Sunshine is pouring through the windows of my office. That, coupled with temperatures above freezing, call me to head outdoors. I’ll be slipping on my sneakers to get away from the computer screen soon and taking full benefit of that extra hour of daylight. Here are 10 reasons why you should lace up your shoes to walk today too.
1. It’s National Walking Day. For the ninth year, the American Heart Association (AHA) is encouraging people to get out of their chairs and walk for 30 minutes. As part of its “My Heart. My Life” initiative, AHA is encouraging Americans to participate in healthy behaviors to improve cardiovascular health. Analysis of the National Runners’ Health Study and the National Walkers’ Health Study found that brisk walking is just as effective as running for reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and possibly coronary heart disease.
2. Watching your waistline? Studies have shown that walking just 30 minutes five days out of the week has also been found to counter a genetic propensity to being overweight or obese. Walking may also reduce the risk of early mortality that comes with a sedentary lifestyle.
3. Can walking extend your life then? For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some may increase by two hours, according to the AHA. Walking is also associated with a reduced risk of dementia and can help cognitive function, improving quality of life as you age.
4. A half hour of walking can boost immune function. Walking for a half-hour is associated with increased blood counts of white blood cells, including natural killer cells, and interleukin-6, an inflammation modulator and metabolic regulator.
5. Walking is a “superfood” of movement nutrients for the body, according to biomechanics specialist Katy Bowman. Click here to find out how to get the most fitness benefits of what Bowman calls the “defining movement of a human.”
Read the other five reasons why walking is great for your health on The Mind-Body Shift
Where are your favorite places to walk in the East Windsor area?