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Is Walking the Fountain of Youth?

Walking just might be the perfect exercise: It’s low impact, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and dementia; strengthens your heart, boosts mood, raises vitamin D, burns calories and builds muscle.

Harvard University created a chart that compares the effects of aging with the effects of exercise and found that, in almost every category, exercise counteracts the effects of aging. Now, new studies offer two more reasons to go for a brisk walk.

WALKING & HIIT

Research published in the March 2017 issue of “Cell Metabolism” found that a brisk walk could help slow the aging process. The study broke 72 participants into two age groups (18–30 and 65–80) and three exercise groups (high-intensity interval training, strength training and HIIT with strength training). At the end of the 12-week period, researchers noted that participants in the HIIT group, which included biking or “difficult” treadmill walking, had significant changes at the cellular level.

HIIT caused cells to make more proteins in the mitochondria, which take in and break down nutrients and create energy; and the ribosomes, the cell structures that make protein and repair cell damage. In the younger group, mitochondrial function increased 49%; the increase was 69% in the older group.

What this means, according to K. Sreekumaran Nair, MD, diabetes researcher at the Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study, is that exercise appears to stop aging at the cellular level. In addition to cellular changes, those in the HIIT group had improved insulin sensitivity, which could reduce their risk of diabetes.

In a statement, Nair said, “Based on everything we know, there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process.”

WALKING & STEPS

Walking could also be the key to keeping older adults out of the hospital. Australian researcher Ben Ewald, PhD, senior lecturer in epidemiology and at the University of Newcastle, followed 3,253 adults over age 55 and compared the number of steps they took each day (based on pedometer data) with hospital admissions.

The findings, published in a 2017 issue of the “Medical Journal of Australia,” found that those who walked 8,800 steps per day spent one-third less time in the hospital than their more sedentary peers who walked just 4,500 steps per day.

“Physical activity reduces the risk of cancers, heart disease and diabetes, which are the main serious illnesses, so active people are less likely to end up in hospital,” says Ewald.

Although the research was done on older adults, Ewald believes the findings are applicable to all age groups, noting, “The biggest risk to health these days, now that smoking has nearly died out, is sitting down all day. There is no reason to believe that increased activity at other ages would not have similar health benefits.”

The research would also apply to activities other than walking but, Ewald notes, walking is likely the easiest form of exercise for most people to incorporate into their daily lives. Any activity is good activity,” he says. The key is finding an activity you enjoy and incorporating it into your daily routine.


READ MORE > RESEARCH SHOWS THE HEALTHIEST WAY INTO WORK IS BY BIKE


“The easiest thing is to walk or cycle to work, because by the time you have been to work and back you have also met your physical activity target for the day with no further effort,” says Ewald.

Try wearing an activity tracker to make sure you’re getting at least the 10,000 steps (five miles) per day recommended by the American Heart Association.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WALK

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5 Bucket List Wildflower Hikes

Spring is in full bloom, but there’s still time to catch wildflowers on hiking trails around the country. In fact, in alpine areas, you could spot flowers through the summer. Here are five trails already brimming with color, so you can score a low-impact, calorie-burning hike while enjoying high-impact aromas and views.

1. BAR ISLAND

Where: Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine
High bloom: June
Flower highlights: Lupine

Spot pink, white and purple hues all along Bar Island, a small island located in Acadia National Park. You’ll need walk there at low tide, but timing your visit for the three-hour window is worth it. Once on the trail, you’ll head up through a meadow to find views not just of flowers, but of the park and sparkling harbor. The Bar Island trail itself is fairly easy to navigate and the entire walk is family friendly, at about two hours total, round trip.

2. TANAWHA TRAIL

Where: Linville, North Carolina
High bloom: May/June
Flower highlights: Rhododendron

The Tanawha Trail itself is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and spans more than 13 miles. You can skip to more floral areas by parking in the Rough Ridge lot accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hike a mere half mile south on the Tanawha from Rough Ridge to find blooms. Note: The trail itself has some steep, rocky spots, so watch your step as you flower spot.


READ MORE > 10 AMAZING BENEFITS OF WALKING


3. SIPHON DRAW TRAIL

Where: Apache Junction, Arizona
High bloom: May/June
Flower highlights: Brittlebush

This 5.5-mile trail, located in Lost Dutchman State Park, can get your heart rate up with steep climbs, so bring plenty of water and prepare to work as you spot wildflowers including vibrant lupine and poppies. (If you feel like pushing yourself even more, you can hike a half mile further to the top of the Flatiron, for additional views.)

