About Lynn

lynn jaffeeLynn Jaffee is a licensed acupuncturist and the author of the book, Simple Steps: The Chinese Way to Better Health, a clear and concise explanation of Chinese medicine for the lay person. She is co-author of the book, The BodyWise Woman, a personal health manual for physically active women and girls. Read more about Lynn...

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Take a Walk!

Most health experts will tell you the the magic bullet (if there were such a thing) to good health and permanent weight loss is exercise plus eating healthfully. Unfortunately, many people get hung up on one or even both of these points, especially finding a way to get regular exercise.

The good news is that regular exercise can be as easy as taking a walk. That’s right, what most of us do on a regular basis, but a little more of it. Walking can improve the health of your heart and lungs, help prevent osteoporosis, tone your muscles, and clear your head. Two more selling points are that it can be done anywhere and with a minimum amount of equipment–just a good pair of lightweight and durable walking shoes.

In Chinese medicine, movement is an important component of good health. Moderation is also a key step to living healthfully, and walking fits this description on both counts; it is moves your entire body, and it’s a moderate way to exercise with minimal wear and tear on your body.

The easiest way to get started in a walking routine is to incorporate it into your regular activities. Park a little further away from your office, walk to the grocery store, or walk with your friends instead of having coffee. If you’re new to any kind of exercise, start slowly, maybe walking ten minutes to begin and work your way up to walking longer times and further distances.

If you’re having trouble staying motivated, change your route, walk in a nearby park, take a hike in the woods, or walk with a friend. Having someone to walk with and talk to will make your walk more pleasant and make the time go faster.

Keep your stride comfortable, and try to keep your back straight to avoid injuries. Once you become comfortable walking 20 to 30 minutes, pick up the pace. Ultimately, to get the most benefit from walking, you should aim to cover a mile in about 12 minutes. Keep your arms bent at a 90 degree angle and move them faster, which will cause you to pick up the pace.

Like Chinese medicine, walking is simple, natural and effective–you don’t need a gym membership, expensive equipment, or a computerized training plan to make it work for you. You were meant to walk–give it a try.

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