Fact: Walking makes you happier and smarter

Studies show that walking has a myriad of benefits for health and mental well-being. But did you know that walking can slow memory loss, improve your sleep and even make you happier? The Arthritis Foundation outlines some of the lesser-known benefits of walking every day:

Slows Mental Decline: A study at UC San Francisco found that age-related memory loss in women over 65 who walked 2.5 miles per day was 17% lower than women who less than a half-mile per week.

Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk: A study from the University of Virginia found that the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in men ages 71- 93 was cut in half when the men walked a quarter mile per day.

Improves Sleep: A study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that women, ages 50 to 75, who took one-hour morning walks, were more likely to relieve insomnia than women who didn’t walk.

Lightens Mood: Research reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that walking 30 minutes a day boosted the moods in depressed patients faster than antidepressants, due to the release of natural painkilling endorphins to the body.

These benefits are in addition to the many physical benefits of walking, like lowered blood pressure, decreased joint pressure, and lowered risk of stroke!

Check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy and strong enough to get out for a walk today.