Friday, 18 May 2018

Walking for charity

Walking for charity is not only good for you, it also benefits the cause or causes you’re most passionate about. Charity walks are becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because they work! 

Lesser-known charities are jumping on the bandwagon, right alongside the American Cancer Society and the Alzheimer’s Association, and are raising thousands of dollars for their respective organizations. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

How Charity Walks Work

Most charity walks require an entry fee of some sort. But, these fees are typically very affordable. In addition to actually walking, participants must garner sponsors willing to donate money to the cause. Each sponsor pledges a certain amount of money for each mile you walk.

Pledge forms are typically provided by the organization hosting the event. Utilizing your favorite social media platforms makes it easier to solicit sponsorships than ever before. Consider asking for donations on Twitter, Facebook and Periscope. You’ll probably be surprised by the positive responses you receive.

If you want to walk for charity but don’t want to solicit donations, you always have the option of sponsoring yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. You get exercise and the organization gets the money. Everyone benefits!

Popular Charity Walks

Many of the most popular charity walks are connected to nationwide organizations, with smaller chapters located all over the U.S. Some events are scheduled to take place all at once, like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Others are coordinated more at the local level.

Here are a few walks you may have heard of, along with the organizations that benefit:

* Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (money helps fund neighborhood rape crisis centers)
* National Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Walk
* Out of Darkness Community Walk (American Association for Suicide Prevention)
* Pet Walk (money goes to animal shelters and to help prevent ( animal cruelty)
* Great Strides (funds research to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis)
* CROP Hunger Walk (funds used to feed the poor and fight hunger)

The easiest way to find out more about charity walks in your area, is to pick up the phone or email organizations that interest you. Speak to the person in charge of fundraising events. If your preferred organization doesn’t host an annual walk, talk to the powers-that-be about the possibility of setting one up. You never know until you ask, right?

Getting Ready for the Walk

Before actually making a commitment, it’s a good idea to gauge your goal. In other words, are you walking strictly for fitness purposes or are you participating more as a means to have fun with your friends?

Fitness experts recommend that the further you plan to walk, the more you need to prepare. On average, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to walk a mile. So, if you plan to walk five miles, you should be used to walking continuously for roughly two hours.

Walking for charity is fun, good for your health, and monetarily beneficial to the organization of your choice. It’s also a great family-oriented activity. If you’ve never participated in a charity walk, there’s no time like the present. Pick an event, grab your comfortable shoes and get walking! 

Take a hike - a vacation hike that is. That's what we'll be talking about next time. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Five mobile apps to take with you on your walk

Smartphones sometimes get a bad rap, due to the amount of time most people spend (sitting down) using them. Typically, the more these individuals sit, the less they exercise. There is a "silver lining," however. New walking apps are popping up all the time. Here are a few for your consideration.

1. Walkmeter GPS

Walkmeter GPS is a fitness app available on the iPhone, which allows walkers to transfer a variety of maps to the app via email. The app's race mode allows you to compare your most current time to all of the other times it's taken you to walk the same route in the past. This is great for goal setting. It gives you the opportunity to work toward a specific time, while striving to complete favorite routes faster than the time before. To help you get started, training plans and graphs are available through the app, designed to help you track your progress. 

2. World Walking

World Walking is a pedometer app for your phone that keeps track of every step you take throughout the day. What makes the app unique is this: you can easily choose a real-life walking route to compare your steps to. For example, upload the map of the iconic Route 66. Before you know it, you'll have taken enough steps to travel the entire distance. The app also allows users to form clubs comprised of other walkers, so that a group can work together to meet a certain goal. 

3. AllTrails

For those who prefer to take their walk into the wilderness, AllTrails is an app that allows you to connect with other hikers in your area. With AllTrails, you can search for trails near your location and view maps to help get you there. In addition, you have access to maps of the actual trails themselves. The app also allows users to post photos from the trail, which makes it much easier to take note of obstacles, climate conditions and tips for hiking the trail. 

4. ViewRanger

The ViewRanger walking app allows your phone to work as a GPS, even in areas without mobile phone coverage. The maps you need are stored directly on the phone and can be viewed at any time. When your cell phone does have service, the phone also displays your current position. ViewRanger is also great to use on the trail, because it allows you to keep track of points of interest along the way.

5. Virtual Walk

Virtual Walk in an award-winning walking app, perfect to use when walking outdoors or on your treadmill. It's simple to plot your distance through either an historic or scenic location. Locations include Washington DC and the Appalachian Trail, just to name two. Additional routes are frequently added; some are free and some are available for a small fee. Not only does Virtual Walk break up the monotony of walking on a treadmill or walking through the same area over and over, it also gives you the chance to see and learn about different places.

