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Tag Archives: Walking

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.

 

 

 

 

Top 7 Views in LA Accessible by Foot

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PIM2581[1]

Winters in Southern California are usually pretty perfect. The air is crisp and the skies are blue making it the perfect time of year for a nice, relaxing hike. So let your inner explorer run wild, and take some time off your busy winter quarter schedule to enjoy some of the best views Los Angeles has to offer. Here are seven of our favorite spots:

1. Runyon Canyon

Runyon Canyon Park, Los Angeles, USA

One thing's for sure: The deeper you go into the hills of LA, the better the view. That's why Runyon Canyon is at the top of our list. This landmark of a hiking trail is notorious for leaving all of its guests in complete awe. Runyon Canyon also has an off-leash dog park so you can bring all your furry friends on the journey!

2000 N Fuller Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90046 | (323) 666-5046 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

2. Yamashiro Restaurant

Another one of our favorites is Yamashiro Restaurant, located in the vibrant community of Hollywood. Besides its breathtaking backdrop, this popular Los Angeles eatery is known for having one of the most stunning environments in the entire city. Equipped with a pagoda, numerous ponds, beautiful gardens, some spectacular dishes, and a marvelous sunset that stretches above the LA metro area to an infinite sky, this spot will soon become the topic of all your conversations. Try your best to get a seat at table 8it’s the best view in the house!

1999 N Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, CA, 90068 | (323) 466-5125 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

3. Griffith Observatory

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Located in the Hollywood Hills just above the Los Feliz neighborhood, this iconic Los Angeles structure offers you one of the best views in town. The observatory provides you with a perfect Instagram worthy view of the Hollywood sign, Downtown LA and, on a clear day, even the Pacific Ocean! Not only do you get to experience a magnificent view, but you also get a chance to visit one of the best museums Los Angeles has to offer, at no cost! If you're up for a good hike, journey down the trail that starts from the Greek Theatre or Fern Dell toward the Observatory. During the weekends, LADOT offers a DASH Observatory Shuttle at a low cost.

2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (213) 473-0800 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

4. OUE Skyspace LA

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If you’d like a 360 degree view of LA, this is most definitely the place for you. The all-new OUE Skyspace LA, California’s tallest open-air observation deck, is located nearly 1,000 feet above the city in the iconic U.S. Bank Tower. The observation terraces cover a complete 2,800 square feet of outdoor space and feature glass balustrades that showcase its spectacular view as far as possible. For the true and honest dare devils, OUE Skyspace LA is also equipped with a “sky slide,” a 45-foot outdoor slide that wraps around the exterior of the tower! Now that’s a view, am I right?

633 West Fifth Street, Suite 840, Los Angeles, CA 9007 | (213) 894- 9000 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

5. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

This recently restored area offers a magnificent view of the Los Angeles basin, the Pacific Ocean and all of its surrounding mountains. Not only does it offer you an amazing scenic view, but it also offers a state-of-the-art visitor center. Baldwin Hills is a great opportunity to enjoy and connect with nature as it's overflowing with many seasonal native wildflowers. If you are looking for a good, fairly easy hike and a great workout, the park's main attraction is its steps, which will take only 20 minutes to climb to the top.

6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA 90232 | (310) 558-5547 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

6. Mount Hollywood

If you still find yourself wanting more amazing sights after your visit to the Griffith Observatory, then a hike up to Mount Hollywood is a definite must. Just head toward the Charlie Turner trail north of the Observatory parking lot and soon you will find yourself with a 360° spectacular view. You will be dazzled by many sights including the famous Hollywood sign, the Los Angeles basin, the San Gabriel Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and the Observatory itself! If you venture up on a clear day you might even be able to catch a sight of Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean. This relatively short and easy hike is definitely a must-do.

2800 E Observatory Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 913-4688 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

7. Barnsdall Art Park

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Located at the crest of Olive Hill and overlooking the city of Los Angeles, Barnsdall Art Park offers you a grand and unique view of Hollywood. Just an easy hike up the hill and you will find yourself reveling in a great view of the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Observatory. The park also offers several unique installments to visitors, including the Hollyhock house, the Los Angeles Municipal Art gallery and the Barnsdall Gallery theater. On certain days you can catch an outdoor screening of your favorite movie or participate in the many activities the park hosts, such as summer wine tastings, a farmer's market and several art classes. When you plan your visit, be sure to catch a view of the sunset from the top of the hill.

