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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kathleen Jones

The Many Benefits of Walking

If you take a walk, you often feel better. Why? How often should you walk? How far should you walk? Outside? Treadmill? Let's explore.

The average American spends 90% of their lives indoors. A study shows that if we just spend a bit more time outside, we will be healthier. Health benefits greatly increase if we spend at least 2 hours outside in nature a week.

Spending time in nature has been shown to decrease BP, improve lung function, helps you manage stress, reduce depression, improve sleep and immune function.

So, if you combine walking with being outside, WOW! The benefits are greatly increased.

Spending time outside soothes the body's stress response system by creating a way for the body to be focused, creative and thoughtful.

Being outdoors helps the body relax by turning on the parasympathetic nervous system.

The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise. You can achieve that by taking a 20-30 minute, quick moving walk. Make it outside and the benefits go way up!

If you walk on a treadmill, that's good, but being outside improves your ability to burn calories, strengthen muscles, improve balance and mobility.

A regular walking routine has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety. If outside you also get the added benefit of getting some Vit D, critical for a healthy mind and immune system.

Exposure to light during the day is critical for healthy sleep cycles and mood balance. Regular walking outdoors promotes this.

Regular walking improves bone health and improves immune function.

Be sure you have good walking shoes and replace often, about every 300 miles.

Look ahead when you walk and keep your posture upright.


Happy Walking!


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