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Around the Home: Clear mind with a walk

POSTED: January 29, 2014 1:00 a.m.

I’ve challenged myself to make changes in my daily fitness routine.

So, I recently went walking with a friend who walks every day, weather permitting. She was tackling the task with lots of energy and enthusiasm. After the first lap, I slowed down.

I admit I let the doubt monster creep in. I was saying “I can’t do this. I just can’t do this.”

But I kept walking. And by the time we finished, I walked almost four miles.

My friend gave me a hug and praised me for my accomplishment. I’m glad I didn’t stop. I felt refreshed and more alert.

While I walked, I was able to clear my mind and focus on me for a little while and not feel guilty about it. It was great just to have time — away from a cell phone, computer and other distractions — just to think.

Exercise or fitness activities are positive ways to handle stress and keep you well, reported The University of Georgia Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

What is keeping you from exercising? Often people say they don’t have time to exercise, or they’re too tired. Guess what? Exercise can actually increase energy and reduce fatigue, EFNEP lessons show.

A UGA study showed people who started a fitness program benefited from the exercise and reported they felt more energetic, UGA Extension reported.

Dancing, walking and bowling are just a few examples of things you can do to stay fit. Be sure to check with your physician before you start a fitness plan.

By the way, if you’re working on a fitness- or health-related goal (or any goal), remember to look at the people you’re around the most. Are they positive or negative? Are they encouraging or bringing you down? A positive, upbeat friend can push you in the right direction and keep you from giving up.

* * *

Just a reminder Walk Georgia registration opens Feb. 1 and continues through March 10.

Participants can track their activity from Feb. 2 to April 26. As you enter or log in your physical activity, you’ll virtually travel across Georgia.

The Walk Georgia website provides facts about Georgia, plus health tips. The weekly email will include recipes, success stories and announcements.

Plus, you can see how other individuals and teams are doing.

For more information, visit www.walkgeorgia.org.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Extension office in Hall County. Call her at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.


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