Take on the walking challenge | SierraSun.com

Take on the walking challenge

Nikki Dean | Tahoe Forest Health System
Cropped view of business woman walking in city street with laptop bag, commuting and going to work in the morning. Copy space, waist down
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Sitting for long periods of time, whether it’s behind a desk, on the couch, or in a car, has become so problematic that scientists have coined the term “sitting disease.”

Health concerns from a sedentary lifestyle include obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even increased risk of death. A recent survey found that Americans are sitting for an average of 13 hours a day!

Unfortunately, a few hours at the gym each week isn’t enough to combat the detrimental health effects of too much sitting, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The solution is seemingly simple — sit less and move more throughout your day. Walking is one of the best, most effective and most accessible forms of movement, offering a myriad of health benefits.

Besides helping you maintain a healthy weight and trimming your waistline, walking can help prevent or manage heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. What’s more, walking is also proven to strengthen your bones, boost your mood, and improve your balance, coordination and even creativity!

Adding more steps to your day is easier than you think. Walk while you talk on the phone. Park your car in a parking spot far away from a store entrance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Hand-deliver a message to a coworker instead of sending an email. Grab a friend, family member or office mate and go for a short or long walk outside to enjoy the spring weather. The more you walk, the greater the benefits.

Many studies suggest that walking 10,000 steps a day, roughly about 5 miles, is the ideal remedy to the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle. Most people only take 2,000 steps in the course of daily living, so reaching the recommended 10,000 steps requires intentionally going for a walk.

The Community Walking Challenge — 10,000 Steps a Day for the Month of May, is a free walking challenge organized by the Wellness Neighborhood department of Tahoe Forest Health System.

We want to motivate our community to get up and get moving. The challenge is open to everybody of every age and every level of fitness.

Participants can sign up online at http://www.tfhd.com/walking and all their steps are automatically logged by connecting their own personal tracking device, like a Fitbit, Misfit, or smartphone step tracking app.

Besides the personal rewards of feeling and looking better, participants can also win great prizes: Grand Prize (first place) wins a one-month membership to the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance, including a one-hour personal training session ($110 value).

Second place, third place and most steps in a single day each win a one-month unlimited group exercise to the Tahoe Center for Health and Sports Performance ($65 value), and there is a weekly raffle drawing where all participants who get at least 10,000 steps a day are entered to win 15-Minute Chair Massage ($25 value).

For more information or to sign up for the Community Walking Challenge, go to http://www.tfhd.com/walking

Article provided by Nikki Dean E-RYT, CES, a member of the Rethink Healthy Team of the Wellness Neighborhood of Tahoe Forest Health System. For more information contact us at 587-3769.

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