There are so many health benefits of walking. Once you start, you'll probably wonder why you haven't taken it up before. Honestly, this is a great time to grab your phone, upload an app and start walking!

Need a reason to walk? No problem. Next we'll be talking about walking for your favorite charity. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Tips for walking on various surfaces

Walking is a great way to casually work out that’s both simple and fun. But, where you decide to walk can have an impact on your overall experience. Read on, to find out what you can do to get the most out of walking on several different kinds of surfaces.

Pavement

While walking doesn’t create an extreme amount of impact, the stress it does cause can lead aches and pain over time. To minimize this, wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes any time you plan to spend a lot of time walking on roads, sidewalks or other paved surfaces. You might also consider cushioned insoles (for your shoes) or padded running socks to better protect your feet and legs from shock.

Indoors

Much like streets and sidewalks, the floor at your gym, work or school is very likely a hard surface. Comfortable gym shoes allow you to get a good grip on hard floors, as well as keep your feet from getting sore after a long walk. 

If you plan on doing laps in a room, or walking up and down a given hallway, find out how long your route is and keep track of how many times you walk past a certain mark on a wall or floor. This way, you can easily figure out how far you’ve walked and encourage yourself to go further next time.

Dirt Roads

Taking a walk on a dirt road allows you to enjoy the scenery of nearby rural areas, while still walking on relatively easy terrain. In this case, it may be best to trade in your shoes for comfortable hiking boots in the event you encounter mud or puddles. 

Be sure to stay over to the side of the road when you walk, especially as you approach hilly terrain. Cars coming from the other direction may not see you in time, especially if they're traveling at a high speed.

Nature Trails

Trails make for a fun, diverse hike that affords many breathtaking views. Before setting out on your hike, take some time to familiarize yourself with your route, either by using trail maps or a popular map app. 

Hiking boots are almost a necessity on untamed trails, and you may want to bring an extra pair of socks in case yours get wet. If your hike takes you far from civilization, make sure you pack a cell or satellite phone for use in case of an emergency. And, it may be a good idea to bring a GPS in case you stray from your planned route.

Snow/Ice

Snow and ice often turns a walk across any terrain into a hassle. Always pay attention to where you are about to step when walking in the winter. If an area seems icy, test it by tapping it with your foot before you cross. 

If a section of sidewalk is exceptionally icy, it may be worth it to step around it and into the snow. Another word of caution. Built-up snow drifts can muffle the sound of approaching cars, so always be extra mindful of traffic.  

No matter where you decide to hike, taking breaks to rest your feet and legs saves you a lot of discomfort when the hike is over. Even if you’re walking out in the woods, take the opportunity to rest every now and then. That way, you can focus more on walking and less on your possibly aching muscles.

Up next you'll find five mobile apps that you might want to use to track progress, keep you safe, connect with others and more.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Getting the family involved

Walking is an activity suitable for the whole family. It's not uncommon for older folks and little ones to get involved in the fun. Keep reading to learn more about making the most out of walking as a family activity.

Start Out Small

Your family will probably react more positively to a group exercise plan if you start out small and work your way up to a longer routine. To start out, set a goal that's easy to achieve and forgivable if things don't go as planned. For example, start with a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood, a few times a week. Remember, providing a specific goal increases the likelihood of it becoming a part of your family’s day-to-day routine. 

What to Wear

On any hike, it’s crucial to dress appropriately for both the climate and the locale of the area you're visiting. Make sure everyone wears well-fitting hiking shoes or boots that are comfortable as well as durable. In addition, pack a jacket or long-sleeved shirt for everyone, even if the weather is expected to be warm. You never know when conditions might take a turn for the worst. 

Keep Things Fun

Aside from the exercise, one of the greatest benefits of hiking with the family is the quality time you get to spend together. Keep everyone in good spirits by coming up with games or activities you can do as a family while you walk. A good example of this might be coming up with a scavenger hunt relating to numerous trees and wildflowers. Honestly, nature trails are full of hands-on opportunities for learning fun.

Take Frequent Breaks

Hiking can take a lot out of you. And, it's a pretty sure bet your kids will let you know when they’re getting tired as well. To remedy this, take rest stops frequently to make sure everyone is full of energy and still having a good time. Don't forget to dole out water and snacks during these breaks, to ensure everyone stays well fed and hydrated. 

