The New York Optimist
March 2009
“Walk Your Way To Happiness”-Nina

The next time someone tells you to “take a walk”, you should say “that is a good idea”!  Walking is the best, most natural
way to relieve tension and promote health and happiness.  When you walk purposefully, you can accomplish a great deal in a
short time.  

You don’t need a large chunk of time to enjoy the benefits of walking.  Every step you take counts.  Take a walk during your
lunch break, first thing in the morning, a ten minute break between classes or any time during the day.  When you walk you
are exercising, but walk purposefully.  Become aware of your posture and align your body properly.  All four corners of
your feet should touch the ground.  Most people walk on the outsides or insides of their feet and don’t realize it until they end
up at the podiatrist.  Evenly align your feet and you will benefit greatly from walking since this alignment will effect your leg
muscles, as well as your spine.  Be sure your shoulders are back, your spine is straight, your head is aligned over your spine
and your pelvis tucked under.  Walk tall and notice your movement; is it bouncy, purposeful or sluggish.  As you notice how
your body moves you can begin to make corrections toward proper alignment. Now, in addition to paying attention to all
your body parts, notice your breathing, as well.  You should breathe in and out through your nose, not your mouth.  Your
nose is a filter for bacteria flying around.  As you notice your breathing, allow it to deepen naturally.  Breathe into your belly,
filling your rib cage and chest and exhale from your belly, rib cage and chest.  This is the three part yogic breath which
brings great amounts of healthful oxygen to all the cells in your body and releases stress and toxins with each exhalation.
Although this seems like an awful lot of work, you will notice as you move and put all your attention to your physical being
that you did not once think of the stress in your life.  This is focused attention; it is a form of meditation and you can do this
each time you take a walk.  

You will begin to notice how much better you feel physically and mentally.  You will release endorphins and happy chemicals
from your brain with each walk.  You will boost your metabolism for twelve hours.  You will notice how much better you
are able to deal with stress and life. You will notice you are calmer and happier, so “take a walk”!
Common walking mistakes and proper
walking form demonstrated. Then walking
with HeartFlex which adds upper body
exercise to the walking experience. We offer
a great piece of exercise equipment for
physical fitness. It's a great upper body
workout for those who want new wheelchair
exercises, chest exercises, and upper body
exercises while fitness walking
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