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Boston News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and Boston's Best

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    Growing up in the small Massachusetts town of Westford, I enjoyed being involved in athletics just like any young child would be.  I actively participated in the recreational sports such as soccer, baseball, basketball and lacrosse. As much as I enjoyed these sports I openly hated the act of running. I chose to play goalie and forward in soccer so I could limit the use of my legs as much as possible. In lacrosse I played defense because I could camp around the net and avoid running up and down the field. It was no secret to my coaches and parents that I hated running. My father would always try to find ways to make me more active, he loved the fact that I was interested in sports but wished I showed more desire to run. When my father was younger he ran the Toronto Marathon and attempted the Boston Marathon, but was unable to finish due to cramping.

    The first time I ran a road race was when I was about 16 years old. Each summer my town puts on a series of 5k runs, I never had any interest in running these until one day my father gave me a proposition. He offered me an ice cream sundae if I ran in the race. I jumped at this proposition because the sundae would be from Kimballs Farm in Westford, this offer was just to good to pass up. The day of the race I went into it looking forward to my post race treat not understanding what I would be going through. I had never ran three miles in my life, so this would be a first. I showed up, grabbed my number and was ready to go.

    Their were about 200 people running in the 5k this day. I was placed in the first wave as a registered on race day, when the gun went off I was on my way. Soon after the start I was already walking, so lets just say the final results were not good. I finished the race that day in second to last place. The only person I beat was a lady who was about 65 years old, and the only reason I beat her was because she stopped to walk with me. This 5k run was one of the worst things physically I ever got involved with when I was growing up. I hated every second of that run, but at least I got a Kimball’s sundae out of it.

    Now lets jump ahead 7 years in my life. I am now 23 years old and 2 weeks away from my first ever marathon. on April 19th, 2010 at 10:30 am I will begin my 26.2 trek from Hopkinton to Boylston st in Boston when I run in the 114th Boston Marathon while running to help find a cure for Cancer with Dana Farber. Between that 5k when I was 16 to the time I chose to run the marathon, not much changed. I still despised running and didn’t enter another race until after I was accepted to the DANA FARBER MARATHON CHALLANGE (DFMC).

    I first chose to run the marathon in July through Dana Farber because I wanted to make a difference in others lives by doing my part by helping to find a cure for cancer. Last year while watching the marathon from my Beacon St apartment in Brookline, my first aspirations to run Boston developed. Finally I made the decision to send my application into Dana Farber to run the marathon in the memory of my great-uncle and my grandfather, who both passed away after a long struggle with cancer. I also chose to run and honor a high school classmate who was able to overcome his battle with cancer. After a long wait I received my acceptance and was now part of the DFMC team. I set my fundraising goal and was now on my way with training and to do my part to help find a cure for Cancer

    More coming later this week on what it takes to train to run 26.2 miles, and what the experience is like running on behalf of Dana Farber and running for a cure. To make a donation please visit http://www.runDFMC.org/2010/gregc

    Every penny counts.


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    BOSTON (CBS) — “You gotta run facing traffic. You gotta keep your head up and pay attention.” They’re the running rules of the road from a veteran marathoner.

    With marathon training in full swing, the snow piles growing and sidewalks vanishing runners are being forced into the streets. So those rules are even more important because every step is a risk.

    Jeff Larson, the spokesperson for the L Street Running Club in South Boston, says, “I always have close calls. You have people on cell phones talking; we’re sharing a lot less space on the road. Everyone has a story of how dangerous it is and almost being hit.”

    L Street Running Club sounded the warning via email giving marathoners tips to stay safe on the road.

    • You have to run facing traffic so you can anticipate any problems
    • You have to stop when crossing the street
    • Be very aware of being visible

    The safest place to run is on the sidewalk if it’s an even surface and clear of snow, but right now that’s pretty tough.

    WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.

    Billy Hartford is an avid runner and owner of South Boston Running Emporium. He says if you’re hitting the pavement with all of this white you have to run bright. Hartford says, “The orange and yellow gear are particularly popular, especially with the snow flying. You’ve got to wear reflective and assume they don’t see you.”

