In Part I of this series, we talked about the health-giving benefits of vegetables and fruits – particularly the organic variety. Today, we’ll discuss a dirty word: “exercise.” But, as you’ll soon see, getting fit doesn’t have to be so bad after all.
If smelly locker rooms, expensive exercise equipment and painful workouts aren’t your idea of a good time, I have terrific news. Believe it or not, you can get all the benefits of exercise without the pain, the sweat or the expense.
How? By doing the most natural thing in the world: walking.
That’s right. Simply walking a little more every day can actually add longevity to your life – and will certainly add enjoyment to all the years you have.
What the Exercise Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know
When I talk to my patients about exercise, many have the same reaction. “Exercise,” they moan. “I just don’t enjoy all that sweat and hard work.”
That’s the fault of the exercise industry. They want to sell you their expensive gym memberships and exercise equipment. That’s good for their sales… but not necessarily what’s best for you.
All you really need to enhance your life is a comfy pair of shoes.
A 12-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that walkers add years to their life. In fact, the most active walkers in their study lived an average of 5 years longer than those who walked the least. The relationship was clear: The more the men walked, the longer they lived.1
Even just a little walking builds better health. Finnish scientists encouraged a group of older men to walk two or three rounds of golf a week. At the end of just 20 weeks, the men had increased muscular strength, higher levels of good cholesterol, more endurance – and they’d lost an average of three pounds. And that was without dieting or any other lifestyle changes.2
Now these studies followed groups of men… but women improve their overall health by walking, too.
Forget “No Pain, No Gain.” Try “No Sweat” Instead
Researchers in Boston studied over 72,000 women for 8 years. Know what they found? Brisk walking a few times a week significantly lowered their risk of heart problems. And brisk walking was just as effective in lowering these risks as more vigorous exercise!3
But it gets even better. A University of California study followed 5,925 women for 6 – 8 years. They found that regular walkers had a much lower risk of age-related cognitive decline than non-walkers.4 In other words, they could think, reason and understand more clearly… just from walking.
So walking not only improves your physical health, it can boost your mental health, too.
Taking Advantage of Walking’s Benefits
To get the most benefit from walking, take a brisk 30-minute walk at least 3 times a week. Walking with a friend will make the activity more enjoyable.
I like walking in the park. It’s a relaxing environment. And many communities have walking paths with a soft surface – such as wood chips – that’s easy on your joints.
Other good places to walk are running tracks, “rail-to-trail” trails and even shopping malls. Many malls regularly open their doors early for walkers. This is a great way to keep up your walking program during the cold winter months.
However you do it, the important point is to get out and get walking. It’s inexpensive, it’s easy… and it can add years to your life.
In our final installment in this series, we’ll talk about the quickest, simplest way to protect your health. All it takes is a few seconds a day… but the potential benefits are huge.
Dr. Kenneth Woliner
Best Life Herbals