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Expert Advice

Take a Winter Walk!

Rosanne Ullman | January 26, 2014 | 4:21 PM

If you enjoy walking outside, right about now you may be experiencing a serious case of cabin fever. But you don’t have to let cooler temps keep you from enjoying a good walk—nature in stripped-down brown and white can be inspiring, too! And the latest research indicates that giving up your walk for months at a time is not doing your health any good, even if you appear to be pretty fit. According to City of Hope, a recent study indicates that just a little more than one hour per week of brisk walking can improve longevity, while 2.5 hours a week can extend your life by up to four-and-a-half years.

“We know that people who maintain active lifestyles such as regular brisk walking or engaging in sports activities are less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, breast cancer and possibly several other types of cancer,” says Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director of the Division of Cancer Etiology at City of Hope. “The health benefits are substantial.”

Winter walking does require caution, however. Layer up for warmth, wear shoes that can handle uneven and slippery grounds and stick to daytime so that you can see where you’re stepping. You’ll need sunglasses to cut the glare when the rays bounce up from the snow, and you might want to carry water because you’ll be sweating even if you don’t realize it. Grab a friend, because winter is no different from summer in that way—it’s easier to exercise when you make it fun!

Click here for the full City of Hope article.

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