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12th Annual I Heart Walking Kicks off Next Week!


PrintThe weather in LA recently has been perfect for afternoon walks. And we all know the benefits walking can have both physically and mentally. It can elevate your mood, stimulate your creativity, help you lose weight and alleviate your stress. Check out these 24 awesome walking routes around campus. Explore places not accessible by bike or car. It's time to get in the habit of walking more.

And you can start with the 12th Annual I Heart Walking celebration, which is just around the corner. This year, UCLA Recreation will be hosting lunchtime walks Monday, February iheartwalking12 through Thursday, February 15. Those who register and walk will have the chance to win prizes such as an Apple Watch, a FitBit, a $500 Blue Apron gift card and more.

So get out from behind your desks and join your friends and colleagues for a walk around our beautiful campus!

On Monday, February 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., UCLA Health will be providing free health screenings at Pauley Pavilion. Get your blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure checked, and talk to a cardiologist. Register early to reserve an appointment. Space is limited.

The Grand Finale event will be held on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. Attendees who participate in at least two walks can pick up their free I Heart Walking T-shirts, while supplies last.


6 Signs Your Commute is Making You Sick

Frustrated girl in the traffic

Frustrated girl in the trafficAs the average American commute lengthens (it's now a 26-minute drive to work, up 20% since 1980), it is important to consider the adverse effects this traveling can have on your health.

Here are six ways to tell if your commute is negatively impacting your well-being:

1. You're coming down with a cold more often. This due to the fact that you are exposed to many bacteria and viruses in an environment as small and as public as a bus or train.

2. You keep having to set your alarm earlier and earlier. If you’ve ever set your alarm a half-an-hour, an hour, two hours earlier than usual just to “beat traffic”, then you know the taxing weight of sleep deprivation that seems to come with the job. What you may not realize is that sleep deprivation is more than just a nuisance that makes you tired all the time; it can pose serious health risks. LA sleep expert Michael J. Breus, PhD, warns that sleep deprivation “slows our reaction time, and that driving when tired or drowsy is like driving when drunk.” Sleep deprivation also leads to slowed cognition and chronic anxiety.

3. You have a bit of road rage. Sitting in traffic for long periods of time can really grind your gears, which can lead to anxiety. This will also raise your stress levels and, hence, blood pressure, possibly culminating in the development of serious heart issues such as heart attacks and heart disease.

4. The left side of your face is aging faster. Something that may not have crossed your mind before is the fact that while driving, the left side of your face is hit more directly by the sun’s rays than your right side, causing it to age faster. Imagine having wrinkles and dark spots only on the left side of your face.

5. Your commute feels just as long as your work day. Sitting for long periods of time can cause deep venous thrombosis, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. It is advised to “get off of the train a stop or two early to get blood flowing, take a walk at lunch, or if you have a desk job, get up and walk to tell a colleague something instead of sending an email," according to personal trainer Ivica Marc. Follow these steps to help your body recover from sitting all day.

6. Your bicycle has emboldened you. The number of people use bike to work has increased by 64% from 2000 to 2013. That's great news, but it also means an increased risk of accidents and injuries. To minimize this risk, pay attention to the rules of the road and follow them; if you are unfamiliar with them, we encourage you to look them up. And of course, wear the proper safety equipment. Whether you are traveling in your car, by bus, train, or bicycle, we urge you to use your common sense and stay safe.



Why Walking is Better Than Running

Woman walking down the street.

The I Heart Walking celebration is officially underway! Have you registered to walk with fellow Bruins yet? Along with the many awesome prizes you could win, you'd reap other benefits too. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle but hate running, we have good news.

Running and walking are inevitably two of the most effective and popular aerobic exercises out there. They provide a hefty list of health benefits such as a decrease in the probability of developing diabetes, a decrease in developing cancer and heart diseases, and a large improvement in daily energy levels.

They also increase weight loss, improve your daily mood, and help to maintain a healthy regulation of cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

But which one is better?

Here is a list of things that may help you decide.

1. Running has shown to cause damage your heart.

Troponin, a globular protein that allows for muscle contraction and cardiac muscle movement, is vital in the process of maintaining a strong cardiovascular system.

However, in a study reported by the journal Circulation, researchers have proven that running can actually lead to an unhealthy spike in levels of Troponin, causing possible cardiovascular damage.

As part of the experiment, researchers performed an echocardiographic examination of cardiac function in 60 runners who would be participating in the Boston Marathon. The examination was performed a couple minutes before the race and a couple minutes after the race. Once the results were gathered, it was found that around 60 percent of the selected runners showed elevated markers for cardiac stress.

It was also later discovered that around 40 percent of these runners had also developed signs of myocardial necrosis, a damage made to heart muscle cells that is totally irreversible.

