Fall 2004 - Patient Newsletter

Fitness Session...  Why Walk?

By Harry Pino, PhD

If you are deciding to go through bariatric surgery or just had the surgery, part of your new healthier lifestyle is to commit to better fitness. Walking is a perfect activity to start with, and clinically appropriate for most patients.

Besides helping you to increase your energy and feel better, walking can reduce your risk for many illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes to name a few. Walking is one of the simplest and safest aerobic activities you can do. It will help you strengthen your muscles and bones, increase your metabolism while promoting weight/fat loss, and assist in your recovery after surgery. Your walking program does not need to be complicated. In fact, being consistent in your walking program is one of the most important factors before and after surgery.

Facts About Walking:

  • Walking an extra 20 minutes each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year.
  • Longer duration (30-40 minutes), moderate intensity 60% -70% maximum heart rates are optimal for weight loss.
  • Walking is cumulative. Cumulative throughout the day, the weeks, the months... you can perform 1 20-minute session all at once, or you can break it up into 2 10-minutes sessions, or 4 5-minutes sessions, AND you will receive the same weight loss and health benefits

Benefits of Walking:

  • Improves efficiency of your lungs and heart
  • Burns body fat
  • Raises your metabolism, even while you are at rest
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves you lipid profile by increasing your good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Helps control and prevent diabetes
  • Strengthens your bones and reduces bone loss in older women.
  • Improves your self-esteem

To obtain the optimal health benefits you should try to accumulate at least 20-40 minutes of walking a day, on most days of the week. But walking for that duration may be far too much for you if you if you are not already been walking or exercising. If you are just starting your walking program, ten (10) minutes of walking, every other day will still add up to better health. Before you start you should consult your primary care provider or OCC physician.

The key is to be consistent, and remember that everything counts; activity is cumulative! Remember to properly warm up and cool down after every walking session. Also remember that we are offering lectures on Physical Activity Thursday nights at 6:30 PM.

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