Establish a Routine

Establish a scheduled time for your family walks. It doesn't matter if it's a nightly lap around the neighborhood or a once-a-month hike through the trails in your local park. When going on a hike becomes routine, it gives the family something to look forward to and sets up a tradition of making memories that just might carry on for years to come. 

Leave No Trace

Teach your kids to respect the environment and their surroundings. Destruction of plant life and other things in nature is needless, not to mention harmful. It also ruins the experience for the next family who decides to take the same route you do. 

If your child inadvertently does something that could cause permanent damage, such as digging a hole, offer your help to fix it and teach them the importance of leaving no trace. 

Why not talk to your family, to gauge everyone's interest in walking as a fun and healthy activity? Try it once and see what happens. Chances are, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. There really is no better time to "take a hike!"

Before you set off on a walk or hike, consider the surface you'll be walking on. Next time, we'll have some tips for you on this. 

Friday, 4 May 2018

Common issues faced when walking


Whether it’s around the neighborhood, through the woods or down long country trails, walking or hiking is a great way to work out, unwind and explore the world around you. Walking is free, simple and easily evolves into a group activity. 

However, as with many other activities, walking does carry with it some risks. Here are a few of the most common ones you may encounter, as well as steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

Blisters

Blisters are among the most common types of injury sustained during longer walks. Friction between your feet and your footgear irritates the skin and eventually causes blisters to form. The best thing you can do to cut down on the formation of blisters is to make sure you have proper hiking shoes or boots that fit well. 

Shoes that are too loose cause more rubbing across the skin with each step. Investing in performance or hiking socks, which tend to provide more cushion for your feet, can also keep blisters at bay.

Muscle/Joint Pains

When walking, a trip, fall or even a “bad step” can cause a painful joint injury before you know it. This is especially true when walking through the woods or across rough trails. Even a minor sprain makes a nature walk far less enjoyable. A significant injury can even leave you stranded.

The best way to avoid an injury like this is to pay close attention to your surroundings as you walk. Even carefully maintained trails can wash out or become covered with overgrown grass and vines. Avoid this kind of uneven terrain, or tread carefully if you can’t. 

Muscle pains can be brought on by the continuous stress a long walk puts on the body. Not only does taking a long walk tire out our legs and feet, the constant use of these muscles and the impact with the ground can also lead to painful inflammation. 

To prevent this, take breaks during your walk and get off your feet if possible. There are also a number of stretches you can do beforehand, focusing on the muscles that become overworked during a walk.

Insect Bites

In some areas, such as the deep woods of northern Michigan, insect bites are a nearly unavoidable inconvenience when you hike. If you’re planning a walk in any area where biting or stinging insects are common, be sure to take insect repellent along with you. Also, if you have a known insect allergy, make sure your emergency medication is packed and readily available.

Dehydration

If you’re not adequately hydrated during your walk, dehydration can quickly turn into a life-threatening issue when you ignore the symptoms. Some early symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, an increased thirst and fatigue. 

A person suffering from severe dehydration may experience an inability to stand or walk due to dizziness, a drop in blood pressure, seizures and even coma. Make sure to bring plenty of water during your trip, as well as a hat and properly ventilated clothing in hotter climates. Children should be closely monitored for symptoms of dehydration because they are more susceptible to its effects.

While walking isn't a particularly dangerous hobby, it isn’t without risk. One of the best things you can do to minimize the risks during a walk is to prepare ahead of time. It's also a good idea to walk with a friend. Any of these or another hiking injury could go from inconvenience to incapacitating if you wind up alone and away from civilization.

And speaking of not walking alone, next we'll be talking about how to get the family involved in walking. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Walking Tips -Benefits of walking with others


For many people, walking is both a fun and relaxing way to burn calories and get their heart pumping. Even better, you don’t have to work out alone... unless you want to. The fact is, walking with a group comes with added benefits. Walking groups are more popular than ever before. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

They Keep You Going

When you walk with a group, as opposed to by yourself, you better commit to adhering to an established routine. If it’s just you, it’s easy to cancel your weekly walk or hike and no one will be the wiser. But, when a group of friends is involved, they help to keep you motivated. Once your friends and family become part of your walking routine, they typically provide encouragement when it comes to setting and reaching fitness goals.

They Make Things Fun

Walking or hiking consistently becomes tedious for some people. But, walking with a group brings forward the opportunity for new conversation each time you meet, which keeps things fun and engaging. When you chat, laugh and have a good time while you walk, you’ll generally feel much better once you're back home. 

