Is walking the best exercise for you? Some experts believe that it sure is for the whole body, and mind. Walking is believed to help with weight, hypertension, and has been found to help with heart disease, and so much more.

Experts recommend exercising 30 minutes a day to keep the body tuned up, and incorporating walking into the regime is easier on the joints than running. Speaking of running the American Heart Association found that walking had the same impact that running does!  That is pretty amazing for us non-runners.

“Researchers analyzed 33,060 runners in the National Runners’ Health Study and 15,045 walkers in the National Walkers’ Health Study. They found that the same energy used for moderate- intensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and possibly coronary heart disease over the study’s six years.”

The average American will consume an estimated 4,500 calories during this holiday, and the average calorie intake during family breakfast can also be an average of 600 calories, with bacon eggs, and pancakes. Without exercising, it’s no wonder America is fighting the bulge. Two out of three people are overweight. The Center for Disease Control found that two-thirds of Americans are overweight, WebMD


Dr. Robert F. Kushner said in his interview with the site that being overweight has become the new normal. "For children and for many adults who are overweight, they are starting to perceive themselves as the new normal. Overweight people may dismiss their weight, he said, because they feel "everyone else looks exactly the same."

How can we get into the walking routine?

Go natural: Not only is walking low impact, by people who were depressed found that walking in a nature setting helped them cope with symptoms. A recent study suggested walking or hiking in natural areas are vital to our overall health. Stanford researchers found that walking in nature impacts our emotions, allows us to become calmer.

Lead author Gregory Bratman said “This finding is exciting because it demonstrates the impact of nature experience on an aspect of emotion regulation.”

Walking can reduce mortality rates depending on the amount of walking done--it can range from 19-20 percent according to published reports., found that “400,000 people found that just 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, which includes brisk walking can have significant health benefits, adding up to three years to life expectancy. Every additional 15 minutes of daily exercise reduces death rates.”

Here are more benefits of walking today.

• It lowers the risk of diabetes, and dementia.

• Improves sleep, and eases depression

• Improves cognitive function and memory.

• Walking tones, burns calories, and is less stressful on the joints

• It makes us happier, boosts moods, and gives a dose of endorphins.

• It helps clear the mind and enhances creativity.

  Harvard Medical School agrees and believes the benefits of walking and moderate exercise reduces the risks of disease, and is plausible. “If cardiac protection and a lower death rate are not enough to get you moving, consider that walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon cancer, and even erectile dysfunction.”

So get going. Walk, run, hike, swim, or go biking, tennis, golf, or walking 20 minutes a day. Walking also won't cost you much either. The average gym membership in 40-50 dollars.

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