I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg,” wrote British au- thor George Trevelyan in 1913
about the health benefits of walking.
Nearly a century later, modern medi-
cal experts echo the same advice: Get
up and walk.
Walking may be the
single best—and easi-
est—exercise you can
do to improve your health in 2012.
Not only will going for a daily walk
help you feel better now, it will help you
maintain your independence and ability
to do daily tasks as you age, says Barbara
Bushman, a health professor at Missouri
State University who has helped older,
sedentary men and women start a walk-
Research also has shown that walk-
ing regularly can help protect the
aging brain against memory loss and
dementia, help cut the risk of heart
disease, and reduce the chance of de-
veloping type 2 diabetes in high-risk
adults by a whopping 60 percent.
; Get a good pair of
walking shoes that fit
well and have a flexible
sole and an adequate
cushion for your heel.
; Start with short distances
or time periods—five to 10
minutes at a time. Slowly increase your time by a couple
of minutes every two weeks.
; Warm up with 5
minutes of slow walking,
then walk briskly, then
cool down with 5 minutes at a slower pace.