October 26, 2010

Walking 6 Miles a Week Keeps Your Brain Healthy

In today's Natural News, there is a great article summarizing the latest studies on walking and its impact on memory function (and aging, and preventing Alzheimer's Disease or dementia).  Great thing to learn from it: walking 6 miles a week is a major health benefit.  That's not that much, is it? 

Of course, they report that 9 is even better than 6, and there's discussion of "brisk" walking - is it "brisk" walking when my dogs are pulling me along at a semi-run, because they've got a scent on the trail?  Sure feels brisk, lemme tell ya. 

How to keep track of that mileage?  I use a fabulous pedometer: the Omron HJ-112.  It's not that costly, but it is pricer than the $5 pedometers at WalMart.  I keep it in my pocket and if it's not accurate enough for NASA, it's accurate enough for me - I think it comes darn close, based on the trail markers. 

How many steps equal 6 miles?  I've always heard that while each person is different, it's a safe estimate that 2000 steps equals one mile of walking.  So, 6 miles?  12,000 steps a week. 

You can do that.  Yes, you can.  No one says it has to be 6 miles at a time, you could do half a mile in the morning, half in the evening every day but Sunday and get this done.  Maybe park farther away from the office? store entrance? 

Or, take a morning and evening constitutional.  Doesn't that sound sophisticated - "I'm taking my morning constitutional" just means more than "I'm off for a walk."  You're almost British, maybe Bostonian.  You might start wanting to wear tweed.

Seriously. Boost up your walking during the day if you're not hitting this target already.  Your brain will thank you for it -- and walking is great, especially in pretty places. 

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