2. Walking reduces your chances of developing a serious disease by a higher margin than running does.

In a long term study conducted by Dr. Paul Williams from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, it was discovered that in comparison to running, walking reduced the risk of first-time hypertension by 7.2% while running only reduced it by 4.2%.

Additionally, walking also reduced the risk of first-time high cholesterol by 7% while running only reduced it by 4.3%.

3. Running can cause long term damage to your muscles.

In the American Journal of Sports Medicine published in 2010, researchers sought out to prove whether long-distance running resulted in irreversible articular cartilage damage. With the help from MRI scanning, researchers concluded that tested individuals showed significant increase in biochemical changes in articular cartilage even after three months of reduced activity.

The medial compartment of the knee and the patellofemoral joint showed noticeable wear and tear, suggesting that long-distance running can increase muscle and joint degeneration.

4. More running = more sickness?

Your muscles and heart are not the only thing that a rigorous activity like running can affect. Endurance training at an accelerated rate can also negatively impact your immune system.

Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, found that long intervals of intense activity can increase levels of certain inflammatory proteins that give way for certain viruses to manifest such as the common cold. Therefore, you might get sicker more frequently and more severely than before, if you’re constantly running at a vigorous pase.





Celebrate 11 Years of I Heart Walking!


2017_iheartwalking_banner_600pxThe 11th Annual I Heart Walking celebration is around the corner! This year, UCLA Recreation will be hosting lunchtime walks Monday, February 13 through Thursday, February 16. Those who register and walk will have the chance to win prizes such as an iPad Air 2, a FitBit, Beats wireless headphones, a GoPro camera, a flat screen TV, gift cards and more.

So get out from behind your desks and join your friends and colleagues for a walk around our beautiful campus!

During Tuesday's walk, UCLA Transportation will be showcasing their new all-electric BruinBus as well as handing out free promotional items.

During Thursday's Grand Finale event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., UCLA Health will be providing free health screenings at Pauley Pavilion. Register early to reserve an appointment. Space is limited.

Register now for I Heart Walking 2017:

  • Monday, February 13 — Walks begins at 12:10 p.m. and 12:15 p.m.
    Main campus, top of Janss Steps
  • Tuesday, February 14 — Walks begin at 12:10 pm. and 12:15 p.m.
    Corner of Le Conte and Westwood
  • Wednesday, February 15 — Walks begin at 12:10 p.m. and 12:15 p.m.
    Whole Foods Market in Westwood Village, meet on top level of parking lot
  • Thursday, February 16 — Walks begin at 12:10 p.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1 p.m.
    Pauley Pavilion (north side, closest to Bruin Walk)

PastedGraphic-1Attendees who participate in at least two walks are eligible for a free I Heart Walking T-shirt, which will be distributed during theGrand Finale, while supplies last.

Remember: The more you walk, the more chances you have to win prizes! Sign in at the I Heart Walking table at each location to register to win one of the following prizes:



8 ways riding transit can improve your health



Experts agree there are many health reasons associated with taking public transportation. Using public transit as a part of your daily routine helps reduce crash rates, improves air quality, and positively impacts your health. In addition, public transit is convenient, comfortable, safe and affordable. Here are 8 reasons why you should try transit.


  1. Public transit increases levels of health and fitness – Walking to and from bus stops will help increase your daily exercise. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, adults should average at least 22 minutes daily of moderate physical activity to stay fit and healthy. However, statistics show that on average most Americans only walk 6 minutes per day. On the other hand, people who use public transit walk an average of 19 minutes per day.


  1. Public transit reduces stress – Reading a book, listening to music, or watching the landscape helps one to be more relaxed. In addition, public transit passengers don’t have to pay attention to the road which reduces the stress related to driving.


  1. Public transit reduces isolation – Meeting new people, or talking to friends is a great way to have a fun and entertaining commute.


  1. Public transit allows catching up on lost sleep – Taking a 10 or 20 minutes power nap can be one way to treat sleep deprivation. According to, researchers have found that napping regularly may reduce stress and even decrease your risk of heart disease. The length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap is good for alertness and motor learning skills such as typing and playing the piano.


  1. Public transit reduces air pollution – Public transit moves people efficiently while producing significantly less air pollution than individual drivers in vehicles.


  1. Public transit allows fewer crashes – Car crashes are one of the greatest cause of death for teenagers and young adults into their 20s and 30s. Public transportation allows those inexperienced drivers to travel safely.


  1. Public transit saves money - Bus fare is significantly cheaper than the cost of driving.


  1. Public transit reduces healthcare costs - Public transit can improve your health and reduce healthcare costs. Poor physical activity contributes to numerous health problems such as high blood pressure and obesity, causing an estimated 200,000 annual deaths in the U.S., and significantly increasing medical costs. According to the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, adults who exercise regularly average $1,019 in medical costs annually, an impressive 32% lower than those who are sedentary ($1,349 per year).