The daffodils are blooming, tulips are poking up through the dirt and the grass is getting greener after it winter dormancy. Yes, Spring is in the air. With the sun shining more days, you may be feeling the nudge to get outside. Go with your instinct, get out for a walk. Better yet make it your new daily Springtime activity!
March 30th is ‘Take a Walk in the Park Day’. The American Heart Association has dedicated April 6th as ‘National Walk Day’. The entire month of May is ‘National Walk Month’. Are you getting the hint? Need a few more incentives? Here’s a list of some of the benefits of walking that might give you some more encouragement:
- It Can Help Curbs Diabetes According to the American Diabetes Association you can begin with a 5 minute slow-paced saunter, stretch for ten minutes, followed by a walk at moderate pace. The idea is to do something everyday building upon it to a longer and/or faster pace.
- It Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Problems A study by the Harvard Medical School revealed walking 20 minutes day can alleviate the risks of cardiovascular ailments by 30%. It does this by enhancing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol, and curbing the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Helps Give Your Memory a Boost A recent study from the Boston Healthcare System discovered that adults who took around 10,000 steps or more daily performed better on memory tests than those who walked less.
- Helps in Preventing Cancer A Harvard University Women’s Health Study published their findings in 2012 that walking for 4 hours a week can possibly decrease the chances of cancer by almost 54%.
- It Helps to Reduce Stress. A five to ten minute walk can help to clear your head. The change of the scenery and focusing on breathing can help lower your cortisol, so your stress is lower. Researchers are discovering that surrounding yourself with nature can be one of the most powerful stress-relievers out there. According to a study in the journal, Environmental Science & Technology, researchers discover that people experienced the largest boosts to their mood and self-esteem after just spending five minutes outside. For even more stress relieving techniques while walking read Thich Nhat Hanh’s, A Guide to Meditation Walking.
- It Helps to Tone Your Butt and Thighs Many fitness professionals say that the ideal way to tone your thighs and butts is to walk as fast as you can. They suggest you try to squeeze your butt after every ten steps.
- It Helps to Improve Balance Studies have proven that walking on natural, uneven grounds, such as hiking trails and steps, reduces chances of slip and fall injuries in the elderly and enhances their balance.
- It Boosts Immune Function. All you need to do is walk for a half hour every day. This provides a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to attack bacteria.
With all these benefits, walking is the foundation for good health and makes life better!
How about starting TODAY!