Winter has a way about it, doesn't it? Those up and down temperatures, less sunshine, struggling to get caught up after the holidays...it can leave you pretty worn out, and more susceptible to a cold.
The good news is, you can boost your immunity with something you LOVE to do---fitness walking!
Health studies show a definite link between your lifestyle and the strength of your immune system. Adopting good health habits can help your immune system do the important work of protecting you from germs, viruses, and other illness.
Regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk is all you need. Medical studies show that walking increases the amount of immune system cells in your body...and...those levels stay elevated for several hours after exercise!
A WebMD article says flat out... if you don't get enough exercise, you're more likely to get colds.
Put down the tissues...get up and walk!
How are you doing this month? Walking can get you back on track!
Health experts continue to recommend 30 minutes of exercise each day to maintain and improve your health and wellness. Think about how our Walk 15 classes can make that goal easy...attainable...heck...even FUN!
Our programs get you moving at a 15-minute mile pace...walk to just two of those, and you're there! There's also a lot of power in the idea of never walking alone...in fact, a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins says walking with a friend increases your chances or sticking with your exercise routine, and provides important support when making a lifestyle change.
So...if you're looking at your calendar beating yourself up for already dropping away from those goals you set for yourself this January, realize that every day... every hour...every minute represents a new opportunity for you to take a first step to a change that will help to keep you healthy and strong for many New Years to come!
Let go of anything that feels heavy---forgive yourself---you didn't blow it! Choose to lace up and start walking in a better-feeling direction today!
There's even more science and research to back the proven healthy MENTAL benefits of working out with your friends!
A new study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association shows that people who participate in group exercise classes like Walk 15, showed "significant" improvement in mental, physical, and emotional health over those who worked out alone.
"The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues, and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone," said Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on the study.
It was pretty interesting WHO the study tracked, too. They recruited highly stressed medical students who reported a "low quality of life" on a survey. The researchers asked the group to choose a 12-week workout plan, either group fitness or individual exercise. Another group didn't do any formal exercise for the 12 weeks.
We know that all exercise improves our mental health by releasing feel-good endorphins, the chemical that makes you feel happy, increase self-esteem, and manage anxious feelings.
Could working out in a group boost that even more?
The students checked in every four weeks, and were asked to rate their mental, physical, and emotional stress. After 12 weeks:
The students in the group fitness classes showed dramatic improvements:
The students who worked out by themselves reported no reduction in stress level, and no increase in overall quality of life. They did report an 11% improvement in mental health, however!
Exercise WORKS anyway you do it...but those added benefits from being part of a group are just another reason why we love WALKing TOGETHER!
Walk yourself HAPPY this month!