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Walking benefits the brain

Walking is a fantastic way to keep active.  It’s also an uncomplicated way to maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones, improve heart health, mood and even balance. A simple 30 minute walk each day can do your body a world of good.

Research from New Mexico Highlands University has uncovered more of the why. Investigators found that walking increases blood supply to the brain, which is important because blood delivers the oxygen and glucose it needs to function properly. When it doesn’t get enough, damage such as stroke or hemorrhage may result.

In working with 12 young adults, ultrasound was used to measure changes in blood flow to the brain while participants were standing, walking, and running.  They found that impact from walking produces pressure waves in the body that significantly increased blood flow to the brain. Running does this in a more intense way, while activities like cycling do not do this at all.

Next time you think you need a brain boost, don’t overlook the benefits of a brisk walk! It’s easy to have an all or nothing mentality, thinking that a hard run is the only way to go. Never underestimate the power of a good walk, and in the spring weather that’s just around the corner, a walk outside can wake you up for the morning, rejuvenate you in the afternoon, or be a nice after dinner treat with friends or loved ones. Give it a go at the time of day that works best for you!

Published April 1, 2018

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