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No sweat: You don’t need a gym to get your exercise


Something clicked when I woke up this morning and I remembered this is my favorite time of the year.

I love this time of year because some of my favorite foods are arriving at the peak of ripeness in the grocery store. I tend to be old-school and walk to the grocery store on a daily basis, which means that I can’t buy much when I go shopping but I get some exercise.

And even better than a walk to the grocery store is a walk along a fence, where I can find wild asparagus, or along a creek searching for morel and oyster mushrooms. While I don’t recommend foraging for wild mushrooms - most are simply not edible - the wild asparagus is easily identifiable and grows along many of the fence lines near the foothills.

Yes, May is already here and more than 30 percent of 2018 is already behind us: How are you doing with your health-related New Year’s resolutions? Studies show that 80 percent of Americans give up on their New Year’s resolutions after three months, so I thought I would offer a gentle reminder.

If you have been reading my column, you understand that nutrition plays a key role in overall heath. Increasing your intake of vegetables, getting more fiber, eating less fat and eating the appropriate amount of protein are all topics I have covered.

What I have not discussed is exercise.

Exercise is critical to health but you may have a vision of exercise that is physically demanding. It might be refreshing to know that non-strenuous exercise - such as walking, gardening or mowing the lawn - is also beneficial to your health.

In association with National Geographic, Dan Buettner conducted a study on the healthiest and longest-lived people in the world and found that the main form of exercise in these populations was normal human activity. The physical activity of these populations was high, but it was obtained through daily activities like gardening and walking.

Get steps in each hour

Physical inactivity is ranked as the fifth risk factor leading to death according to The Journal of the American Medical Association. Exercise increases your metabolism, which means you will burn more calories even when you are not exercising.

If you own a fitness tracker, there is a reason it reminds you to take at least 250 steps each hour. After 90 minutes without any physical activity, your metabolism slows down to conserve energy. While you are awake, you should strive to walk at least five minutes each hour. For the best health benefits, you should walk at a moderate to fast pace for 45 to 90 minutes per day.

Why not go foraging for wild asparagus, or take a walk with your children or your dog when you get home from work? You don’t need to go to a gym to get exercise.

Paul Webster is certified in Holistic Nutrition, Weight Management, Personal Training, and is a classically trained chef. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media. Questions and Comments can be sent to Info@ServingHealthy.com

Chilled Mushroom and Asparagus Salad


1/2 pound of asparagus
1/2 pound of oyster mushrooms
Juice from 1 small lemon
Juice from 1 small lime

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
2 teaspoons white miso paste

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped


Wash and cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the asparagus, boiling for 2 minutes.

Strain the asparagus and rinse under cold water, set aside.

Thinly slice the mushrooms. Heat a large non-stick over medium high heat and add the sliced mushrooms. Add ¼ cup of water, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, continue to cook for another minute, remove from the heat. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl and add the asparagus and mushrooms. Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days.


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