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Walk This Way

Beyond exercise, take a stroll for these reasons, too

Family time walk

Ben Mounsey

The family-time walk

You talk, laugh, debate and sometimes just hold hands; all are healthy. So is engaging in outdoor activities together. Studies have found that a 20-minute walk can calm your overactive brain and restore your attention.

Tree huggers walk

Ben Mounsey

The tree hugger's walk

Researchers sent a group of walkers into a forested area, and another walkers group into a city, for an hour. Afterward, the forest walkers had improved heart and lung function; the city walkers didn't. The message: Nature walks can be healing.

Meditation walk

Ben Mounsey

The meditation master's walk

If sitting on a pillow and chanting "om" isn't your thing, you can actually meditate while you walk. Numerous studies confirm meditation's ability to ease high blood pressure, digestive challenges, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Memory Booster walk

Ben Mounsey

The memory-booster walk

Making walking a habit can preserve your memory. Researchers following up on 300 older adults after 13 years found that those who had walked six to nine miles a week lowered their risk of memory problems by 50 percent.

Philosophers walk

Ben Mounsey

The philosopher's walk

Walking is great for deep thoughts, but it provides other brain perks (memory boost aside). Adults who walked for 40 minutes three times a week slowed age-related declines in brain function and improved their performance on cognitive tasks.

Socializers walk

Ben Mounsey

The socializer's walk

Taking walks with friends is not just fun; it's beneficial, too. One study showed that people who joined walking groups had lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, a lower resting heart rate and more effective weight loss.