4. UPPER CAPE HORN TRAIL

Where: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
High bloom: May/June
Flower highlights: Purple Larkspur

Enjoy sweeping vistas and views of the Columbia Gorge and get up close and personal with Cape Horn Falls. Enjoy maple groves, the easy sway of long grass and the shade of fir trees. Of course, there are loads of wildflowers to spot along the way. While the rugged trail is open year-round, the lower portion is closed from February to July 15 to protect nesting falcons. The upper portion still provides a scenic workout, however, and is only about a 45-minute drive from Portland.

5. ANTELOPE VALLEY POPPY RESERVE

Where: Lancaster, California
High bloom: April/May
Flower highlights: Poppies

Even though California’s state flower blooms relatively early, there’s still time to see the landscape awash in orange. The Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve boasts eight miles of trails for those with a moderate fitness level, so you can lose yourself and relax only about an hour and a half from Los Angeles. Enjoy rolling meadows and hills filled with poppies, along with stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains.

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Healthier Snack Swaps at the Movies [Infographic]

A trip to the movie theater seems to be synonymous with snacking — chewy chocolate, bubbly soda and, of course, salty, buttery popcorn. The good news is that no matter how strong your movie snack cravings are, these healthier food swaps save you a ton of fat and calories without sacrificing all the flavor and fun. Let the show begin!

Written by Alexis Joseph, a Columbus-based lifestyle coach and media personality specializing in nutrition communications, eating happy and balanced living. She founded Hummusapien, a multi-faceted food, wellness and lifestyle brand in 2011 and co-founded Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe in 2014.

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80/20 Diet Rule – Latest Dieting Trend!

Latest Dieting Trend – 80/20 Diet Rule

Hello All!!!

The truth is that all of us love eating junk food but at the same time want to be fit and healthy. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? This makes most of us choose restrictive diets and intense workouts in order to transform our bodies.

However, the restrictive diets don’t work well most often. This is not because the diets are ineffective but because they aren’t sustainable. And as soon as you stop the diet, you start packing on pounds faster.

80-20 diet rule, Latest Dieting Trend

What is the 80/20 Diet Rule?

How would you feel when you are introduced to a diet that accepts your love for tasty food that is mostly junk and fattening? It does sound very exciting and liberating. This is exactly what the latest dieting trend 80/20 diet rule promises and this is the reason why this particular diet is trending all across the globe including India.

The 80/20 diet is not a strict diet. It does not tell you what should be eaten and when it should be eaten. It instead offers you a lot of personal freedom and encourages you to be responsible and moderate with your food approach.

Akin to its name, the diet’s basic principle is that you should eat healthy 80% of the time and for the remaining 20% of the time you can indulge in tasty treats and cheat meals. The diet may seem unclear about what healthy and unhealthy foods are. However, according to common sense and nutrition science, fresh fruits, veggies, pulses, nuts, lean meat and seafood fall in the healthy category and processed, deep fried and sugar rich foods fall in the unhealthy category.

When you follow this diet, just ensure that you don’t exceed the 20% threshold when it comes to eating junk food! That is the main part of the diet. You simply need to calculate and figure out the number of meals and snacks you can have in a day or in a week with unhealthy stuff.

If you have 5 small meals in a day, 4 of them need to be in absolutely healthy range but the fifth one can be whatever you like. It is similar to what ‘cheat meals’ are in a rigid diet.

The idea is that when you get to indulge in junk food occasionally, your cravings do not grow too strong such that it sabotages your healthy eating efforts. It is a rather psychological approach.

Does this diet work?

The 20% binge that you get to enjoy in this diet is more than what you can get from a cheat meal. Apart from a psychological boost, there is a physiological benefit too from this diet philosophy.

Foods Which Make You Fat french fries

Dieting for a longer time period for weight loss or management of weight causes some form or the other of caloric deficit that causes a drop in energy levels. With cheat meals being evenly spaced, there is an influx of calories that helps in maintaining energy levels that are important for your diet and workout.

According to a recently published study, weekend weight gain due to cheat meals is normal and can help people in achieving their long term weight loss goals.

Downside of 80/20 diet rule

The only downside of this diet is that it is quite unclear. However, it can also be viewed as its strength as it gives flexibility to the dieters.

If you are serious about getting healthy, you can make healthy eating a habit and get rid of junk food from your diet.

Hope this glimpse of this Latest Dieting Trend 80/20 diet rule was helpful!

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