Starr and I went for an early walk this morning. It was a bit muggy, and it was overcast, but otherwise an hour (ok…50 minutes actual walking time) well spent. We walked a trail along a creek here in town, and in addition to the expected geese, and other birds, we encountered a fox and observed a deer resting nearby. Actually, it was a great way to greet the day. A chance to have some stress-free moments and breathe.
We will have to make it a point to do that more often. In fact I plan to go again, a different trail and by myself, in the morning. As one of the many hurdle days that we are facing, starting it with a walk sounds like a valid plan. Then I am planning on shopping for groceries and baking and/or cooking something for Starr’s grandparents, who we plan to visit this weekend.
Starr said that she heard that a 30 minute daily walk dramatically reduces bone loss. I knew that there are many benefits to walking, but couldn’t list them, so I looked them up. Here is the information I pulled from the AARP website: (maybe I can convince myself to walk more often)
If a daily fitness walk could be put in a pill, it would be one of the most popular prescriptions in the world. It has so many health benefits. Walking can reduce the risk of many diseases — from heart attack and stroke to hip fracture and glaucoma. These may sound like claims on a bottle of snake oil, but they’re backed by major research. Walking requires no prescription, the risk of side effects is very low, and the benefits are numerous:
Managing your weight. Combined with healthy eating, physical activity is key to any plan for long-lasting weight control. Keeping your weight within healthy limits can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis.
Controlling your blood pressure. Physical activity strengthens the heart so it can pump more blood with less effort and with less pressure on the arteries. Staying fit is just as effective as some medications in keeping down blood pressure levels.
Decreasing your risk of heart attack. Exercise such as brisk walking for three hours a week — or just half an hour a day — is associated with a 30% to 40% lower risk of heart disease in women. (Based on the 20-year Nurses’ Health Study of 72,000 female nurses.
Boosting “good” cholesterol – the level of high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Physical activity helps reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) in the blood, which can cause plaque buildup along the artery walls — a major cause of heart attacks.
Lowering your risk of stroke. Regular, moderate exercise equivalent to brisk walking for an hour a day, five days a week, can cut the risk of stroke in half, according to a Harvard study of more than 11,000 men.
Reducing your risk of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study also links regular activity to risk reductions for both these diseases. In another study, people at high risk of diabetes cut their risk in half by combining consistent exercise like walking with lower fat intake and a 5% to 7% weight loss.
Avoiding your need for gallstone surgery. Regular walking or other physical activity lowers the risk of needing gallstone surgery by 20% to 31%, found a Harvard study of more than 60,000 women ages 40 to 65.
Protecting against hip fracture. Consistent activity diminishes the risk of hip fracture, concludes a study of more than 30,000 men and women ages 20 to 93.
The list goes on and on. Many other studies indicate a daily brisk walk also can help:
- Prevent depression, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, and impotence
- Lengthen lifespan
- Lower stress levels
- Relieve arthritis and back pain
- Strengthen muscles, bones, and joints
- Improve sleep
- Elevate overall mood and sense of well-being.
Although, I see no mention of better orgasms…..hmm.