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Step It Up! Make Our Communities More Walkable

Communities should become more walkable!

Learn how you can help transform the place where live to a walking friendly community. Take just a few moments to watch "Step It Up! Help Make Our Communities Walkable". Everyone can help! The Surgeon General has provided a nice infographic to illustrate the role all can play in this effort.

PositiveTip: Get involved in making your community more walkable!

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Walking Lowers Risk of Stroke

Time spent walking seems more important than the speed of walking.

A British study of over 3000 healthy men ages 60-80 found as their walking increased their risk of stroke decreased. Those who walked 8-14 hours per week had one-third the risk of stroke compared to those who walked 3 hours per week or less. When they upped their walking to 22 hours per week their stroke risk dropped by two-thirds! Walking burns calories, helps the heart and muscles and relieves stress.

PositiveTip: Put on your walking shoes and get moving today--and each day following!

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Run So You Won’t Stand Still

Seniors that jog regularly can also walk as efficiently as young adults.

Researchers studied adults over 65 who either jogged or walked a minimum of 30 minutes, 3 times a week. The joggers could walk up to 10% more efficiently than those who only walked. In fact, when walking, those who usually jogged burned energy like young adults in their 20’s. The energy required to walk increases with age, leading to decreased mobility and function.

PositiveTip: Boost your exercise output now to maintain your energy and mobility longer down the road of life.

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The Health Benefits of Walking Groups

Group walking can boost health by reducing BP, body fat, and cholesterol.

Are you having trouble sticking to a regular program of physical activity? Researchers in the U.K. found that a walking group may provide you the support you need, along with lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, lower body fat, and lower cholesterol. This meta-analysis of 42 studies demonstrated the dramatic improvement in health walking groups bring--with almost no adverse effects. The walking ranged from low to high intensity.

PositiveTip: Gather friends and neighbors together and walk for better health!

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Moderate Exercise Yields Big Time Benefits

Just 6 miles of slow running per week yielded huge benefits.

Healthy, low-risk people derive tremendous benefits from moderate physical activity. A study of 13,000 runners found those in the lowest quintile (fewer than 6 miles or less than 52 minutes per week) experienced the greatest reductions in total mortality (30% less) and cardiovascular mortality (45% less). It did not have to be fast: a few miles at a moderate to slow pace yielded maximal benefits!

PositiveTip: The best exercise is the one you will do regularly! Just do something: walking, moderate running, swimming.

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How Your Phone Can Hurt You

Texting while driving, or even while walking, is an increasingly serious hazard to your health.

We're inseparable from our cell phones, but there's a time to disconnect: when you're in motion. Distracted driving accounts for 25% of all motor vehicle accidents in US. A majority of both teens and adults admit to texting while driving. Even walking and texting is causing more accidents. Watch this brilliant Volkswagen stunt ad and consider your cell phone use in the future.

PositiveTip: Use you cell phone when you're stationary. It's less dangerous.

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Outrun Breast Cancer

Breast cancer survivors benefit more from running than walking.

A study among breast cancer survivors found that runners who ran 2.25+ miles per day had a 95% reduced risk of breast cancer mortality, while walkers didn't show any significant reduction in risk. Previous larger-scale studies have found health benefits for both walking or running among breast cancer survivors. More research is needed to know if walking faster or longer might confer the same survival advantages.

PositiveTip: Ladies, exceed the recommended 2.5 hours per week of moderate physical activity to improve your odds of beating breast cancer.

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How Much Did You Walk Today?

Tracking your walk times is easy and will motivate you to better health.

A recent multi-national survey has found that 1 in 4 people have no idea how much they've walked in a day. Of those who tracked their walking, 50% were below the recommended 30 minutes a day. Even 15 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walking) can improve your life expectancy.

Positive Tip: Download an app, buy or borrow a dog, enlist a buddy, get a pedometer...whatever it takes, start walking regularly and track your progress!

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Walk to school, get better grades?

A 15 minute walk to school is a brain boost for female students.

It appears the “good ol’ days” of walking to school are also good for the brain. After tracking 1700 students aged 13-18, Spanish researchers found that female students who walked to school for longer than 15 minutes had a cognitive advantage over those who commuted by vehicle or those who walked for 15 minutes or less to school.

Positive Tip: Choose a walk over a sedentary commute and don’t worry...it doesn’t have to be in “a blizzard, uphill both ways” to get the brain benefit!

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Walking to Work Lowers Risks of Obesity

Active forms of transportation yield big rewards compared to driving to work.

Those who walk or bike to work have lower risks of obesity and diabetes compared with driving a car or going by taxi. Walking to work resulted in a 20% reduction in risk for obesity and a 40% reduction for diabetes. Although only 3% of the study group cycled to work, they experienced a 37% and 50% lower risk, respectively.

PositiveTip: Participate in as many modes of active travel as often as possible better health.