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Walking-The Real Benefits

Walking-The Real Benefits

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…..about Walking

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, its winter. It’s cold outside, and frequently gray.  Tell me again why I should get out of bed on a Saturday morning to walk with you?

A: You’ll feel better if you do.  Don’t just take my word for it:  Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., the author of a new book entitled The Joy of Movement, offered these good reasons in the January edition of Spry (

  • IT’S A STRESS-BUSTER – “… A 25-year-old study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found physical activity (walking) to be the most effective way to improve your mood. It beat eating, sleeping, and talking with friends.  ‘While it doesn’t eliminate stress, it does help us handle it with greater hope and calm. Plus, it tends to shift our mood toward a more positive outlook.’”

  • IT HELPS US CONNECT – “When exercising, World Walk To Wellness the brain releases chemicals, such as endorphins and endocannabinoids, which increase the pleasure we take from connecting with others,’ McGonigal says. ‘If you want to strengthen a relationship, take a walk  If you want to form new friendships, find a place where you can move with others.  If you struggle with social anxiety, regular exercise can make it easier and more enjoyable to spend time with others.’”


    Physical activity is already linked to better brain health, and McGonigal says that regular exercise (walking) can not only protect against Alzheimer’s disease but also strengthen the brain’s reward system. ‘This can relieve depression and make you better able to experience everyday pleasures,’ she says.


    Being active with a group boosts the “feel-good” effect of movement more than exercising alone. “After being physically active with a group, people feel more optimistic, more hopeful, and more connected to others.”

So, less stress and/or depression, improved relationships, and increased happiness…isn’t that worth getting up and out for a walk?



“Boost Your Brain” to reduce risk of Dementia

“Boost Your Brain” to reduce risk of Dementia

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends how to “Boost Your Brain” to reduce the risk of dementia

July 17, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, all of us deal with physical challenges as we age.  The one that terrifies me is the possibility of disappearing into dementia.  Are there any ways to “Boost Your Brain” to cut the risk of Dementia?”  

A: I hear you.  Some researchers predict that as many as 13 percent of us will develop Alzheimer’s.  However, that need not be inevitable, even if some in your family history have suffered from dementia. 

Good news coming from the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles earlier this month is that choosing a healthy lifestyle can reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  According to Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease, “Regardless of how much genetic risk someone had, a good diet, adequate exercise, limiting alcohol, and not smoking made dementia less likely.”

This conclusion was based on studying nearly 200,000 people in England.  Head researcher was Dr. Elzbieta Kuzma at the University of Exeter Medical School in England.  The study focused on people age 60 or older of European ancestry, so “it’s not known whether the same is true for other racial or ethnic groups.”

An article entitled Boost Your Brain,” by Paula Spencer Scott, appeared in the July 14 edition of “Parade,” in the Sunday newspapers.  The subtitle was, “It’s never too early – or too late! – to whip your brain into shape and fight cognitive decline.” 

Here are some of the tips she shared to “Boost Your Brain” and reduce the risk of dementia:

  • DRINK MORE WATER – “The brain is 80 percent water, “says neuroscientist Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., Person power walking to cut risk of dementiaauthor of Brain Food. Even mild dehydration can affect brain function.

  • GET YOUR HEART THUMPING – “Even a 10-minute walk or bike ride changes how parts of the brain connect and perform.”

  • FEED YOUR HEAD – Eat more plant foods and fewer processed foods. “To reduce inflammation, eat within a 12-hour window, says Michael Crupain, M.D., co-author of What to Eat When.”

  • MIND YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE – “In a 2018 trial, keeping systolic pressure under 120 best protected the brain.”

  • SEEK HELP FOR SLEEP PROBLEMS – “If you’re not falling asleep fast, getting seven to eight hours, and rising refreshed, there may be an issue, like sleep apnea (now strongly linked with dementia), you need to address.

Most of these are simple things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of dementia.  The benefits are worth it.

These articles give even more credence to my usual sign-off: