It’s officially summer, and so many of us are ready to get outside and get moving! With backyard games, recreational leagues, and various other physical activity options, there are so many ways to get moving and to get in shape. One of the best and easiest ways to get moving while enjoying the summer weather can be walking.
Most people are aware thatwalking is good for us, but perhaps we all are not sure why. First, as a form of physical activity, walking helps us to burn calories, which can help us to maintain a healthy weight. If this is your first time starting to exercise more, it may even help you lose weight. An average person will burn at least 4 calories per minute while walking at a brisk pace. Multiply by 30 for a 30-minute walk, and an average person can burn at least 120 calories in just a half-hour. This is added to a person’s basal metabolic rate, which is, essentially, the calories burned just for moving through normal activities of any given day. As long as calories burned exceed the calories consumed, weight loss is possible. As with other forms of exercise, walking helps to raise a person’s basal metabolic rate, which helps burn more calories, even while at rest!
Walking is a great activity if joint pain is a concern, although there is still a potential risk of musculoskeletal pain. Because we inherently always have a foot on the ground while walking, there is a reduced impact on our joints, especially those of our lower extremities and even our spine. The reduced impact and pain can help improve comfort and endurance, while allowing a faster recovery from a bout of exercise than activities like running or stair climbing. It makes sense that I’ve seen many fewer walking injuries than running injuries in my practice. Walking generally is considered a safer option.
As with any form of exercise, walking can lead to various health benefits. It can help to control blood sugar levels, promote healthy sleep patterns, promote intestinal regularity, relieve stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, elevate mood, reduce risk factors for various cancers, reduce joint stiffness, increase circulation, strengthen bones, reduce bone density loss with age, improve memory, and improve mental alertness, among even more benefits. As mentioned before, walking does carry some rare and minimal risks, so please discuss with your doctor if a new walking routine is right for you.
The Western New York area has so many fantastic paths, parks, and routes to traverse that the fun of walking never has to lose its luster. From the Niagara gorge to the UB bike path, the riverwalk, and Chestnut Ridge Park, there are so many options with beautiful surroundings. What a great time of year to explore and to do something healthy for ourselves at the same time!
2 heads of chopped broccoli
1/2 head of chopped cauliflower
3 carrots, grated
1 sm. yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1/2 c. chicken stock, divided
3 T butter
2 T olive oil
3 T flour
1/2 t onion powder
1 T dried parsley
1 t dried basil
1/8 t allspice
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c milk
1 c shredded white cheddar
1 c shredded reduced fat cheddar
1/2 c parmesan cheese
Chop all the veggies into small pieces, grate the carrot.
In a large pot, add the veggies and 4 cups of stock and simmer on low, covered, to steam them for about 15 minutes.
In a second large pot, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion and garlic clove for 4-5 minutes. Add the butter and melt it. Add in the flour to make a roux. Cook it on medium low for 2-3 minutes.
After the roux is brown, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of stock to thin it, whisk until smooth.
Pour in the veggies and stock from the first pot and mix well. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes and add in the spices.
Add in the milk and heat the soup back up. Finally add in the cheese and allow it to melt, stirring while it melts.