5-minute walks, add five minutes to your routine every week.
Try to work your way up to walking briskly for 30 minutes a day five times a week to improve heart health, reduce body fat, decrease anxiety, and improve your moods, say many health experts and people who exercise regularly.
Even when you travel, which can involve even more sitting around and stress than usual, try to get in 30-minute walks to beat fatigue, feelings of sluggishness, and to keep your mood positive and upbeat.
Vary your route with regularity to see new things and so that no one expects you anywhere at any certain time. Check out new parks, neighborhoods, street happenings, and views of the water.
Try to keep your eyes out for beautiful and visually interesting sights. Take photos and try to see the world with a fresh perspective every day. While sometimes we stop noticing what is around us, by heading out and looking around, we can spot beautiful flowering trees, colorful birds, or new buildings or stores.
Wear light cotton clothing, so that you don’t overheat.
Try to wear reflective tape or something besides black clothing at night, when drivers have a harder time spotting people who are out exercising.
Carry identification that includes crucial medical information, your blood type, and the phone number of a loved one, but, of course, don’t bring much cash and don’t wear anything, such as showy jewelry that could attract the attention of thieves.
Leave your headphones at home. Either enjoy quiet in your head or spend the time catching up with friends, family, or your spouse. Headsets prevent walkers from any impending dangers whether: cars, scooters, bikes, dogs, or attackers. Staying alert significantly reduces walkers’ vulnerability.
Always know exactly where you are carrying your cell phone. You don’t want to have to rummage around for it, G-d forbid, in case of an emergency.
Tell someone where you plan on going and when you plan to return.
Ignore verbal harassment of any kind. Just keep moving quickly. Trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about someone or a group of people, get away as quickly as possible.
When you return home, Release a few more feel-good chemicals and prevent your muscles from tightening up by stretching your legs and arms a few different ways.
Have a cold drink of water to replace the fluids you lost, and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Enjoy your endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones released by exercise that will keep you feeling upbeat, calm, and ready to focus all day long.