by Lorraine Breau-Thompson, PT
Walking is a wonderful form of exercise that can help you feel better and be healthier. It improves your physical, psychological and social well-being. Walking is a great aerobic exercise that reduces the risk of chronic heart conditions, stroke and type II diabetes. Regular walking can reduce or help manage the risk of heart disease and stroke by reducing or controlling high blood pressure. It can also reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes by helping you absorb glucose. Walking also helps tone the muscles in your legs, helps improve balance and coordination, and is a good weight-bearing activity to stimulate your bones and joints to battle osteoporosis. It is also a great aerobic activity if you are either trying to lose or simply maintain a healthy weight. Did you know that walking 30 minutes at a moderate pace will burn 148 calories in a person weighing 150 lbs? Half an hour goes by very quickly when chatting with a friend or listening to music along the way! It is low impact, free and can be done anywhere and at any time (unless an injury or disability prevents you). Walking outside has the added benefits of absorbing vitamin D and it was shown that walking near trees will also boost your mood by decreasing stress and anxiety. Researchers from Stanford University have found that walking, whether outdoors or on a treadmill significantly increases creative thinking. As you can see, there are many benefits of walking!