Hospital urges people to go out and walk

 


Get those walking shoes on. It’s time.

According to nationaldaycalendar.com, National Walking Day is always the first Wednesday in April. This year, that’s April 7.

If it’s a way to get people moving, the health experts at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County are all for it, MHSC Marketing Director Deb Sutton said.

Taking a few minutes out of your day to take a walk offers a wide range of health benefits.

Boost mental health

“Walking just 10 minutes a day boosts the chemicals in your brain that help to improve mood and combat depression,” James Cummings, MHSC social worker said. “It’s an all-natural treatment.”

“Walking outside gives the added benefit of picking up vitamin D,” Cummings said. “If you pair your walking with a friend, you also are adding social support to your life.”

Take preventative care

Before you take that first step, MHSC Rehabilitation Services Director Deborah DeFauw has a few tips.

If it’s been a while, start slow. Gradually increase the amount of time you walk and where you walk so you don’t cause unnecessary injuries. Listen to your body.

Assess your flexibility and endurance. You may want to stretch a little before you head out.

Warm up before and cool down. Start at a comfortable pace, then pick up the pace if you desire. Near the end of your walk, back off on your pace to cool down

Wear the proper shoes. If the soles are worn down, it’s definitely time for a new pair of walking shoes.

What good will it do?

Every time you walk, it helps your heart and your lungs. It also will help strengthen your bones and muscles, Stephanie Welsh, an exercise specialist in the MHSC Cardiac Rehabilitation Department said.

Walking can help lower the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, Welsh said. Walking also helps keep cholesterol in check – keeping the HDL (good cholesterol) high and the LDL (bad cholesterol) low.

Welsh recommends following American Heart Association guidelines. The AHA recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

By incorporating this one simple AHA recommendation into your life, Welsh said your bones, muscles, heart and lungs will thank you. You’ll also likely notice you have more energy and strength.

The AHA says walking also will help control weight and blood pressure.

It can help you handle stress, help your quality of sleep, and help you feel better about how you look. Find more tips at heart.org.

Where to walk

That’s easy. Just walk out your front door and keep going. Here are just a few ideas for indoor and outdoor walks:

-- Take a walk around the neighborhood.

-- Numerous parks in Rock Springs and Green River

-- Western Wyoming Community College indoor and outdoor walking tracks

-- White Mountain Mall

-- Young at Heart Senior Center in Rock Springs

-- Golden Hour Senior Center in Green River

-- Recreation centers, gyms and wellness centers in Rock Springs and Green River

-- Local cemeteries


 

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