Walk Talk Series
Day 23 – Reducing Salt and Walking Alone
Healthy Heart Zone
The health benefits of walking kick in at walking at a pace that gets your heart rate up to 50-60% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury. At this heart rate, you may be breathing noticeably but you are able to carry on a full conversation while walking.
One of the top reasons given to me for people stopping their walking program is that they lost their walking partner. Walking with a partner has many advantages – it motivates you, it’s entertaining, and it is safer. But don’t let walking solo stop you. See a few of my Reasons to Walk Alone.
1. Early, late, or never: So you make a date to walk with a partner — and he shows up late, or doesn’t show up. Your schedule gets blown and you don’t get in the walking you planned to do. Sally Stressedout always arrives 15 minutes late with some heartbreaking excuse, expecting sympathy, while you’ve been getting in your walking pacing the floor
2. The need for speed: I want to build speed, but my walking partners don’t want to race-walk. Or it may be a downer day and my walking partners have turned into racehorses. Ruthie Roadrunner or Sam Slug leave you in the dust or hold you back.
3. Chatter: Maybe I don’t feel like talking, or like listening. It gets embarrassing if you “zone out” and then realize they are asking you for an opinion or advice on the tale you weren’t really listening to. When doing a faster walk or hills, I usually don’t feel like talking, I feel like breathing.
Solo Safety When Walking Alone
To reduce the risks:
Let Others Know:Always leave notice of where you are going and when you are expected to return with a household member. If you live alone, leave a note
Cell Phone: Carry a cell phone to have handy for 911 and other minor emergencies. But don’t be a distracted walker by making and taking calls while walking
First Aid Kit: Carry a small first aid kit
Bee Sting Kit: If you are allergic to bees, carry your bee kit
Dog: Walk with a dog. The bad people would rather victimize somebody who doesn’t have a dog likely to make noise or attack them
Walking Stick or Walking Poles: Carry a walking stick or walk with walking poles and know how to use them to ward off an attack. Simply having a stick may make you a less-appetizing target
Weapons: If you choose to carry a weapon (including pepper spray), get training and adhere strictly to the laws of the area in which you are walking
When to Call 911: Know the symptoms of health emergencies such as heart attack and heat sickness and seek assistance immediately.
Prepared foods are often very high in salt (sodium chloride). Reducing salt lowers blood pressure, which is essential for people with hypertension. Reducing sodium to below the recommended level of 2400 milligrams a day can help lower blood pressure. Instead of relying on salt for flavor, enjoy herbs and spices to perk things up.
Practical Tips for Reducing Salt Intake
- Never add salt at the table
- Check the labels of condiments and convenience foods, many of which are absolutely loaded with salt in fact, check the labels of any processed foods you may use – such as sauces, canned vegetables, and cereals – and look for low-sodium brands when they are available
- Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; among other benefits, the potassium contained in these food items helps to balance the effect of salt
- Try not cooking with salt; if you must add salt, add at the end of the cooking process (you’ll use less)
Recipe: Herb Salt Substitute
This combination of herbs can spice up your dishes so you rely less on salt.
Similar to the commercial Mrs. Dash mixture, use this salt substitute herb mix on all types of savory foods and you won’t miss the salt at all.
1 Tbsp ground cayenne pepper 1 Tbsp garlic powder 1 Tbsp onion powder 1 tsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp dried parsley flakes 1 tsp dried savory 1 tsp ground mace 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp dried sage 1 tsp dried marjoram 1 tsp ground dried grated lemon peel
1. Combine cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley flakes, savory, mace, black pepper, sage, marjoram, and lemon peel.
2. Mix well.
3. Place in a glass airtight container and store in a cool, dark place up to four months.
4. Use on all types of savory foods.