Top 10 Reasons to Start Walking, By Wendy Bumgardner | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD

Enjoyment-1869206_640Why should you start walking? Walking for 30 to 60 minutes each day is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind, and spirit. Here are great reasons to lace up your sneakers and get started.

Walkers Live Longer

The Honolulu Heart Study of 8,000 men found that walking just two miles a day cut the risk of death almost in half. The walkers' risk of death was especially lower from cancer. Other studies have had similar findings – if you keep walking, you improve your chances of a longer and healthier life.

Walking Helps Prevent Weight Gain

If you add just 2,000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. So says research by Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. To lose weight, add in more steps.

You Can Walk off Weight

Exercise such as walking is an important part of any weight loss program. You must still watch how much you eat in order to lose weight. But walking helps you build healthy lean muscle, lose inches of fat, and pump up your metabolism. Of long-term successful weight losers, almost all maintain a program of walking or other exercises.

Walking Reduces Risk of Cancer

Study after study has shown that walking and exercise reduce your risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Walking is also good for those undergoing cancer treatment, improving their chances of recovery and survival.

Walking Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

Heart disease and stroke are among the top killers of both men and women. You can cut your risk of both in half by walking for 30-60 minutes a day. Get your blood moving.

Walking Reduces Diabetes Risk

Get out and walk for 30 minutes a day as your minimum daily requirement for health and to prevent Type 2 diabetes. A study by the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, discovered that walking for 30 minutes a day cut diabetes risks for overweight as well as non-overweight men and women. Walking also helps maintain blood sugar balance for those with diabetes.

Walking Boosts Your Brain Power

A study of people over 60 funded by the National Council on Aging, published in the July 29, 1999 issue of Nature, found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program.

Walking Improves Mood and Relieves Stress

Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body's natural happy drugs – endorphins. Most people notice an improvement in mood. A November 9, 1999 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed that university students who walked and did other easy to moderate exercise regularly had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously.

Walking Can Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

What better reason for men to take a brisk two-mile walk each day – a reduced risk of impotence from mid-life onward.

It's Easy to Get Started

All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes and to get yourself out the door or onto the treadmill. You can reap the benefits of walking from doing several shorter walks or one longer walk during the day.

So, get out there and start moving. Even a short walk is better than none. It’s easy and it’s really good for you!


Managing Your Stress

Hurry-2119711_640 (1)“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Salve

Experts say constant exposure to stress is bad for your health. While not all stressors are negative, routinely stressing over work, family or other daily demands doesn’t allow the body to return to a non-stressed state. Over time, this constant chemical- and hormone-infused condition can lead to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, anxiety disorders and more.

So, what do we do about stress? We certainly can’t stop living our lives, that’s for sure. What we can do, however, is take steps to reduce our stress levels as often and as fast as we can. Try the following activities to help reduce your stress levels almost instantly.

  1. Low glycemic foods. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for a host of body processes during stressful situations, so it’s important. The problem is that constant high levels of cortisol in the body can lead to obesity, diabetes, digestive problems, heart disease and more. Your favorite low glycemic foods can reduce cortisol. Some studies suggest that chewing gum reduces cortisol levels in the body.


  1. An epsom salt bath. Dim the lights, light some candles and lower yourself into a nice, hot bath. Let the warm water relax your tense muscles as you literally feel the stress of the day disappear. For an even more stress-reducing experience, add epsom salts to the water. You’ll feel like you’re floating, and your skin will absorb the salts, which helps regulate magnesium levels in your body for a better mood.


  1. Specific scents. Aromatherapy is becoming more and more popular these days, and there’s good reason to pay attention. Your brain reacts to each smell differently, and by purposely infusing your space with specific scents, you can reduce your stress levels immediately. Try scents such as lemon, lavender, cinnamon, vanilla, peppermint, and jasmine to calm your mind and reduce your stress.


  1. Quiet time with a furry friend. One of the quickest and most fun ways to reduce stress is hanging out with your favorite furry friend. Just the act of stroking its fur quickly relaxes your muscles and lifts your spirits.