    If you’re training for the marathon it’s a challenging year. Larson says, “If you can run through this stuff you can run a marathon.”


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    BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Marathon is two weeks away and among the many first-timers running this year will be the 15 men and women representing “Back On My Feet.” It’s an organization with a unique approach to helping the homeless.

    “Back On My Feet” is made up of volunteers working with residents from local shelters, helping the homeless re-start their lives.

    The program helps them train for jobs and find homes, and the early morning runs are a big part of the program.

    “I personally think running has great benefits for your mental health and your overall well being,” said Matthew Kennis, who volunteers for “Back On My Feet.”

    WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports.

    Mike Adams, who is a resident at St. Francis House, adds, “Not only do we run, but we have to talk when we run — how you’re doing, how’s things going in your life.”

    Members of the group say they they’re happy to be part of a group.

    Steve Karagiozis is one of them. He has struggled with alcohol and drug problems and lives at the Boston Rescue Mission. He says “Back On My Feet” has helped keep him sane and sober.

    But everyone involved admits that the idea of a 5 a.m., three mornings a week, wasn’t an easy sell.

    Team members say it’s “brutal,” and can be cold, dark and windy. And it’s tough getting up at all. But they all get each other through it.

    “It’s given me perspective on my life,” said “Back On My Feet” member Jon Bordeau. “It’s gotten me in better shape. I’ve interacted with people I wouldn’t have otherwise. It’s been a privilege.”

    Some of the group’s leaders say they’ve seen members go on and get jobs, and housing, and be successful. They like to believe some of the motivation comes from running. They want to be a better person and try harder.

    “Back On My Feet” began in Philadelphia, and expanded to Boston last year. The group’s working with about 50 people at six Boston shelters.

    For more information, log on to www.BackOnMyFeet.org


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    WAKEFIELD (CBS) – Sean Devan prepared Friday night for a 12 hour run.

    He joined hundreds of other runners in Wakefield as they do several three-mile laps around scenic Lake Quannapowitt, but Sean’s not just running for physical fitness, he’s doing it for charity, benefiting Lazarus House, a local ministry in Lawrence serving the poor.

    WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

    Sean planned to cover about 70 miles over the 12 hours.

    With every step, he’ll be thinking about the people he’s helping.

    Sean has run five marathons and completed one 50 mile run, but this he says will be even tougher.

    To donate visit LazarusHouse.org


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    BOSTON (AP) – Registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon is closed, and organizers say the new system is a success.
     
    More than 20,000 entrants have signed up through a rolling admission that was weighted according to their qualification times. The new system was created after the 2011 race filled up in just eight hours, and many would-be runners were left out. The previous record for the race filling up was more than two months.
     
    The Boston Athletic Association changed the first-come, first-served system it had always used to allow those with the better times to register first. Nearly 15,000 runners have been notified that they’re in, and more than 5,000 more will hear next week.
     
    The 116th edition of the world’s oldest annual 26.2-mile run is April 16.

    (© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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    BOSTON (CBS) – Former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi finished his first half marathon Sunday.

    He ran the Boston Half Marathon with his wife Heidi in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 5 seconds.

    The race was run through the Emerald Necklace park system in Boston and Brookline.

    More than 5000 finishers completed the 11th Annual B.A.A. Half Marathon, which is the B.A.A.’s second-largest event next to the B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon.


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    BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of runners are celebrating a milestone, marking 40 years since women were officially allowed to run in the Boston Marathon.

    Of course, there were women pioneers out there running Boston before it was official.

    Roberta Gibb’s heart led her to Boston. Running the marathon was a special goal particularly after she was denied an official number.

    In 1966 Gibb became the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon. Back home in California, after the race that achievement ran head-on into reality.

    “All of the reporters were at my house,” recalls Gibb. “They wanted me to put on the dress and cook fudge so they could say the shapely blonde housewife, which is what they called me, was a real woman.”

