Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Walk it out

I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant. Much more than I "was supposed to", but it turned out to be a completely healthy level of weight gain for me.

I'm glad I had people around me at the time who encouraged me to put the pregnancy books down (and the scales away) and instead focus on staying healthy, eating a balanced diet and continuing with low-impact exercise.

The last bit was easy actually. I've stepped inside a gym a mere two times in my life, but regularly step one foot in front of the other and that seems to be enough for me. Yup, it's called walking, and it kept me fit through my pregnancy and then helped me lose my baby weight afterwards.

So simple yet so effective, and I'm not the only one that thinks walking is good for the body (read: thighs and bum) and soul. A recent study by Bupa has found that walking an extra 15 minutes each day can help extend life expectancy by up to three years, while reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and increasing mental wellbeing. I'm sold!

I don't know about you, but I love getting outdoors for a dose of Vitamin D by pushing the pram down to the park or down to the deli or somewhere local for a coffee. I also love pounding the pavements with other mummy friends (usually in single file so our SUV-sized prams don't hog the whole walkway) because it's a great opportunity to chat and the babies love watching the world go by.

If you need any more convincing, here are 5 more reasons why walking should be in every yummy mummy's exercise regime:
  1. Feel better: Research shows that people who exercise regularly have fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  2. Stay in shape: A brisk 15-minute walk can burn more than 250 extra kilojoules, helping you to feel and look good.
  3. Reduce your cancer risk: According to the Cancer Council, physical activity, such as walking, can greatly reduce your risk of bowel and post-menopausal breast cancers.
  4. Invest in your health: 30 minutes or more of brisk walking on most days of the week can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.
  5. It’s easy: Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that comes naturally to your body. It’s simple and can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health.
Pounding the pavements while on holiday in South Australia
It's Bupa Walk to Work Day on Friday 28 September here in Australia, and while I don't have an office to walk to I'm still going to get out to mark the occasion. Why not gather some likeminded pram-pushers and do the same?

As always, would love to hear your thoughts - particularly any ideas you can share on healthy ways to lose baby weight.

Disclaimer: Bupa contacted me with some information on Bupa Walk to Work Day along with current research and top tips on walking. I have not been paid for this post, and the content within is based purely on my experience and the areas of the Bupa research that interested me. For more content from Bupa please visit the Bupa Walk to Work Day website. 

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