May 31, 2017 — We all know that walking is good for us. But that doesn’t mean we all do enough of it, instead relying on our cars, or even golf carts, to get us to all of our daily business. We just came across two great articles that give us even better reasons to start walking more, so we can enjoy our retirements in better health and happiness. Plus another piece of news came in too, which found that eating chocolate regularly is good for your heart. Good news there!
The first came from NextAvenue.org, and it extolled the virtues of “mindful walking” as a way to improve brain health and reduce stress. The article quotes two experts, Dr.Lynn Koerbel from the Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-Based Professional Education and Training, and Deepak Chopra, founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. They promote the idea of walking not just as a way to get exercise (which of course it is), but also a way to reduce stress and keep your brain healthy. By mindfulness they mean engaging your brain to observe your surroundings while you walk. Pay attention to the sights around you, the noises the birds are making, the people you see, and how the clouds are moving. The experts urge you to be prepared to be surprised by what you see around you. And to commit to walking for at least 10 minutes a day.
The second feature comes from the Phys Ed column in the New York Times. Gretchen Reynolds reported on a study done by researchers at the University of British Columbia, which found that brisk walks (or other exercise) not only improved physical health, but it also slowed down the development of vascular cognitive impairment, the second most common type of dementia. The test compared two groups of volunteers, all of whom had been diagnosed with a mild early form of cognitive impairment (a type of early dementia). The test group did brisk walking for an hour three times per week, whereas the control group had classes on healthy living and nutrition instead. The study concluded that the walkers had better thinking skills than the control group (and the walkers had lower blood pressure too).
Now you have two more good reasons to get out there walking everyday. Your body and your brain will be better off, and you will have a happier retirement!
PS – Chocolate is good for the heart!
Well we knew it is a good to give your sweetheart. But the Times also reported on a Danish study that found that people who regularly eat chocolate had up to a 20% reduced risk of atrial fibrillation. We knew there was a reason we love chocolate!
Comments? Are you a regular walker? Do you notice any improvements in how you feel – or think? Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.
For further reading:
Walking 10 Minutes a Day
A Brisk, 1 Hour Walk 3 Times a Week Can Slow Dementia