    Conventional wisdom held that running was dangerous for women and could affect fertility. That didn’t worry Sara Mae Berman. By the time she started running she had three kids. Her husband was her coach and her biggest supporter. He told her she could be a pioneer.

    “(Roberta) was a pioneer, I was a pioneer, all of the early women marathoners, we were all pioneers,” says Berman.

    These days, thousands of women run Boston, owing no small debt to these two pioneers who are beyond glad that both attitudes and clothing have changed so much in 40 years.

    “They didn’t have jog bras,” says Roberta. “I wore a tank top bathing suit. I wore my brother’s Bermuda shorts tied with a string.”

    And what advice would they give this year’s runners?

    “Follow your passion, do what you love and run as fast as you can run,” says Gibb.

    “It’s a joyful experience to be among the sports people that are sharing this wonderful physical experience,” says Berman.


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    A new year brings new opportunities, and perhaps 2013 will be your year to embrace fitness. Mark DiBattista, a certified personal trainer and branch manager at Beacon Hill Athletic Club’s Cleveland Circle location, has trained clients for 14 years. He suggests you either plan your fitness routine around a sport or seasons. Here DiBattista offers his best tips for getting fit, all with Boston flavor.
    (File photo credit EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    (File photo credit EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

    Go For A Run
    Boston is known as a running city, and it boasts no shortage of locations to do it. Some great spots around town include the Charles River Esplanade, Harbor Walk and Castle Island. A favorite location of DiBattista’s, Castle Island, offers a flat course with picture perfect views of the water. The waterfront breeze gives great resistance during a run. In addition, DiBattista also suggests a jog along the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail. “There’s a line on the ground that tells you where to go,” he says. You can learn a lot about Boston’s history and get a great workout at the same time.

    Related: A Guide to Running Hot Spots in Boston

    (File photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

    (File photo by Darren McCollester/Newsmakers)

    Row OnThe Charles River With Community Rowing
    Community Rowing
    20 Nonantum St.
    Newton, MA 02458
    (617) 779-8267
    www.communityrowing.org

    One of the benefits of living in Boston is the opportunity to be near the Charles River. DiBattista highly recommends an organization called Community Rowing. Conveniently located on the Charles Rivers, Community Rowing offers great programs to teach you everything you need to know about rowing. “Rowing is a great cardiovascular workout and also builds strength,” says DiBattista. Available options are to join a team, rent boats or take lessons.

    Photo Credit: Leslee Masten

    Photo Credit: Leslee Masten

    Try A Figure 8
    Boston Frog Pond
    84 Beacon St.
    Boston, MA 02108
    (617) 635-2120
    www.bostonfrogpond.com

    Click here for prices.

    Don’t let the cold weather keep you from exercising outdoors. This winter, vary your fitness routine and try figure skating. Options are available to skate both indoors and out. DiBattista recommends the Frog Pond at the Boston Common. There are also rinks that are sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. He says, “For something like $4 a visit, it’s not an expensive activity.”

    Related: Boston’s Best Places To Go Outdoor Ice Skating

    Exercise

    (credit: Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Calisthenics At Home
    If you are on a tight budget, DiBattista says you can reap the benefits of weight training without joining gym. He suggests performing simple calisthenic exercises at home. Using a chair or bench, perform arm dips and pushups. To incorporate cardio, try step ups with a low bench or a high curb. “Resistance training is important,” he says.

    (Photo from Social Boston Sports/Facebook)

    (Photo from Social Boston Sports/Facebook)

    Get Fit And Social With Social Boston Sports
    Social Boston Sports
    www.socialbostonsports.com

    One of the easiest ways to get fit and stay committed is to make it social, said DiBattista. Social Boston Sports offers team sports to young professional and adults year round. As the manager of a fitness club, DiBattista said he can’t help but recommend joining a gym, especially if it’s in your budget. In addition, gyms offer more than just cardio equipment and resistance training. Many Boston-based gyms incorporate the activities listed above, including fitness classes – which are easier for meeting new people to help hold you to a routine. The majority of Beacon Hill Athletic Club locations offer a variety of classes including spinning, yoga, kickboxing and martial arts.

