Modern society is sedentary—very much more so than it ought to be for the sake of health. If a person isn’t sitting in a chair hunched over a computer screen for work, they’re sitting in a different chair, hunched over another screen, to play video games…or perhaps to read the latest medical research online reporting that sitting too much is unhealthy. So get up and take a walk around some of the benefits of walking, as noted by Harvard Health Publishing.

It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in more than 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. They then discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

• It helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate people eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

• It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.

• It eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints—especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis—by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

• It boosts immune function. Walking can help protect people during cold and flu season. A study of more than 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least five days a week, had 43 percent fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

So stretch those legs at the earliest opportunity. No matter where a walker may be headed, the ultimate destination will be better health!

© 2019 Silver Disobedience Inc.