Walking to discard the lard

Published 2:26 pm Friday, February 5, 2010

OK. Everybody off the couch. After Sunday, football is history until fall. It’s time to discard the lard.

My discard-the-lard inspiration comes from Raymond Miles, 85 this April.

What is it about Raymond Miles that makes him look the epitome of vibrant good health at his age.

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Simple. He walks. Every morning, he walks. Briskly. He and Sam have been walking briskly for years.

I have now joined the Raymond and Sam Miles Early Morning Briskly Walking Club.

The Club meets individually each morning in front of your own house, out early even though it’s still cold, sometimes in the 30s. Take Raymond’s tip here. He’s out everyday unless the weather is really, really bad.

My personal rehabilitation began after Raymond remarked before the Decatur County Historical Society discussing his book, how he attributed his good health of almost 85 years to daily exercise walking.

So I am walking, up to 45 minutes each day, now in my fourth week, a little lighter, and getting into some pants that have too long gathered closet dust. Also, in my office, an exercise bike was easy target to pile stuff. I contemplated selling it. But instead, I cleaned out the office, made room for the bike, and take time each day for a two-mile ride.

Since I am old enough to subscribe to the AARP magazine, here’s what a recent article advised about reducing your risk of heart attack:

Exercise regularly. For optimal heart health, heart researchers recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise—such as brisk walking—most days of the week. Exercise can help you control your weight, and it can also help you avoid diabetes if your blood sugar is inching up.

Even the recent current edition of Readers Digest devoted considerable advice to obesity and how to control it.

Here’s some advice come from Readers Digest.

 More than half of American women wish their husbands were thinner.

 Obesity and overweight now kill more people than hunger.

 Americans eat too fast. By the time your body signals you are full, you have overeaten.

 Downsize super-sizing—Brits watch their portions, which watches their weight. In London, for example, you can’t get a double quarter pounder with cheese at McDonald’s.

 Try fasting once and awhile. No food or drink sunrise to sunset.

 Don’t skip breakfast. Do as the Germans do, sitting down to fruit and whole grain cereals.

 Sit down with the family at least once a day to a long leisurely meal.

 Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation generates weight gain.

 Swap ranch salad dressing for oil and vinegar.

 Take up yoga. Dump the cheesy puffs.

 Drink tea instead of fancy frappochinos and lattes. Stay with straight coffee, though. Fights some cancers.

Receiving my latest edition of Bottom Line Yearbook, 2010, here’s some of their suggestions on losing the lard. Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic physician in family practice at the University of Montana, agrees with the above.

 Scientific evidence shows walking reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and colon cancer.

 Walking also helps fight osteoporosis, anxiety, depression and memory problems.

 Start slowly. Then increase your daily time, working up to 30 minutes a day, six days a week.

 Walk outside. Enjoy nature, get exposed to fresh air and sunlight.

 Walking makes you more agile, less prone to falls. Drink water and ask your doctor about vitamin supplements. Reducing belly fat, belt lines less than 40 inches, also reduces chances of heart attack and stroke.

Walking allows you to greet and wave at the neighbors. I frequently run into Betty and Cotton Hester, Valerie and Tom Bush, a plethora of barking back yard dogs, plus one beautiful Golden who is absolutely delighted to see me each time as I stroll past her house. (Stop here momentarily to pet the dog).

The Raymond and Sam Miles Early Morning Briskly Walking Club is now in session.

Move it out!