Personally and professionally, I am a firm believer that watching what you eat and moderate exercise will help to keep you disease-free and live longer.
Perhaps the best form of moderate exercise I can recommend is walking. Not only will it improve your health, but it will also help you ‘shake off’ the weight loss pitfalls that come from our love of food… especially here in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s love affair with great food
I’ve been an obesity expert in central NJ for more than a decade (which I believe makes me practically a native). There are certain attributes that make us unique — one of them is our passion for good food: Italian, Mexican, mile-high subs, brick-oven pizza, pork roll… the list goes on.
But with that love of food comes the need to:
- Control our portions
- Burn off some of these calories to maintain and/or lose weight
America (NJ included) is not ‘moving it’
Only 20% of American adults get the recommended amount of physical activity — about 25 minutes a day/150 minutes per week.
I’ll be honest — this shocks me.
Never mind the metabolism-boosting and physical benefits of exercise… the stress-reducing powers of a 30-minute walk are worth the effort alone.
Walking is fantastic exercise
The easiest way to get in your daily 25 is to walk it off. Walking is cheap. Everyone has a street or sidewalk, and you can do it day or night.
Outside, inside, summer or winter, treadmill or street, you have all the tools you need, merely steps away.
8 invaluable benefits of daily walking
Here’s are a list of great ‘prizes’ that await you just by walking every day:
- Significantly lower blood pressure and resting heart rate
- Reduction in overall body fat
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Increased metabolism to burn more calories faster
- Improved mood and positive outlook on life
- Lessening risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Diminished symptoms of depression
- Increased lung capacity — a good indicator of fitness
Walking groups offer entertainment while you move
Several of my bariatric patients in our Freehold office have started or joined walking groups who get together one the same days/times every week and chat their way through the 30 minutes. (Note these groups often exceed this time period due to the enjoyment of the conversations — seriously!)
This daily walk doesn’t have to be extremely strenuous. And if you have existing medical conditions, talk with your doctor about what kind of walking is right for you.
What sort of success and enjoyment have you had from simple walking? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to share a few of your own walking tips.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.