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Are you looking for a way to naturally reduce your stress level after a long day? Go take a walk!  Get outside in the fresh air, take in nature and enjoy a change of scenery.  The fall is one of the best seasons to start a walking routine.  The air is cooler, the scenery is lovely and there are fewer bugs especially if your walk takes you to a wooded area. Walking is the cheapest, easiest form of exercise for most of us with so many health benefits.

Let’s start with the price. It’s free!  No gym membership required.  All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes.  Of course, remember safety first.  Wear bright or reflective clothing especially if walking near roadways or in low light.  It’s usually convenient too.  Take a walk around your neighborhood, downtown area, high school track, park or local walking trails.

Walking is easy. You can go at your own pace or challenge yourself.  Either way you are moving!  A brisk walk is defined as a pace of 3 miles/hour.  If done routinely it helps to keep your weight under control or even to lose weight.  Wear an activity tracker to monitor steps and miles.  It can be very satisfying to see just how many steps you took or miles you completed.

This leads to the SO many health benefits. Walking is a healthy habit for body and mind.  A daily 30 minute walk can improve cardiovascular function, boost energy and improve sleep.  It can also decrease your risk of stroke, osteoporosis, and some cancers.  Walking can improve joint and muscle pain/stiffness, balance and conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes if done routinely.

It also aids in refocusing your mind and reenergizing your soul.  A solitary walk in nature can make you feel more at ease with your thoughts.  A walk with a friend(s) or family is a social gathering with the benefit of exercise.  It is also a motivator.  If a friend asks you to join them for a walk or if you have a scheduled biweekly walk with another person it is bad form to decline.  They might not ask again!  Walking partners share a special bond.  Many problems of the world are solved on these outings!  Most of the time, however, it’s a nice way to catch up with a friend(s) or family.

Don’t make excuses not to walk. Get up a little earlier, have dinner a little later to catch the last of day’s light or go at lunch. Dress appropriately for the weather, grab a friend (or not) and get out there.  It’s a great habit to get into!

 

Walking: The most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise –  Carrie Latet

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time – Steven Wright


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