A regular walking routine can take you places…like the intersection of health and wellness.
(As seen in the Sun City West Independent.)
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres once said “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.”
Humor is good for our health but even better is a brisk daily walk. Here are four ways that walking puts you on a firm path to physical and psychological health.
1. You can walk your way to happiness. Studies show that walking lifts your mood and reduces stress by releasing endorphins, known as the “happy hormones.” Walking also can give you a feeling of accomplishment, which increases self-esteem.
2. A small amount of physical activity each day can produce substantial health benefits for people who are physically inactive. Walking is a good way to get started because it doesn’t require any special equipment and you can walk almost anywhere. Start slow and gradually build up to a moderate pace for 150 minutes per week.
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3. Regular walkers have fewer health problems. Walking helps decrease “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also helps lower blood pressure and cuts the risk for diabetes, arthritis and certain types of cancer. It can improve immune system as well as cognitive function.
4. Next time you crave junk food, take a walk instead. Walking can redirect that craving both during and after the walk. So, put one foot in front of the other and repeat. You’ll feel great! For more wisdom about walking, go to http://everybodywalk.org.
Remember to check with your physicianan before beginning any exercise program.
Rhonda Zonoozi is an exercise physiologist/certified health coach from the Sun Health Center for Health and Wellbeing in Surprise, Arizona. For information, call 623-832-WELL (9355) or visit www.sunhealthwellbeing.org.
This information is provided by health professionals from the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing. It should not be substituted for medical advice from your physician.
(Originally published Sept. 10, 2015; last updated Jan. 6, 2019.)