    Cristy is a city dwelling enthusiast, an arts, culture, and technology lover, and an all around curious person. As an examiner, she covers all things Boston. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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    BOSTON (CBS) – From Hopkinton to Boston icy sidewalks and tall snow banks do not throw Boston Marathon runners off course.

    “You have to watch out for the ice because a lot of people did not clear it,” runner Bronwen Price Dierksen said.

    Chris Johnson is training for his 7th Boston Marathon.

    “I fell yesterday on some black ice under the fresh snow,” Johnson said.

    Last year New England hardly received any snow. This year Boston is covered in more than 24 inches of fresh packed snow.

    “This year training is a lot different and a lot of icy mornings too,” Johnson said.

    On Monday, runners in Wellesley were caught between a snow bank and busy traffic.

    “True New Englanders always prepare in some of the best and worse training conditions. It’s all a part of the Boston Marathon experience,” runner and trainer Patrick Joyce said.

    Joyce says in these snowy conditions runners need to train defensively.

    “You don’t want to injure yourself by slipping on the ice so you really got to be careful where you are stepping. And you always want to run against the traffic so you can see what’s coming at you,” Joyce said.


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    BOSTON (CBS) – A smile spreads across Lt. Colonel Rodney Freeman’s face as images of Shadow Marathons flash across a screen.

    “I didn’t realize how big this event had gotten,” he said.

    Freeman started the Shadow Race when he was stationed in Iraq in 2005.

    “I was training to qualify for runs in Boston in 2005. My unit got called and we went to Iraq and that was the end of my chance of running,” he explained.

    With that goal seemingly on hold, Freeman decided to run the race in Iraq. He enlisted a few buddies to run around the base with him.

    That’s when he emailed the people at Boston Athletic Association. They encouraged him to find more runners.

    “It became this great event that ballooned from three or four of us to 350 people running.”

    The B.A.A. sent supplies like t-shirts, medals and certificates for the first Boston Marathon Shadow Race.

    The event got so big, Freeman didn’t get to run because he was too busy organizing.

    The day before the race there was a sandstorm. At the starting line it was 60 degrees but by the time it was over, it was 130 degrees.

    But what started as one man’s dream – wound up fulfilling hundreds of others.

    Since then, more than 3,000 men and women have received Boston Marathon medals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Thursday night as Marathon weekend kicked off, Freeman was honored with the Patriot Award, a title he’d earned with his service but now lives on with his legacy.

    “What I found after the race, was people would say that was great because I got to share a positive with my family back home,” he said.

    Freeman finally got to finish the Boston Marathon by crossing the finish line on Boylston Street in 2006. He said it was a pinnacle moment in his life.


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  • 04/28/13--21:01: VIDEO: Lenox Walking Club
  • Meet the employees of the Lenox Hotel Walking Club and learn how your workplace can join!

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    Helpful advice on how to walk smart.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    Join the club and walk around Boston! This music video will encourage you to get up and move.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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  • 04/28/13--21:04: Walking For Weight Loss
  • The chart below reflects the number of calories burned per 30 minutes of activity. Find your approximate weight on the chart, and then match your weight to how fast you typically walk. This will tell you how many calories you burn for every half-hour of walking.

    (Credit: Thinkstock)

    (Credit: Thinkstock)

    For example, if you weigh 165 lbs and walk at a rate of four miles per hour, you will burn 170 calories every 30 minutes that you walk.

    To lose one pound (by exercise only) you need to expend 3,500 calories. The goal for weight loss is .5 to 2 lbs a week; if you are losing more than 2 pounds a week, you are probably losing water weight. You could also be losing lean muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism. When your metabolism slows down, you burn fewer calories at rest.

    150lbs 200lbs 250lbs 300lbs
    2.0 mph 85 kcal 114 kcal 142 kcal 170 kcal
    3.0 mph 113 kcal 150 kcal 188 kcal 225 kcal
    3.5 mph 130 kcal 173 kcal 216 kcal 259 kcal
    4.0 mph 170 kcal 227 kcal 284 kcal 341 kcal
    4.5 mph 215 kcal 286 kcal 358 kcal 430 kcal
    5.0 mph 272 kcal 363 kcal 454 kcal 545 kcal

     

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    Feeling a little down in the dumps? It turns out that a modest exercise program — even just taking regular walks — can improve your mood significantly.

