by MATTHEW SMITH Staff Writer
Much research has been done on the benefits of brisk walking, and it is well worth it to take the time out of a busy schedule to go for a stroll. Instead of asking parents for a ride all the time, or wasting money and gas on somewhere you could get on foot, go for a healthy walk, if accessible. Simply getting in some comfortable clothes and some sensible footwear and going for a short walk each day can have physical, mental, and medical benefits. Going for a brisk walk does not have to be something difficult or very physically taxing. Studies show that three 10 minute walks a day is at least as effective as one 30 minute walk. “I never drive when I can walk. Not only is it more healthy to walk, it’s also more scenic and peaceful,” says senior Ryan Fleming. Doing these brisk walks improves physical health. From cardiorespiratory fitness, to building strong bones, walking can be just as effective for one’s needs as other forms of exercise. Briskly walking also cuts that health bill, as 150 minutes of moderate-intensity walking a week can help manage stress and prevent heart disease. “Walking is good. It keeps you active and if you don’t like doing heavy lifting, running or dieting, then walking is as simple as moving your feet,” says sophomore Gerardo Sanchez. Going for a walk helps your mind by improving cognitive function and can even lead to preventing dementia later in life. Not feeling cheery? Walking can reduce depression, as a study showed that walking for 30 minutes three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression by 47 percent. Brisk walking can also help a woman’s fight with breast cancer. Women diagnosed with breast cancer that walk regularly have a 45 percent greater chance of remission than that of women who are altogether inactive. In addition, those who walked regularly before being diagnosed increased chances of survival. Going for such walks can easily be fit into one’s schedule, from walking to a friend’s house, to making the errand down to the convenience store; if one lives close by, even walking home from school is a possibility. If an errand or trip can be made into a walk, do it. Walking has been shown to reduce the need for medications later on in life. In the elder years, those who walked regularly had higher chances of living. One study showed that “mortality rates among retired men who walked less than one mile per day were nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles per day.” Walking briskly also deflects type 2 diabetes, as research links brisk walking to risk reduction for developing diabetes. Insulin resistance often determines predisposition to diabetes, but even in families prone to developing diabetes, brisk walking or other physical activity achieved results. In short, simply walking from place to place has so many benefits in physical health, mental health, reduction of disease risk, saving money, and all in all, general happiness.