  1. Visualize your happy place. Imagination is a powerful thing and it plays the key role in getting you to your happy place. Simply imagining yourself in a peaceful environment can calm the nerves, especially if you’re feeling anxious about doing something or being somewhere you don’t want to be (an interview or meeting, for example).

If you’ve got the time, try all of these and watch your stress creep out the door and away, where it belongs.

Remember, too, that all stress is not negative. Learning a new skill or meeting new people can be stressful at first but both may soon become your best friends. Controlling stress is really the answer to better health and more happiness.

“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.” – Attributed to Bernard-Paul Heroux

Adapted from the daily blog happier.com

Jeff Bellomo, Esq.



Caring For Loved Ones

Hands-2906458_640More and more, as our population ages many of us are taking care of aging spouses or parents. According to the Mayo Clinic, 33% of adults provide such care. Most caregivers feel an obligation to do so out of love. However, caregivers often find that providing that care is emotionally and physically, and often financially, draining.

It is essential that caregivers know their limits. The danger is that the every-day stresses and challenges of providing such care often lead caregivers to forget about themselves, which can lead to depression, social isolation, financial difficulties, stress, fatigue, loss of interest in activities, frequent pain or headaches, and other effects.

When we get on an airplane, before we take off the flight attendants always instruct passengers that, if the oxygen masks drop down, be sure to place it on you before you help others. Why? If you pass out from lack of oxygen, you cannot help anyone else, so by taking care of yourself you are in a position to care for others. This is not selfishness – it is a necessity.

When “Mary” first came to see us, her husband of over 40 years had advanced Alzheimer’s and other physical conditions, and qualified for skilled nursing level care. Caring for him was a 24-hour job – he would wander off at all hours of the day and night, and other behaviors, and Mary needed to dispense his medications throughout the day and evening. We immediately sensed that Mary was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but this was her husband, her love, to whom she had pledged herself in sickness and in health. She could not imagine abandoning her “obligation” to him by placing him in a nursing home, and, sadly, they did not qualify for Medicaid Waiver for in-home care.

We worked hard to make her understand that caring for her husband was killing her. As we talked, it became ever clearer that she could not keep up her current pace. I asked Mary how caring for her husband was affecting her; she admitted that she was under constant stress, was depressed, didn’t have any social life, and was generally wearing down. I then asked her what would happen if she were to wear down so much that she died from overwork while caring for her husband. She was startled – she hadn’t considered that. The answer was, there would be no alternative – he would have to go to a nursing home.

It took a couple of meetings with her, but she finally came to realize that in the long run she was not doing her husband any favors by keeping him at home; her best course of action would be to find a great nursing home for him, and visit him frequently and get stronger physically and emotionally herself so she could continue to play an important role in her husband’s life for a long time to come.

If you are going to care for a loved one in the twilight of his/her life, then there are things which you should do to maintain your physical and mental health, such as:

  • Seek and accept help from family and support groups, including online.
  • Keep connected with family, friends, even clergy.
  • Find out from your loved one’s medical staff, or others, what resources are available to you and your loved one.
  • Give yourself permission to spend “me time” to rejuvenate your physical and mental conditions – then do it! Even a short time for yourself each day can make a huge difference.
  • Maintain good, healthy habits.
  • Exercise – it improves your mood and reduces stress.

You should consider all of your options, but always consider your needs as well as your loved one’s. Remember, to be an effective resource for your loved one, you need to put the oxygen mask on first, before you can help others!

If you're a Healthcare Professional and would like to join us for our upcoming Healthcare Professional Boot Camp we still have a few seats.  Click here to find out more and RSVP.

Jeff Bellomo, Esq.


Mom’s Whimpies (Sloppy Joes)

Sloppy-Joes_3Here’s another one of Mom’s recipes. She called these Whimpies. Others may know them as Sloppy Joes.

Whimpies from Gwen Bellomo


  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 chopped onion

Brown hamburger and chopped onion

  • 1/2 pint chili or mild salsa
  • 1/2 C. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. French’s mustard
  • 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • Could add 1/2 C. Hunt’s tomato sauce to redden the sauce

Combine ingredients in pan with hamburger and chopped onion. Stir and heat until done.  

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