    Photo Credit: ThinkStock

    Photo Credit: ThinkStock

    “There has been a lot of debate about whether exercise is helpful for mood and it turns out that it is,” says Dr. Michael C. Miller, member of the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.

    “In some ways, exercise at a certain level can actually be, for some people, the equivalent to taking an antidepressant,” he says. “The problem is that it is a lot easier to take an antidepressant than to go on a regular exercise program.”

    For that reason, Dr. Miller recommends people who want to boost their mood by exercising pick a program that is easy and enjoyable for them to do for an extended period of time. For many people, that is regular walks.

    “Don’t discourage yourself by trying to do more than you can do,” he says. “It’s not all or nothing. For the average sedentary person, even walking ten minutes a day is helpful. When it comes to mood improvements, anything you do counts. Those who have studied this have learned that it’s not how much you do, but how persistent you are. People begin to see benefits after two months of any kind of sustained activity.”

    Simple strategies may include parking a little farther away from your place of work than usual or walking up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator.

    Dr. Miller says the mood benefits of modest exercise such as walking are not the same as the “runner’s high” that comes with a release of endorphins following a rigorous workout. “Very few people actually achieve that,” he says, noting that this type of a mood boost is similar to the sense of well-being a person feels after taking a low dose of an opiate pain killer, like codeine or Percocet.

    The mood benefits of regular, modest exercise, including walking, are different. The effect is that the brain seems to function better on a variety of levels.

    For one thing, regular exercise increases blood and energy flow to the brain, improving mental acuity.

    A 1999 study of people over 60 found that walking 45 minutes a day at a 16-minute mile pace increased their thinking skills. Subjects started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that they were found to be mentally sharper after taking up the walking program.

    For another, genes in nerve cells that signal the production of proteins that promote nerve cell growth seem to work more efficiently with exercise.

    “The brain’s nerve cells are more robust, they branch out and make connections more easily, particularly those in the parts of the brain that grow when you take an antidepressant,” Dr. Miller says.

    “We don’t know exactly how this happens,” he concedes. “But from the evidence of images of the brain taken before and after exercise, there seems to be improvement in areas of the brain responsible for regulating mood.”

    Even a single exercise session can produce improvements. A study by University of Texas researchers had people with major depressive disorders either rest quietly or walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes and tested their mood afterwards. Both groups saw improvements in mood, but those who walked on the treadmill had more positive feelings of well-being and vigor. The study was published in the December 2005 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

    But Dr. Miller warns that exercise may not be a realistic treatment for severe depression. For one thing, “it’s difficult to get motivated to do anything when you are that depressed,” he says. That’s why those who are severely depressed should talk to their doctor, he says. They may need to try antidepressants or talk therapy or both.

    “But in terms of general health, there is virtually no downside to exercise. It seems to make your brain work better,” he says. “It gives your brain needs with very few side effects.”

    Want to start an exercise routine? Try walking. Join the BIDMC Walking Club and get a cool wristband, tips, and a FREE pedometer app for your phone to get you started.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    When you’re in the shoe store trying to select a comfortable walking shoe, you may feel like you’re looking for the needle in the haystack. Leather, nylon and canvas… cross trainers or running shoes… where do you begin?

    (Photo credit: BIDMC)

    (Photo credit: BIDMC)

    How to choose a comfortable walking or jogging shoe is one of the questions Dr. John M. Giurini is asked most often by patients seeking foot and ankle care in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Division of Podiatry, which he heads.

    “When talking to patients about shoes, I rarely recommend specific brands because everyone’s foot is different. You want to pick the shoe that best fits your foot,” he says.

