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Health & Balance

8 Reasons To Slooow Down

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7. Slow down for better fitness. continued...

How to take it slow: Try the superslow protocol described above for strength. And if you're trying to increase your distance on the treadmill, slow your pace by about one minute per mile — you'll find you can easily add half a mile. Then, over time, gradually ratchet the tempo back up for the entire run.

Remember, too, that slower activities can burn serious calories. For example, those who practiced yoga regularly for four years were 80 percent more likely to maintain their weight and almost 400 percent more likely to lose pounds than those who didn't do yoga, according to a recent study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Yoga is also calming and helps you live more mindfully even when you're not practicing, which makes it easier to recognize when you start slipping into overdrive throughout the day.

8. Slow down to travel safely.

The leading cause of death in women under age 35 is accidents, mainly car accidents. And one third of all fatal crashes are due to speeding. In fact, driving over 69 mph more than doubles your risk of a fatal car accident, according to a recent Canadian study.

How to take it slow: Easing off the gas pedal is the obvious first step. But how do you fight the urge to stay in the fast lane? Practice the mindful breathing technique described in the "Slow Down to Boost Your Energy" section above. Surf your radio for relaxing tunes. And remember this: If you continue to push the envelope by driving 15 mph over the speed limit, you may get pulled over for speeding, which means you'll end up being late and probably paying a hefty fine — not to mention potentially thousands of dollars in higher car insurance premiums. Just force yourself to get in the car 10 to 15 minutes earlier instead — your health is worth it.

Fast Enough for You?

Here's a snapshot of how hyper our culture has become:

  • The average workweek is 47 hours — up from 34 hours two decades ago.
  • There's no time for home-cooked meals: Children consumed 300 percent more food from fast food restaurants in 1996 than in 1977. Not surprisingly, one-third fewer families report regularly eating together today compared with three decades ago.
  • Most of us get 90 minutes less shut-eye per night than our great-grandparents did.
  • Almost 28 percent fewer families take vacations now than two decades ago.
  • 55 mph was the national speed limit from 1973 to 1995; now, it's 65 mph to 75 mph in most states.

 

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