The days are getting longer here in Montana. Walking is the best exercise for low-impact, long-term health benefits. Getting outside is the fastest way to lower blood pressure and increase a sense of well-being. Thoreau got it right. The Guardian's Amy Fleming has reported on the benefits of walking. She calls it a "superpower." Research shows that walking benefits us in the three major ways:
1. Increases physical fitness. Walking is low impact exercise that promotes overall muscle tone, cardiovascular fitness, and balance.
2. Reduces stress. Fleming interviews noted walking researcher Shane O' Mara and author of In Praise of Walking. O'Mara's research shows that walking sharpens our senses, reduces anxiety, and lowers stress.
3. Improves mood. During a 20-year study, O'Mara examined subjects activity and personality and discovered that those who moved more had better scores in "openness, extraversion and agreeableness." You'll feel better and be nicer after your walk!
So take that morning walk. Breathe some fresh air. Revel in the beauty of the world and remember to take some time out for yourself.
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