    But Dr. Giurini does recommend the following tips to help you select shoes that are right for you:

    Go with a tie shoe — A tie shoe is better than a sandal or slip on. It’s more secure than shoes with Velcro closures, though those shoes are fine for people who have difficulty tying laces or bending over. “Tie shoes keep the foot from sliding around. The laces add stability and support,”he says.

    Make sure the shoe fits — “Buying shoes too long and too big can be just as bad as buying them too small,” Dr. Giurini says. “Your foot can slide and your feet won’t have the right support.” How can you tell if the shoe is the right size? The end of the shoe should be one-half thumb’s width from the tip of the longest toe. “The longest toe is not necessarily the big toe,” he adds. Be sure you can move your toes freely in the toe box and that your toes are not too confined. Allow extra room for hammertoes or bunions. You don’t want to get blisters on your toes or cause trauma to a nail, such as a hematoma, or blood under a toenail.

    Have your feet measured every two to three years — “Just because you were a size 10 five years ago doesn’t mean you still are that size. Feet can shorten or widen over time,” he says. You might have to visit several stores before you find one where they measure your feet, but it will be worth the trip. In addition, have your feet measured in mid-afternoon or early evening. “Feet may swell and be larger later in the day and it may affect the size you buy.”

    Make sure the shoe is well constructed — Look for a rigid heel at the back of the shoe that will support the heel and control motion of the foot. Make sure the outer sole has a shock absorbent, non-skid surface so you don’t slip and fall. Most sneakers have this and you’ll need it for cushioning the foot when walking or running. Don’t confuse cost for quality. “You don’t have to spend $100 or more. You can get a good quality shoe for $40-50,” he says.

    Try shoes on with the right socks — If you are going to use the shoe for walking, try them on with a sock you typically wear for walking. You may want to try socks with extra padding in the heel or ball of the foot to provide more support and cushioning and reduce friction when you are walking or running. Look for a sock that does not absorb moisture, which can lead to athlete’s foot, but instead directs the moisture out of the sock, away from the foot. Dr. Giurini generally recommends white rather than colored socks because dyes can irritate skin or cause allergic reactions in patients with sensitive skin.

    Pick a sneaker to match your activity — For walking, pick a running shoe or a walking shoe. Running shoes are made of a combination of leather and nylon and are lightweight. They have spongy, soft soles and offer support for one-direction running. “For a racquet sport like tennis and basketball, choose a sturdier cross trainer shoe that provides more support for side-to-side action,” he advises. Cross trainers usually are made of leather and are heavier, offering more stability and support.

    If you have a wide or narrow foot, look for a brand that comes in different widths — Not many sneakers do, but at least one well-known local athletic shoe manufacturer makes sneakers in a variety of widths.

    Break new shoes in gradually — Begin by wearing them for short periods; don’t wear them all day. Check your feet for irritations.

    If you have diabetes, regularly inspect your feet. — People with diabetes can lack sensation or have poor circulation in their feet. They must take extra care to check their feet for blisters or sores requiring prompt attention.

    “If you follow these tips you will end up with a good quality walking shoe that you will be happy with,” Dr. Giurini says.

    To make an appointment with the foot and ankle experts in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Division of Podiatry, call (617) 632-8428.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    If you want to stay fit, lose weight or just feel better mentally, there’s an easy and inexpensive way to do it — go for a daily walk. But who walks more? And where do they walk?

    (Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

    (Photo Credit: Thinkstock)

    Several members of BIDMC’s Walking Club recently were asked to wear a pedometer supplied by BIDMC for one day to measure the number of steps they took, and were told to make it a typical day, with instructions not to try to walk any more than on any usual day.

    Richard Vellante, 49, executive chef and executive vice president of restaurants at Legal Sea Foods, logged 5,817 steps — or about two miles.

    “Walking is not only a necessity for my work, but it also provides me with an alternative means of travel from restaurant to restaurant,” he says. “Many times I choose to walk 15 minutes instead of drive. Fresh air and ‘down time’ help me recharge for a long work day.”

    DeShawn Jones, a 12-year-old from Dorchester, reported walking 22,160 steps on his day — more than 10 miles.

