Your Shoes are Made for Walking!

Finally, spring has sprung in our corner of the country, and we’re seeing a bit more sun between rain showers and wind. At this moment, my hubby is headed home from work. When he walks in the door, we’ll put on our walking shoes and head for the hills. Well, actually, the neighborhood. Can’t wait to enjoy the sunshine and smell the fruit-tree blossoms! If sunshine and flowers aren’t incentive enough for you to put on your walking shoes, here are other reasons to walk.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, a January Parade article reported a study that found “walking six to nine miles a week may stop your brain from shrinking as you age.”

A 2007 MSN Health & Fitness article stated that exercise increases blood flow to all parts of our bodies, including our brains. “Exercise also makes you feel more energetic and alert.”

The You Docs say that “Getting a little sweaty for 30 to 40 minutes a day can multiply the mitochondria in your muscle cells by a big-time 50 percent.” Mitochondria “convert sugars and fatty acids from food into raw power.”

Also from the You Docs: “Walking not only helps keep blood sugar, weight and stress under control, but it can enlarge your hippocampus,” the “part of the brain responsible for the processing and storage of short-term memory.” According to Drs. Oz and Roizen, if we combine walking with healthy diet changes, we can cut our Alzheimer’s risk by 60 percent as well as our risk of catching colds. “People who exercise five or more days a week have 46 percent fewer colds than those who work out once a week or less.”

“Strong muscles help keep joints stable and decrease stress on cartilage, or connective tissue.” (Newport News, VA)

From “Anything that makes bone bear weight is good for bone quality,” said Dr. Kirkham Wood, head of orthopedic spine surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. “All bones—spine bones and big leg bones—will respond to pressure from weight by forming more bone. … It’s the cyclic loading and unloading of weight, not simple compression, that keeps bones strong.”

“Walking is the most popular weight loss activity, and for good reason. It requires no expense or equipment, can be done anywhere and is one of the safest and easiest ways to burn extra calories. Walking is also an ideal way to relieve stress and one of the best ways to get into the habit of exercising.” (March 2010 article, Cox Newspapers)

Slip on your walking shoes and stroll into the sunshine! Enjoy, Becky


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