NOTICE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO PRE-REGISTER!
Please use the link above when you are ready to submit your miles, either weekly or at the end of the program.
Stepping Up is a "walking" program designed to:
- Encourage physical activity by all of our members
- Raise awareness to the many benefits of walking
- Improve our overall health
Absolutely everyone can participate in this program!
You can walk with family, neighbors, and co-workers. The four-week program period is from May 19 through June 15, 2013. Our goal is to have members from every lodge participate! Our first Stepping Up initiative in the Fall of 2012 was a great start and we're excited to promote our second event!
Some of you have pedometers from our first event, and many of you have watches and phone apps to count your miles. Pedometers are available by request from the Home Office for $5 each. Proceeds will benefit the KSKJ Life Foundation. Please send a check payable to "KSKJ Life" to Janice Frantz c/o Stepping Up Program, KSKJ Life, 2439 Glenwood Ave., Joliet IL 60435.
Consider setting a personal goal for yourself and use the comments section below to let us know how you did and what your experience was like!
Let's all get up off our couches and start walkin'!
Why Walking ROCKS!
By Maria Menart, M.S. OTR/L
Ss. Cyril & Methodius Lodge # 59, Minnesota
Walking is a gentle, low impact exercise that can be done by most people. It is easy and will cost little to no money to get started. Walking is also one of the most easy, safe exercises. Physical and mental health benefits of walking include, but are not limited to, reducing the following: weight, the risk for cardiovascular disease, the risk for type II diabetes, and the risk of depression. Walking may also increase brain power and sharpen judgment skills!
Many individuals work hard to manage their weight. However, finding a gentle, low impact exercise can be challenging. The simple answer is to walk! It is important to begin slowly. Start with a warm up (slow walking) followed by gentle stretching of the leg muscles. Be sure to include a cool down once you have finished walking. This will reduce the stress on both your heart and muscles.
The American Heart Association states walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health. The heart muscle, just like any other muscle in your body, requires exercise to remain strong. Walking is an exercise that will help your heart pump stronger and slower requiring your heart to work less hard leading to a lower blood pressure. In addition to reducing blood pressure, walking also helps manage cholesterol by lowering "bad" cholesterol levels and raising the "good" cholesterol.
Type II diabetes is the most common form of diabetes as millions of Americans have been diagnosed with this disease. Walking is an excellent method to help prevent type II diabetes as it helps lower blood glucose (sugar) and burns calories.
A number of research studies have been conducted to examine the effects of walking on the brain. These researchers have found walking helps increase gray matter in the brain. The gray matter of the brain is associated with memory. Brain size and gray matter shrink as a result of aging. Therefore, walking may result in decreased risk for memory loss as age increases.
Exercise, including walking, helps the brain release endorphins. Endorphins are the "feel-good" chemicals in the brain. Walking can also help you gain confidence, provide distraction from negative thoughts and feelings, and help you cope in a healthy way. Walking can also provide social interaction. A simple smile or a friendly greeting can help boost your mood.