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Walk This Way to Health

Sometimes going for a walk just sounds so much nicer than sweaty, red-faced run or trip to the gym, right? But for some reason, people view a nice, long stroll as the easy way out.

It turns out, however, that doctors—more than ever—are touting the benefits of a walking as exercise. Recent research has shown that the fairly simple activity can help you sleep better and even cut breast cancer risks, a benefit that clearly makes walking a particularly good choice.

Here's some more reasons to get out there and walk:

*It’s great for your heart. A recent study conducted at Duke University Medical Center showed that walking briskly for 30 minutes every day decreases your odds of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that are linked to a higher possibility of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

*It makes you happy. Taking the time to slow down for a walk means that you get to appreciate the scenery around you. Walking has been shown to relieve depression, anxiety and stress. Walking also helps to produce endorphins that you will feel the effects of during just one 30-minute walk, similar to its more fast-paced brother, the “runner’s high.”

* It staves off senior moments.
Several researchers have found that walking for as little as 45 minutes a week can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Regular strolls have also been shown to increase mental sharpness in seniors. And no matter your age, walking is a reliable way to boost mental activity.

So, whoever said walking was easy? It’s a surefire workout for your entire body and a fantastic option for when a hardcore workout just doesn’t feel like an option. [Health]

Posted: 5/27/08