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One of the best ways to stay healthy and keep weight off is surprisingly the most simple. It is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.   Yes, you heard right - just start walking. It can be just a  walk around the neighborhood or a solid hike through the woods.  Just get out and get moving for at least 30 minutes a day. You can reap so many health benefits that it’s almost a no-brainer.

One of the most underrated types of exercise, walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of diseases and make our brain sharper and our heart healthier. Walking has also been proven to boost your mood. Research shows that regular walking actually affects our nervous system so much that it could help reduce anger and hostility. 

When the weather permits, I love to take a walk with my two kids and husband in our neighborhood. It is a great way to spend some family time and get some exercise. Here are more of the tremendous benefits of walking.

  • Sergey Galushko/ThinkStock
    Sergey Galushko/ThinkStock

    It will help you burn calories and lose weight.

    Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older.

  • Joe Raedle/ThinkStock
    Joe Raedle/ThinkStock

    Walking can reduce your risk of chronic disease

    The statistics are impressive: The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20 to 40%.

  • Dr. Jeffrey Gosin, Shore Vascular and Vein Center/Thinkstock
    Dr. Jeffrey Gosin, Shore Vascular and Vein Center/Thinkstock

    It can delay the onset of varicose veins.

    As you age, your risk of unsightly varicose veins increases. However, walking is a proven way to reduce the chance of getting those unsightly lines from developing.

  • Luna Vandoorne // Shutterstock
    Luna Vandoorne // Shutterstock

    Walking can improve digestion

    if you currently praise coffee for keeping your digestive system going strong, get ready to start thanking your morning walk instead. That's because a regular walking routine can greatly improve your regularity.

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