4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027 | (323) 660-4254 | Directions via transit from UCLA

 

 

Where Does LA Rank in Walkable Cities?

Woman walking down the street.

Metro areas within the United States are either defined as central city/walkable urban or drivable suburban. Since the suburban sprawl of the 1950s, Americans have been leaving the central city or urban areas for the suburban ones. But according to a new study by the George Washington University School (GWU) of Business, where they ranked walkable urbanism in America's 30 largest metro areas, the end of sprawl is in sight and urban planning is now focusing on creating walkable development instead of drivable suburbs. Here's a closer look at the study defining walkability and finding out where Los Angeles ranked on the list.

What Makes a City Walkable?

A walkable urban development is comprised of four factors: higher development density, mixed-use real estate products, emerging "new" product types and multiple transportation options. The ratio of a building's gross floor area to the size of land which it's built on, or the FAR, is much higher in walkable areas with the ratio ranging between 1.0 and 4.0 compared to the 0.05 to 0.4 range in suburban areas. This means walkable areas make better use of space, building up rather than out and giving pedestrians the ability to cover more ground.

Walkable areas have mixed-use real estate where business and private homes co-mingle, unlike suburban areas where commercial and private properties are segregated. Think gated communities versus strip malls. While an urban area might have rental apartments over a grocery store, the suburbs don't promote "new" product types and everything is fairly standardized throughout the country. Lastly, while cars and trucks are the primary mode of transportation in the suburbs, walkable areas offer multiple options such as bus, train, metro, bicycle lanes and pedestrian-safe sidewalks.

Where Does Los Angeles Rank?

A good way behind the top six most walkable metro areas—New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco—the Los Angeles metro region ranked #17 overall. The study by GWU identified 619 regionally important walkable urban spaces, also known as "WalkUPS," with Los Angeles housing 53 of these neighborhoods. More walkable cities have development momentum and house the most educated and wealthy, which, according to MoveLA, makes LA an anomaly. It's mid-level overall ranking is a result of five additional counties in the region being evaluated with LA county and potentially skewing scores.

Could Los Angeles Be Ranked Higher in the Future?

There is a general shift happening toward more walkable urban areas as seen by forward-looking indicators that consider rent premiums, absorption of individuals

7 Awesome Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk

Woman walking down the street.

Something as easy as putting one foot in front of the other can bring many benefits to your physical and mental health. Don't know what they are? Here's 7 of them.

  1. Your body’s circulation improves. As you already may or may not know, lack of good circulation in your body can lead to life threatening diseases such as Atherosclerosis and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). But what if I told you that walking can help reduce your chances of getting such diseases? As we walk, blood carries oxygen to our muscles, and your muscles learn to use oxygen more efficiently, which leads to better and stronger blood flow all throughout your body.
  1. Your body gets rid of excess fat. Did you know that a brisk 30 minute walk at a pace of 4 mph can help you burn up to 200 calories? That’s equivalent to a cheeseburger from your local fast food restaurant and or one glazed donut! Our bodies burn fat for energy, and as we increase the intensity of our walking pace, our body continues to get rid of those excess calories. So the more we choose to walk, the more often calories burned and pounds dropped.
  1. Your bones get stronger. By age 30, our bones mass peaks and our bones begin to weaken. If we choose to not exercise or stay active, our bones will continue to thin, leading to conditions like osteoporosis. When we walk, the force we exude tugs on our muscles which, in turn, stimulates the formation of bone cells allowing our bones to maintain a strong and healthy status.
  1. Your body get better sleep. Take a walk during your day and say goodbye to counting sheep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, when we walk, our body temperature rises and then falls after completion. This drop in temperature helps promote falling asleep and also decreases the time your body takes to actually fall asleep.
  1. Your heart gets stronger. Our heart is just like our muscles; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. When we choose a simple physical activity like walking, not only does our heart rate increase but also the blood distribution to your legs, body and cells. As you continue to walk, your heart will get stronger and pump more blood with each heartbeat. Pretty soon, the time it takes for your body to fatigue will also increase, meaning that your body will be able to endure longer increments of high-pace activity.
  1. Your chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease decreases. According to a new study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, walking at least six miles a week may protect brain size and preserve memory. When we walk, especially through a familiar path, our brain's memory circuits are strengthened. As such, walking may also slow the decline of Alzheimer's in patients.
  1. You get happier. Walking has also proven to have an impact on our overall mood. How? Well, when walk, our body releases “feel good” hormones called endorphins. When endorphins are released, they act as natural anti-depressants that effectively promote relaxation and even relieve pain. So instead of sitting in your car for hours on end because of traffic, choose to incorporate some walking into your daily commute, and watch as your outlook on daily stresses becomes a bit more optimistic.

