One of the odder diet claims out there is that there is an optimal way to eat depending on blood type. It makes no scientific sense, and there is no evidence to support it. It was bundled up with some claims about exercise, also with no support. There are a few ways to walk right, though. (No blood-type testing required!)
— Wear comfortable shoes for walking. You may need more cushioning in the sole, or find a slightly raised heel (as in a traditional running shoe or hiking boot) more comfortable. Don’t overthink this, but pay attention to how your feet and lower legs feel — you may want to try something different when it’s time to replace your shoes.
— Make sure you have plenty of room for your toes. Feet expand during the course of the day, especially if you’re putting miles on them. Cramped toes can hurt and even bruise under the toenail.
— Be aware of your surroundings. Music or an audiobook make great company on a walk, but don’t let them distract you too much.
— Keep some kind of track of your distance or time (or both). It’s fun to see progress, and nice to get a sense of how close you are (or how far over!) the recommendations for physical activity.
— There’s no strict rule for what speed you walk, but you’ll generally get more health benefit at speeds over about 3 miles per hour. If that’s too fast, don’t worry. You will still benefit — and get better — with practice. The CDC suggests your usual exercise intensity be about “a 5 or 6 on a scale of 0 to 10.”
— Look both ways before you cross a street! (Even on a one-way street — a car going in the wrong direction might present extra danger.)
— Make it social! A great way to stay more active is make it part of socializing — explore a park with a friend, or have a walk after you meet for that coffee.
Here in the Northern hemisphere, spring has sprung. Get out there and have a nice walk or three!
Wait, What About the Belly Fat?
Walking can definitely help as part of a program to lose weight, but no exercise regimen can spot reduce fat or cause you to lose fat all by itself. For fat loss, be sure that you are eating a nutritious diet that gives you fewer calories than you burn during the day. Here are some suggestions for curbing overeating: “Just Eat Less” and “Are You Enjoying It?”
Image: the cover of a magazine whose identity is being withheld to protect the misguided.