Archive for April 12th, 2012


Walking, It Does A Body Good

April 12, 2012

D & L Trail Marker

The media is great at telling us things, perhaps too great.  What is good for you one week, is found to be bad the next.  We hear it all the time, things like “Coffee linked to hypertension,” only to be followed the next week with “Coffee, the new miracle drug.”  Who are they kidding anyway?  Such statements are anecdotal at best and always end with the caveat “more research is needed.”  Still, every once in a while, there is the exception, the thing that just makes sense.  Recent reports on walking do just that.

We all know, as humans, we need to exercise.  Our bodies adjust to the lifestyle we choose.  Choose to sit and watch TV all day, you will be frumpy and overweight.  Do a workout that makes Jack LaLanne look like a couch-potato, and you will be a muscle-bound freak of nature.  In one case, you hardly have the energy to walk to the mailbox.  In the other, you might be able to lift a Volkswagen

Improved Trail Path

but your body deals with so much stress you drop dead at 45 as a perfectly healthy corpse.

No, just like about everything in life, activity calls for moderation.  In a sense, we are like Goldilocks and need our fitness activity to be just right.  This is where walking comes in.  It gives us the right amount of physical and cardiovascular activity.  While there are many studies, each with specific recommendations, a common thread to most states everyone should receive at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.  Walking does just that.  If you do that, you recuse your risk factors for cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes.  People, these are the top rated killers of humans.

The medical conditions listed are reason enough for sure but in all honesty, you get the benefit walking on a treadmill in the garage or gym, as well as from a walk.  There is another reason it should be a walk, a real walk.  As humans, it does us good to get outside and walk around where we live.  It is harder in cities to find a place, I will grant you that, but most cities

today have plenty of parks, walking paths, and trails so that excuse is limited.  The reason it needs to be a walk outside has to do with mental health.  By talking a walk, we reduce the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress.  So get out there!  Have fun with it.

I like to look around for interesting places to walk.  Recently, I walked the Delaware & Lehigh Railroad trail between Northampton and Laurys Station.  The round trip was about a 6-mile walk on the converted rail-bed. It follows the Lehigh River and provides some really interesting

Slate cliff along walk

views.  So, in addition to doing my heart some good, my mind and attitude benefit too.   The entire D & L Trail system (click the name to visit their website) has over 160 miles of improves trails covering all sorts of scenery.  If you live in eastern Pennsylvania, you owe it to yourself to pay the trail a visit.

In the end, regardless where you live, there are trails and walk to enjoy, even Manhattan in New York City has over 20 miles of trials and if you can find a walking trail in New York City, you can find a walking trial anywhere.  Happy walking!

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