 

Pokémon GO Tips: How to Catch Them All

Fullerton, United States - July 13, 2016: Image of people playing pokemon go game on an iphone smartphone devices. Pokemon Go is a popular virtual reality game for mobile devices.

Pokémon GO is officially the most popular app in the history of the U.S.

And while some are decrying how annoying its prevalence can be (there’s that get-off-my-lawn guy and these Sydney residents), some are championing its power of getting people off their butts to explore the city. After all, why is it OK to sit at home and play Candy Crush but not OK to walk around and catch some Pokémon?

Personally, I think it’s awesome. Walking out of a bar at midnight on Friday, I witnessed hordes of kids gathered at a library park talking about a Squirtle they’d just caught down the street. It’s a phenomenon unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my life. And it’s pretty cool to see people from all corners of life bonding over Pikachus and Pokéballs. You can spot a Pokémon trainer a mile away and, for a moment, share a connection amid a world of chaos.

The key to catching Pokémon is to play smart. That rings true when it comes to battling, and it also rings true when it comes to safety. Common sense stuff. Like don’t stand in the middle of the road or crosswalk. Don’t go searching for Pokémon by yourself in dark, sketchy neighborhoods. Don’t Poke and drive.

What you can do, though, is Poke and walk, Poke and bike, and Poke and ride transit. To expand your gaming wisdom, I’ve compiled some safe and sustainable ways to help you Pokémon trainers catch them all.

WalkingPokemon Go App Being Played on iPhone

Who would have thought that all it would take to get Americans walking again would be a virtual reality game about tiny critters?

Getting out of your house and walking around is by far the easiest way to catch some Pokémon. Just remember:

  1. Know where you are at all times and watch where you’re going.
  2. Don’t stand in the middle of the street/crosswalks/driveways.
  3. Don’t hassle business owners .
  4. Respect homeowners’ private property.

Biking

Just like the original Game Boy Pokémon games, having a bike makes everything better. Here’s how to do it without crashing into the first Zubat you see.

  1. Get a phone mount and turn your bike into a Pokemon GO machine like this guy.
  2. Wear a headphone (non-noise-cancelling) so you can rely on the game’s sounds instead of looking down at your screen.
  3. Turn off AR. Your phone is mounted so pointing your camera at Pokémon would require unmounting it every time.
  4. Remember to stop before you catch Pokémon, collect items at PokéStops or battle at gyms.
  5. Avoid high-speed, traffic-laden streets.
  6. Don’t stop your bike in the middle of the road. Pull off to the side before catching that Pidgeotto.

TransitPokemon Go01

Metro brilliantly wasted no time launching its new Twitter account @PokemonGOMetro when the craze first hit. They’re here to help you take transit and catch Pokémon:

  1. @PokemonGOMetro maps the location of PokéStops.
  2. @PokemonGOMetro also provides exclusive Pokémon sightings and tells you how to get there using transit .
  3. Gym battles are best won on foot. Numerous Metro Rail stations serve as “gyms” for training and battling Pokémon.
  4. Stay alert and protect yourself against theft while riding transit
  5. Make sure you make room for those who need access to the space you’re occupying

Happy hunting!