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Walk Your Way to Better Health

Seniors Walking the Beach

What better way to enjoy the warmer temperatures and longer days that come with spring than going for a walk? Walking has numerous health benefits and is a low impact exercise that you can do almost anywhere. According to the American Heart Association, moderate physical exercise such as walking offers the following health perks:

·  Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

·  Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels

·  Improve blood lipid profile

·  Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity

·  Enhance mental well being

·  Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

·  Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer

·  Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

Walking with friends or a spouse is also a great way to socialize and can help keep both parties accountable. You won’t want to miss a walk for fear of letting your buddy down! If you are trying to lose weight, consider investing in an activity monitor such as the Jawbone UP or Fitbit. These fitness bands help you keep track of how many steps you are taking a day (the general recommendation is for 10,000 steps a day, or roughly 30 minutes of physical activity). But start small—if you currently only walk a few thousand steps a day, aim to increase your distance each week rather than try to set an unrealistic goal when you are starting out.

Still not convinced you need to lace up? Researchers have found that time spent outdoors can actually improve mental performance, which translates into better memory and attention span. What are you waiting for? Grab a friend and hit the pavement!

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