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Walk Your Way to Better Health

Starting a new fitness routine can be a little daunting, but improving your health doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other!

Why walk?

Walking is an effective, easy, and low-impact way to improve your health. In fact, regular physical activity such as walking can provide major benefits, including:

Reduced risk of heart disease

Weight loss

Lower blood pressure and cholesterol

Reduced risk of developing diabetes

Stress relief

Getting started

Set aside some time in your day, choose a safe route, invest in some comfortable walking shoes, and go! While it’s ideal to get at least 45 minutes of moderate exercise a day, any amount of activity can be beneficial. Remember, start slowly and work your way up if you haven’t been exercising regularly. Aim to walk a short distance three times a week, and increase your distance and speed gradually.
Stay motivated by walking with a partner, listening to music, or choosing a route that you really enjoy. Try carrying a pedometer to keep track of how far you’ve gone. As your body adjusts to the new activity, you may find that you have more energy, your moods feel more balanced, and you feel healthier overall. If you set realistic goals and stick to them, you’ll be amazed at what a simple daily walk can do for your health!

Summer Delights

One simple–and healthy way to nurture your body’s connection to the natural world and its rhythms is to eat in harmony with the seasons. This is as easy as adding fresh, seasonal foods to your everyday diet. During the late summer, foods like squash, root vegetables, millet, and beans are plentiful and help support the Spleen and Stomach. Naturally sweet foods such as apples, watermelon, strawberries, apricots, pears, and plums are a great addition to the summer diet too, especially when lightly stewed.
Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us that it’s important to maintain balance in our diets by eating a selection of warm, dry, cool or damp foods that are seasonal, or for specific health conditions. For example, it’s best to moderate your intake of raw food or juices during the summer, as these can be too cooling for our bodies. Foods that are too cooling, can disrupt our digestive fires, if they are already out of balance. Occasionally it is helpful to include warming foods such as ginseng and ginger. Keep fatty, refined, or artificially sweetened foods, as well as alcohol and coffee, to a minimum. Try to eat organic foods when possible, and keep meals simple. Enjoy a healthy, seasonal diet this summer and your body will thank you!

It’s not just what you eat–the way you eat is important, too. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your summer diet.

  • Eat only when you’re hungry.
  • Eat foods that contain a lot of water.
  • Foods with a “cooling” thermal nature are best.
  • Eat slowly and be sure to chew thoroughly.
  • Don’t eat late at night.
  • Try not to overeat; stop eating just before you are full.
  • Don’t eat when you are emotionally upset.
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