Not only that, but walking with friends, family or new acquaintances builds a stronger relationship between everyone who participates. Friends may also have something interesting to contribute to the group, such as a new hiking route or fresh ideas for healthy snacks on-the-go.

They Make You Feel Better

A walking group provides support and entertainment. In addition, routine interaction with friends can help soothe depression or anxiety. Walking (and exercise in general) is already a therapeutic experience. 

When you exercise your body releases endorphins, which cause feelings of happiness and excitement. But, when you walk with a group, you also get to experience positive conversations and interactions which can boost your confidence, mood and self-esteem.

You Get Quality Time

Going on walks with your friends and family strengthens the bond between one another. It’s hard to be involved in each other’s lives when we’re so distracted with our work, school and technology. Providing an outlet to freely communicate without distractions is an easy way to catch up with what’s going on in each other’s lives, as well as encouraging more conversation in the future.

These walks don't need to be long and time-consuming, by any means. Even walking for 20 to 30 minutes, two or three times a week, is beneficial. It's healthy for your mind, body and spirit. If you get your children involved at an early age, they'll be much more inclined to incorporate a walking regimen into their daily routine as they get older.      

Whether it’s friends, family or people you've recently met, bringing along company when you go for a walk goes a long way toward making your trip more entertaining and therapeutic. If you currently don’t know anyone who's willing to join you, look into local walking groups either online or at your local gym.

Up next, we'll be talking about a few issues you may face when walking and how to avoid them.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Let's Wrapping Up



There are a lot of popular diets on the market nowadays, but most of them are unhealthy and occasionally even unsafe. This will explain how to eat a healthy, balanced diet for life and keep away from unhealthy diets.   

Ascertain how many calories your body requires to function every day. 

This number may vary wildly, depending on your metabolism and how physically active you are. If you're the sort of individual who puts on ten pounds simply smelling a slice of pizza, then your every day caloric intake ought to stay approximately 2000 calories for men, and 1500 calories for women.  

Your body mass likewise plays a part in that: More calories are appropriate for naturally bigger individuals, and fewer calories for littler individuals. If you're the sort of individual who can eat without gaining a pound, or you're physically active, you might wish to increase your daily caloric intake by 1000-2000 calories, a bit less for women.  

Don't dread fatty foods. 

You have to consume fat from foods for your body to run correctly. But, it's crucial to pick out the correct sorts of fats: Most animal fats and a few vegetable oils are high in the sort of fats that raise your LDL cholesterol levels; the foul cholesterol.  

Different than popular belief, eating cholesterol doesn't inevitably bring up the amount of cholesterol in your body. If you provide your body the correct tools, it will flush extra cholesterol from your body. Those tools are monounsaturated fatty acids, which you ought to try to consume regularly. Foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids are olive oil, nuts, fish oil, and assorted seed oils.  

Eat plenty of the correct carbs. 

You have to eat foods high in carbs since they're your body's chief source of energy. The trick is to pick out the correct carbs. Simple carbs like sugar and refined flour are quickly absorbed by the body's gastrointestinal system.  

This induces a sort of carb overload, and your body releases vast amounts of insulin to battle the overload. Not only is the excess insulin bad on your heart, however it encourages weight gain. Eat plenty of carbs, but consume carbs that are slowly digested by the body such as whole grain flour, veggies, oats, and unprocessed grains.  

Eat bigger meals early on in the day. 

Your metabolism decelerates toward the end of the evening and is less efficient at digesting foods. That means more of the power stored in the food will be stacked away as fat and your body won't absorb as many nutrients from the meal.  Try eating a medium-sized meal for breakfast, a big meal for lunch, and a little meal for dinner. Better yet, attempt consuming 4-6 small meals over the run of your day.  

Provide yourself a cheat meal. 

Cheating doesn't mean gorging on all the wrong foods once a week; it implies enjoying a food you truly love once a week. Have a couple slices of pizza on Sundays, or a huge slice of double chocolate cake on Saturdays. This cheat meal will help you stick with the change in diet, and in a few ways it's really good for your body. Special occasions, like birthdays in the family, count as cheat meals. 

Get the habit of eating slowly. 

It will satisfy you with fewer calories and will forestall overeating and obesity with all its consequences. 

Drink plenty of H2O. 

It makes you feel more awake and energized, does wonders for your skin and makes you feel fuller so you wind up eating less! Cutting down soda and replacing it with water will do wonders for you.