Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Walking

Walking is great exercise! Here I am in Paris, I spent two weeks there with my brother. I was at the Arc de Triomphe trying to catch a glimpse of the riders at the end of the Tour de France, and I am so short that I couldn't see a thing through the crowd so I decided to smile and pose. Actually, my brother was trying to take a photo of the drunk guy wrapped in the Catalan flag behind me.

I never went to a gym that entire time I was there, I only walked and walked and walked. I would have gone to a gym had I been able to find one in the neighborhood! I ate pastries everyday and enjoyed fabulous food and barely noticed a weight change.


Walking isn’t just good for your waistline—it benefits your memory, too. A new study that followed 299 adults for 13 years found that walking six to nine miles a week may stop your brain from shrinking as you age. 

“Exercise increases the amount of blood going to the brain,” says lead study author Kirk Erickson, a University of Pittsburgh professor. “This means that more of the important nutrients necessary for the brain to function are distributed.”

Researchers found that the more participants walked, the more gray matter they retained (though exceeding nine miles a week provided no additional benefits). Those who walked the most had half the risk of developing memory problems as those who walked the least. “Some loss of brain matter is normal with age,” Erickson says. “But with increased exercise, the parts of the brain that support memory function—the prefrontal cortex and the hippo-campus—are spared. The earlier you start exercising, the better, but it’s never too late,” he adds. “Any amount you do will help.”




So if you cannot get to the gym, you can walk, You can walk anywhere, anytime, bring an umbrella if it's raining, weather doesn't matter (OK, I am a California girl, I hear it gets cold in parts of the United States, but I wouldn't know, I was born and raised here and 45 is super cold to me, way too cold in fact!). I understand parts of the world get so cold they have out door tunnels sort of like hamster habitrails!  Walk in the habitrail you have then.

Get out and do something good for yourself everyday.




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