Study after study proves the importance of international movement.

Massive amounts of evidence now show that walking, a natural state, prolongs life by to seven years (European Society of Cardiology) and helps prevent arthritis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Thirty minutes of walking per day, five days per week, helps prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetic conditions as reported by the American Heart Association. Furthermore Japanese studies reveal interval walking—three minutes fast, three minutes slow to moderate—further enhances benefits and helps alleviate the potential for many forms of cancer.

A high percentage of the half-million yearly cancer deaths in the United States alone are due to little exercise and poor diet (university of Pennsylvania). Exercise alone may help prevent cancer by regulating sex hormones, insulin, prostaglandins and immunity.

Ten hours of activity a week reduces the likelihood of breast cancer by 22 percent (breastcancer.org), endometrial cancer by 30 to 40 percent (NIAMSD), colorectal cancer by 40 percent (DESGUETZ) and lung cancer by 20 to 40 percent depending on geographical location (EMAUS).

The arthritis Foundation points out that movement feeds your joins and allows the cells within them to take up nutrients and hydrate, preventing erosion and join disorder.

Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School explains how IQ and cognitive function dramatically improve depending on the amount of aerobic exercise performed. Scientific America reports that children require a minimum of 60 minutes of daily exercise to be at their best inherent cognitive abilities. Stamford University found that walking improves creativity and problem-solving ability.

Ironically, schools in the United States are reducing physical education and increasing stress by testing and evaluating more often. A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey shows that in 1969, 48 percent of North America youths traveled to school either on foot or by bike. Currently, that figure is less than 16 percent. This downward trend will encourage lifelong lethargy and skyrocketing disease rates.

Walking is now revered equally to running; it may take longer to gain benefits, but the impact and injury that accompanies running make it questionable as a long-term health strategy.

I always encourage those who suffer melancholy or light-to-moderate depression to exercise aerobically. This is one act that diminishes and, in some cases, relieves their concerns. As nomad agrarians, we consistently moved. Sadly, modern Homo sapiens consistently sit and endure stress. We have a choice to either prolong life, diminish disease and be happy or sit around and complain about how tired we are. Please choose the affirmative!

My advice to people of any age is to purchase flat walking or running shoes with a slight heel elevation and thick, flexible soles. These sneakers cushion the foot and absorb shock. Wear 100 percent organic and brightly colored clothing so you are visible when walking outdoors.

Nature’s abundant landscape welcomes us like a loving mother to utilize her strength in our quest to maintain and gain health. Walking, climbing, skating, skiing, boating and swimming make the act of movement a joy. Walk forward into life proudly, healthfully and happily!

 

Article by Anna Maria Clement, PhD, LN

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