    “I arrived at school at about 6:50 a.m., and walked around the building a couple of times, before going inside and walking up and down the halls throughout my school day,” he says. “I played football at lunch, practiced basketball after school, and exercised on the treadmill for 45 minutes at night.”

    Kristi Cullinane, 36, of Rockland, a stay-at-home mom for three-year-old triplets, said she took 13,092 steps on her day. She says this included 60 minutes of Zumba, grocery shopping and household activities such as laundry, cooking and straightening up her home.

    “If I’m not doing something, that means I’m not being as productive as possible,” she says.

    Former Red Sox lefthander Bill Lee and his wife, Diana, reported that they each walked just over 15,000 steps on their day to wear the pedometers. This included going for a walk in the hills of Marin County, California, going to the market, the civic center and the library, as well as attending a high school baseball game.

    “There should be mandatory pedometer-wearing,” he says. “The competitive nature of mankind would encourage people to walk farther.”

    Walking on a regular basis is associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels, enhancing mental well being and lowering the risks of obesity, osteoporosis, breast cancer and diabetes, according to the American Heart Association.

    “Walking is an easy way for people to start exercising,” says Dr. Joseph P. Kannam, cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and Chief of Cardiology at BIDMC-Needham.

    “All you need is a pair of sneakers,” he says. “There are so many benefits.”

    Dr. Kannam stresses that the benefits are greatest when the walk is at a brisk pace that leaves the walker flushed or sweaty. “When you are walking briskly, you are going to expend more calories and you are going to get your heart rate going faster,” he says.

    He says people should walk briskly for 30 minutes five times a week.

    Including steps up hill — up stairs or hills or inclines — is even more beneficial, he says. “But we’re not saying that everyone has to walk up stairs,” he says. “Just get started on a walking program. And don’t use weather as an excuse.”

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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  • 04/28/13--21:09: Why Run When You Can Walk?
  • You’re out enjoying a nice, brisk walk. Your heart is pumping. Your muscles are feeling good. Then, you see people running past you. They are faster, their workout seems better. And you think: should I be running, too? But before you break into a run, here’s some interesting news.

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock

    Photo Credit: Thinkstock

    A new study published in the American Heart Association (AHA) journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology  found that walkers lowered their risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes just as much as runners.

    Walking and running involve the same muscle groups and the same motions — though at different intensities — which could be the reason both forms of exercise improve health. So, if you are a walker and you expend the same amount of energy as a runner, you have pretty much the same benefits. The more one walks or runs, the greater their health benefits.

    This is great news because not everyone is a runner but almost everyone walks. Walking is easy to start and easy to stick to. You can walk at any age. You can walk when pregnant. You can walk without hurting your knees. You can walk with your dog. And best of all, you can walk if you hate to go to the gym and lift weights and work out on the tired old treadmills.

    “At the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, cardiologists routinely advise patients to walk for heart health,” says Joseph P. Kannam, MD, a CVI cardiologist in Boston and chief of cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham. “This is because studies have shown that walking has the highest stick-to-it rate of any form of fitness, while conferring similar cardiovascular benefits. Exercise is like the lottery – you can’t win if you don’t play.”

    What are the benefits of walking?

    • More than 250 minutes per week can provide clinically significant weight loss or can prevent you from regaining any weight you might have lost
    • Walking at 30 minutes most days of the week can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
    • Walking can lift your mood. For some people, especially those who are really committed to daily exercise, it’s almost equivalent to taking an antidepressant.
    • Walking is not only good for your heart and your mood, it’s also good for your brain. There’s more and more evidence that exercise staves off memory loss.

    Want to start walking? Here’s how you can get started.

    Walk with a friend. You’ll keep each other motivated. And join The Walking Club at BIDMC. Simply sign up and we’ll send you a welcome brochure with a membership wrist band. That’s not all, as a member of The Walking Club, there are a lot of resources for you.

