2012-03-16 / Health & Medical

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips:

Health Tip of the Month: It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, that magical time of the year when many adults turn their thoughts to the color green and wee little leprechauns. For my Health Tip readers, it means it is time for my Irish Health Tips of the Week. Here’s the first: one of the simplest and most effective forms of exercise for burning calories and toning up the body is walking. A friend of mine, on a recent trip to Dublin, Ireland proved that point. Dublin is the perfect walking city. An average person can traverse through City Center in a few hours time. The walking benefits, while substantial, are often cut in half for the over zealous tourist who starts each morning with a full Irish breakfast and frequent stops for the liquid “black stuff.” Throw in some Irish stews and plates of bangers and mash and you can see why walking is an extremely important activity. Walking has many advantages. It does not require the purchase of expensive equipment (apart from appropriate footwear) or club memberships; it can be enjoyed by all, young and old alike; and you can walk at a time to suit your own, individual schedule. According to IrishHealth.com, for those starting off,“a general guideline for time and distance is to walk one mile in 20 minutes. A fitter walker could walk one mile in 15 minutes, but it is better to start out slowly and enjoy the experience than to try to accomplish too much at the start. Aim to build up your walk to the guidelines recommended by the Irish Heart Foundation of 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.” Ireland has made it very easy for the healthy walkers who use walking as their exercise program. In 1996, Paddy Murphy, CEO of the Irish Heart Foundation started the “Sli Na Slainte” program. Sli Na Slainte is Irish for “the pathway to health.” The program placed distinctive signs placed in walking areas around the country to mark distances walked. The signs are located about one mile apart and are very colorful, with a bright yellow sun and a human figure in yellow, blue and red that represents the energy and vitality of life. The signs are all over the Irish countryside, seaside, walking paths, city streets, canals, riverbanks and all over the city’s neighborhoods. They are a big encouragement to get outside and walk. Even though we are not physically in Ireland, we can be Irish in spirit and start our own walking program. Walking is great exercise. Walking burns calories, tones muscles, and benefits the heart and lungs. Walking is a relatively safe,“low stress” exercise with huge health benefits. Walking is the answer to many health conditions. Adult diabetes? Walk. Fibromyalgia? Walk. High blood pressure and cholesterol? Walk. Overweight? Definitely walk. Just dhéanamh! That is Irish for “Just do it!!” Irish Chiropractic Thought for the Month: The results of chiropractic care are different for every person, as each individual is unique. Many people find they have more energy, sleep better, have greater concentration and focus, are more productive, and have a greater ability to resist disease. Normal spinal motion is a requirement for normal brain and nervous system function, so improving spinal function has a positive effect on the human being as a whole. Chiropractic care is a good way to optimize your body’s natural ability to adapt and heal. ~ Chiropractic Association of Ireland

Return to top