Don’t be intimidated or confused about all the various exercise programs being touted today. If you don’t participate in any kind of regular exercise program currently, walking may be a good first step for you as you Change Your Life. Walking is inexpensive and doesn’t require any special travel or arrangements, other than a good pair of shoes. It's free and it can be done anytime, anywhere. You can even walk in place.
New research has found that walking daily, several times a week, can make a very dramatic difference in helping to maintain normal brain function and the development of new brain cells. In two separate studies, researchers found that after several months of regular walking, older adults showed an increase in blood flow to the brain, which resulted in improved learning, memory, and attention ability.
Walking provides head-to-toe benefits. The added exertion increases blood circulation to your brain and vital organs. Higher demands on your respiratory system increase the rate at which you can dump toxins out through your lungs. And the impact with each step puts healthy stress on your bones, reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
Walking can also be highly effective in weight loss as long as you are walking vigorously enough to increase your heart rate, for at least an hour. Your exercise routine need not exceed a lively walk down your neighborhood for you to change your life for the healthier. The benefits will be seen within the first month of incorporating walking into your daily life.
If you do nothing else this year, at least start walking! Next week I’ll tell you how to maximize the benefits of walking. Stay tuned!
Now It's Your Turn: Where do you like to go for your walks?