The Benefits of Walking

benefits of walking

While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so.  In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466  low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.  In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die.  Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women.  To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php  completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.

coolnsmart-373

However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks.  For one thing, anyone can go take a walk.  We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is.  Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health.  We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature.  All these factors are a mental health boost.  Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.

19f38df974160771f69ac9be78609c11--the-great-outdoors-walk-in

I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise.  I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health.  Do you go for a daily walk?  Where are your favorite walks?  Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail?  Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life?  Let me know in the comments below.

ministry_silly_walks

And of course, don’t forget to perfect your silly walk!

 

Spring

spring12

Even though we had what you could only call a late winter – very little snow until the end of February, then feet of snow in March, I have the feeling that Spring may actually be here at last.  Of course, we broke the temperature records for heat this week, but thankfully that was just one day.   As I’m writing this, it’s a pretty chilly 60° out with quite a breeze.  However, I’m hoping that we’re all done with the snow – I hope.  Connecticut’s been known to suffer blizzards in April.

Here are some pictures I’ve taken in the last few days showing that Spring just may be here.  Enjoy!

IMG_3082

The Solace of Nature

img_2470

I’ve written quite a lot about nature.  I love it, find that time spent enjoying nature, even looking at pictures of nature makes me feel so much better.  I’ve been taking pictures of my yard lately and thought that I’d share some of them with you.

This last picture is my favorite.  I still can’t believe that it came out like this.  I had woken up to a foggy morning.  Hope you enjoyed them.

img_2480

Enjoying Nature

IMG_2033

What a gorgeous flower!

Whenever I feel down, my go-to mood enhancer is to look out my windows.  Nature is so beautiful!  I love how every week the clover grows back and the violets bloom even though they get mowed on the weekend.  It’s amazing how they can do that.  The woods next to my house looked like a jungle at the beginning of the week due to the heat and humidity we had to deal with.  Which I hate, but it did make the trees look more than a little wild – so there was a plus after all.

IMG_2056

My very own jungle.

Here are some pictures that I took this week.  Hope you enjoy them.  I’m no photographer, but I do like to take pictures.  Remember to go out into nature and look around.  It’ll do your soul good.  Have a great weekend!

IMG_2045

I did not change anything. The early morning light turned my wooden fences blue!

IMG_2048

Such a pleasure to look at while washing dishes.

IMG_2062

The resurgent clover.

The Joys (?) of Spring

To me, Easter is all about nature. Usually by this time of year the snow is gone, the mud is almost dried up and the daffodils are starting to open. Not this year. The snow is still hanging around and the daffodils are under at least three or more inches of snow. And, mud season is something we have to look forward to (lucky us!).

On my walks I keep finding all kinds of garbage that people have been throwing out of their cars. You would think that after all the years of Earth Day, and teaching recycling in schools this wouldn’t keep happening. Just what is up with this? I don’t understand it. Do people really think that all their garbage is just going to magically disappear? I wonder if they think that Mother Nature comes out at night and collects their wrappers, fast-food bags, plastic and glass. That would be cool, but it will never happen. Mother Nature is probably busy deciding exactly how her retribution will go. We can already see that retribution all around us. I’m glad that I don’t live really close to the coast-line.

 

So, this week while you’re celebrating Easter or Passover or what-ever other religious ritual it is that you may or may not celebrate, spare a thought for our planet. You know, the place that we call home (and the only place we have). Pick up some trash, make sure that you’re recycling all the things that you can, and make sure that your choices are more conscious ones. We all have a huge impact on the earth simply by living our lives the way that we do. See if you can minimize that impact. Your grandchildren will thank you.