Spring is definitely a springboard for wanting to get out of the house and literally smell the flowers. I had just spoke with my daughter about making daily plans to go on the 3 mile walk near our home at Bolin Creek. and then learned about a study done by the researchers at the University of Michigan about the many benefits that walk can have.
Published in Psychological Science, the researchers reported that walking outside in parks or in nature helps improve attention span and memory performance by 20%. This perked my interest since in my last post about dementia, memory loss is definitely a cause for concern.
The participants in the study exhibited increased levels of alertness, satisfaction and mental tranquility after just one hour interacting with nature. They also reported that their stress had decreased significantly and they felt more in control of their mind. Wow…this is sounding better and better!
Another risk factor for dementia includes diabetes. The Duke University Medical Center recently reported that walking briskly for 30 minutes every day lowers your odds of developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. And of course taking those steps can help burn calories. 5,000 steps per day can burn as many as 200! And 10,000 steps per day is touted as leading to optimum health.
So grab those walking shoes and enjoy the beautiful budding trees. Remember, Dr. Oz stated that even if there is a natural disaster such as tornado, hurricane or earthquake, we need those 30 minutes of walking a day for our health!