walking benefits

Walking is seriously one of the easiest exercises we can do. It doesn’t require any equipment or special gear. All it requires is a willingness to get off our derrières to get from A to B, enjoy the beautiful outdoors or a simple way to get our heart rates up and our heads clear. The American Heart Association celebrates National Walking Day on the first Wednesday of April. This year it will be on April 4th.

Walking is super easy on your body and comes with great physical and mental benefits. You can do it alone, with friends, pushing a toddler in a stroller or with a baby on your back. You can make a habit of taking a stroll in the evenings in your neighborhood, with a loved one or family, or go on a great beach walk a few mornings a week solo. In fact you can pretty much walk everywhere and here’s a fun fact I learned researching for this article; if you walk an hour a day you could accomplish 1000 miles in a year!

Here are some more fun facts about the greatness of walking:

Head: Boosts memory, clarity and creativity. According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters.”

Joints: Supercharges your joints with your body’s own anti-inflammatory lubricants. www.walk1000miles.co.uk

Waistline: Daily walking increases the metabolism and can reduce your body’s response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat. It can also help prevent muscle wastage in our later years. www.prevention.com

Digestion: Heightens gastric motility and promotes your body’s natural detoxing process, protecting our colons. “One of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system.” Tara Alaichamy, DPT, a physical therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Mood: Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system, so much so, that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. www.walktobetterhealth.com

So this spring, get out and walk with friends and family, and while you are at it help your community too!

Trucker Dukes Memorial 5K – March 17, 8:00am – near Old Maui High School. Go to UVSC.org for more info.

March of Dimes – April 28th, 7:30am – Keopuolani Park

No Holo Wahine 5K run/ 1 kile walk – May 5th, 8:00am – Keopuolani park – to benefit The farm.

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