    1. FREE Pedometer App — We all know that walking 10,000 steps a day is recommended. So count your steps. Because every step counts. Whether you are going to get your morning coffee or walking the dog. You can download the App on your iPhone or Android.
    2. Walking Prescription Pad — Answer these questions and this tool will give you a general idea of how much you should walk for better health based on your age, fitness, etc.
    3. A walking path — And if you are wondering where to walk, we will even help you find a walking path near you.  The American Heart Association (AHA) created this helpful page for you. New paths are constantly being added.
    4. Music to keep you moving — If you have some favorite tunes to get you moving, then you will love Walking Around Boston. Just download and walk.
    5. Join the Boston Heart Walk —  Each year, over 10,000 people gather at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade for a Heart Walk. This year the walk is on Saturday, September 7. This is a free event but you can also fund raise. You can form a team with your family, friends and colleagues and join the walk. Join the BIDMC team. You’re invited.

    Now that we know that walking is just as good as running for your health, here are a few more things to know.

    You can start walking even if you have previously been sedentary — just check with your doctor. Even a moderate paced walk for about 3 hours a week (just about 30 minutes a day) is known to improve health risks.  Before you start walking, or even if you have been walking for a while, check your shoes. Pick a pair of well-fitting shoes that give you arch support and cushioning.

    So, now that you have all the tools and the tips, lace up your sneakers and take a walk.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    Technology can help improve many activities, even something as simple as walking. Adding a walking routine may be the easiest positive change you can make to improve your health, and a variety of technologies can help make it interesting, fun, and rewarding. And even if you don’t have a walking partner, various apps can make your walks “social”.

    BIDMC Walking Club Pedometer App (Credit: BIDMC)

    BIDMC Walking Club Pedometer App (Credit: BIDMC)

    “Some of the tips I give to patients in terms of walking and exercise in general include setting a goal and letting people know about it, asking for help and feedback, exercising with friends or in a social group, tracking progress, and recognizing progress. All of these can be achieved or enhanced with technology,” says Kathleen Shillue, PT, DPT, OCS, who is a rehabilitation manager and physical therapist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

    Shillue gives several examples, including the Nike sport kit that has a sensor you put in your running shoe to track your progress. Also, the free BIDMC Walking Club Pedometer app tallies your steps as you walk and gives you feedback about not only steps, but also speed, miles traveled, calories spent, and other stats. It can even follow you on a map. “There are also free phone apps that let you set goals and track your progress, and they also can give you feedback and motivation to continue,” she says. Some of the apps—such as Fitocracy and Endomondo—are linked to social networks so your information is reported and others can give you feedback and support.

    “One of the things to think about is how much interaction you want to have with others: do you want info to post automatically to Facebook or do you want to keep it private?” advises Shillue. Also, consider how much information you’d like to collect: some people like tracking all of their data, while others may want an app or sensor to provide information as daily or weekly totals. “For the free apps anyway, it’s not too hard to try them and if you don’t like them, delete them off the phone,” says Shillue.

    You can also go online to find walking partners who may not be in your current social circle The BIDMC Walking Club is a great way to get started.

    Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

    Posted: May 2013


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    BOSTON (CBS) – There will be parking restrictions on several streets in Boston Sunday morning for the B.A.A. 10K.

    The race starts at 8AM and an estimated 6,000 runners will participate.

    Temporary Tow Zone No Stopping Boston Police Special Event, Sunday,6 AM to 12 noon parking restrictions will be implemented at the following locations:

    • Bay State Road, both sides, from Charlesgate West to Granby Street, metered parking spaces only
    • Beacon Street, Public Garden side, from Charles Street to Arlington Street
    • Boylston Street, Public Garden side, from Arlington Street to Charles Street
    • Commonwealth Avenue, northside of westbound roadway, from Granby Street to Alcorn Street
    • Granby Street, both sides, from Bay State Road to Commonwealth Avenue

    CHECK: 10K Road Race Course

    Also, Tow Zone No Stopping Boston Police Special Event, Sunday, 12:01AM to 12 Noon parking restrictions will be implemented at the following location:

    • Charles Street, both sides, from Boylston Street to Beacon Street

    Runners will gather on Charles Street near the Public Garden center gate to start the race.

    For more information visit: www.cityofboston.gov


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