resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
June, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 06
Walking or Hiking Your Way to Better Health
By Sharon Puszko, PhD, LMT
I was planning on beginning this column with, "Now that winter is ending, we can turn our attention to outdoor activities." However, considering the unusually mild winter most of the country experienced, it seems like there was not much difference between the weather last October and the weather in February.One of my friends in the midwest called this the "winter that wasn't" and I have to agree with her. But it does put a damper on the theme of this article, which was to suggest getting outside and walking now that the weather permits it. Rather, what might be more appropriate this year would be to say that if one has not already taken advantage of the mild temperatures, now is a great time to start, perhaps with some walking or hiking.
In my experience, people have been very opinionated when it comes to walking or hiking; either people enjoy these activities and believe they are a great form of exercise, or people roll their eyes and believe it is a complete waste of time. I've noticed that most of the folks in the latter category seem to be runners. They seem to get personally offended by the idea that walking could replace jogging as a form of exercise. After all, as practitioners we well know that the knees cannot "run" forever, regardless of how much one's spirit wants to. Personally, I have viewed walking and hiking as a good form of exercise for my older clients, and clients with injuries that prevent high-impact sports. However, now that I have researched the topics, I find myself reconsidering walking and hiking as exercises reserved solely for my older clients. While walking is one of the most natural activities we do - being able to walk upright is one of the defining characteristics of our species - when done creatively and intentionally, it provides an excellent workout for all who do it, whether one is 22 or 75. Considering the general state of health in the U.S., it is becoming critical that we take walking seriously.
For instance, in 2007 the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its original recommendations on exercise in order to maintain a healthy heart. It concluded that the minimum amount of exercise needed to stay healthy was 150 minutes per week. Unfortunately, the AHA goes on to say that only 15 percent of American adults actually achieve 150 minutes per week, which is not encouraging for us as a nation. In several places, this report specifically suggests walking as a way to meet these guidelines. In January, the AHA also implemented a national Walking Clubs initiative, in which anyone can start or join a walking club in their area to help them get more exercise. Notice that the American Heart Association did not begin a running club, or biking club, or a soccer club - it chose walking as an acceptable and accessible form of exercise to keep your heart healthy.
In "The Complete Guide to Walking," Mark Fenton mentions some basics to keep in mind when beginning a walking program:
The best thing about walking is that it is so easy to start. Experts agree that the only "necessary" item to begin a walking program is a good pair of shoes. This means that they should be new, or relatively new: any athletic shoe that has been regularly used for six months or more is no longer considered optimum for exercising. A designated walking shoe or a light hiking shoe is best, and the next best would be a running shoe. The important characteristics of the shoe include one that bends easily at the ball of the foot, is firm through the arch area, and has a low heel.
Speaking of hiking shoes, let's briefly discuss hiking for those of you who are more adventurous, live near ideal hiking environments, or want more of a cardiovascular challenge. Again, proper footwear ranks as one of the most important items for anyone who wants to hike. According to recommendations in "The Complete Hiker," this means shoes and socks. Socks should be thick and preferably a blend of synthetic and natural fibers. While the old standard was to wear two pairs of socks, sport-specific socks are now readily available, making one pair of socks sufficient. The socks should not have loose strands, or bunch up anywhere, both of which could cause blisters. Once you have your socks, wear them to try on boots (thick socks can impact your shoe size). When picking out boots, remember that feet swell when hiking, so one should not feel any compression in the toe area when trying them on. The heel should also fit snug enough to prevent your toes from hitting the front of the boot on a descent.
In addition to footwear, proper attire is also very important when hiking. The key here is layering: since weather can change dramatically throughout the day, or even over the course of a couple of hours, one needs to be prepared for a significant temperature change. A base layer that consists of wicking material is the most important, and if you have other layers that wick as well, that is even better. Make sure your clothing can be easily removed when you get hot, and can be put on easily when you get cold. It should also be able to fit in whatever type of pack you are carrying.
Regardless of whether you prefer walking or hiking, the point is that both options are great forms of exercise that our bodies are naturally designed to do. Just like cheetahs are designed to run and sharks are designed to swim, our bodies are designed to stand upright and walk. Molly Allard, an ACE certified personal trainer based in Davenport, Iowa, agrees: "I think walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It is a total body work out that can be done by just about anyone, anywhere, since it is gentle on your joints. Walking is a great choice for beginning exercisers, but can also be challenging to more experienced athletes when adding hills, varying walking speed, and swinging the arms more. Hiking is a great cardiovascular workout that also provides lower body toning. It is definitely more challenging that walking. Due to the fact that hiking usually involves inclines, descents and uneven surfaces, the chance for injury is higher than walking. Therefore, I would recommend it for people who are at intermediate or advanced fitness levels. Some people prefer the mind-body connection that hiking in nature provides, while others enjoy walking around the city. Either way, walking and hiking are excellent ways to start exercising, or to add something different to your normal routine."
So, put on some shoes and get going!
Sharon Puszko is the owner/director/educator for Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute. She may be contacted at
or through her Web site: www.daybreak-massage.com.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.