Saturday, August 2, 2008

Walking for Health

Prolonged Life expectancy
The twentieth century saw a life expectancy of nearly twenty years amongst people living in Hong Kong. This major achievement has been accomplished by an increase of age-related health issues. Fortunately, there are ways in which coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, degenerative arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer and other conditions can be either delayed or avoided.

Regular exercise can make contributions to good health. Weight reduction is associated with improvement in Cholesterol levels and sensitivity to insulin, These effects, together with lowering of blood pressure, can reduce the risk of heart attack, the health improvement from exercises include alleviation of stress, anxiety, depression, Finally, there is evidence of benefit in reducing the incidence of bowel, and lung cancer. Each year Hong Kong has over 5,000 people die of Cancer! This figure is keep on increasing, and the type of cancer is changing from formerly Stomach caner to Lung cancer as the major one. This is because more people is addict to smoking, you can see that there are a lot of young office ladies and teenager smoking at the street, they seem enjoy and expects people will look at them with dirty eyes…Pity that this might be one of they way to earn the confirmation of their maturity and sexuality! I don’t think so…!

After SARS
Hong Kong, after effervesce of SARS in 2003, higher percentage of educated peoples have becoming more concern on their health, especially their cardival and respiration condition and the self immunity improvement by walking in the country park.
In United Kingdom, the British Heart Foundation formed an alliance with the Countryside Agency to promote the Walking to the way of health. More then 400,000 people has participated this idea and have reached fruitful and brought major health benefit to people of all ages.

Human bodies
In Ancient time, our ancestors were all hunters and preys being hunted. They have to climb and walk such a way fast enough to chase and hunt the animals for food. They relied on feet to run away from attack of wild animals in order to be survived and gave birth to our grand father. After four millions years of human body development and improvement, our bodies have been fine-tuned to walk. Evolution has made the ability to walk a priority. Not only have we had to walk for survival – to pick an apple or to reach the river side for water – But our bodies have also needed to walk and to continue functioning. Normally, in fact, when we stop walking for two weeks time, our body starts to decline. Today, we may no longer need to walk to gather food and water, but our bodies still need regular walking to develop itself properly. In just 80 years, we have leap-fogged the evolutionary trend our ancestors set into motions. With the proliferation of automobiles and labour saving vehicles, average people get less physical activity in his or her life than any time in the past. The solution is quite simple: we need to walk more to stay fit, healthy and happy.

Walking for Health
A lot of exercise can have the positive effect to healthy, more vigorous exercise such as running jogging or aerobic classes, may achieve the fitness result more quickly, but the risk of injury can be high, and such activities are not recommended for those who are unused to be certain level of exercise. Walking, on the other hand is considerably safe, can be enjoyed at every stage of your life and will bring the same health benefits as other more strenuous form of exercises.

How much Walking Do I need to do?
The ideal amount of walking, according to many health organizations and the British Health Foundation, is a total of 30 minutes a day on most. If not all, day of the week, The American Doctors recommend a normal people to have at least minimum 14Km walking a week to prevent aging and maintaining a good health condition. Hong Kong Government has launched some promotion on walking as to request people to walk 10,000 step a day!

Government Promotion on Walking
Recently, MTR of Hong Kong is promoting the use of stair cases instead of the elevator to keep minimum heart beats and loading to our heart. We should walk on stair case when time is allowed, go to office on foot instead of MTR, no Buses nor taxi on Sunday., if you do not have time for full 30 minutes walk on one particular day,
because you have to go for shopping, visit a friend, a customer, or pick up a registered letter in post office, pick up children in school…Don’t worry, This doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your walking altogether. Dividing the 30 minutes into three 10-minutes session, or six 5-minutes session will bring as many health benefits as a total 30 minutes’ walk. Many people especially young people think that they have had enough exercise to remain healthy, but in fact, only 20% or less of us actually do. From HKSAR health department data, 40% of Hong Kong man is over weighted, 50% of them have stress issue of all levels.

How is your heart condition? Check your pulse rate 3 minutes after you wake up in the morning, 90-100 is problematic, 73-90 is considered marginal unhealthy, 60-72 is considered healthy, 50 or below is Marathon runner. 1972 Olympian Games 7 gold medals champion Mark Spitz had a heart rate of 40 only!

Walking and the Health benefits
1. Regular walking can produce a more efficient heart; lose your weight, and gain strength, stamina and flexibility. All of which help you to stay longer and healthier
2. Exercise help to improve your circulation, give your skin a fresher healthier look.
3. If you are suffering from Stress, pressure from work, loss order to the competitors, or the night before Operation review meeting, work anxiety of all kinds, a brisk walk will help you to put problems in perspective.
4. Walking is an ideal time to meet up with friends, family, colleagues, to chat and to socialize.
5. Walking can help with many health conditions, such as diabetes, heart problems, osteoporosis, back pain, asthma, and bronchitis.
6. Increasing your levels of activity can help to sleep better, at night, which benefits your overall liver function, health and well-being.

“ The True charm of pedestrianism does not lie I the walking, or in the scenery, but in the
- Mark Twain

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