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Walking for life and health

Sammamish River Trail. (King County Parks, Flickr)

Many of us who shelter at home find the best chance for exercise and escape through long walks in our own neighborhoods. In a piece of coincidental good timing, the Journal of the American Medical Association just published a study showing this is the ideal form of physical activity for longevity.

Taking 12,000 steps a day gives you 1/15th the risk of death over 10 years, compared to those taking less than 4,000 steps—moving less than 2 miles. Even with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, the walking habit confers its benefits and leisurely strolls work as well as jogs.

A dog named ‘Fauci’

Walking in your own neighborhood also reveals details you’d never notice while driving, while giving a chance to savor the unfolding spring. More than 150 years ago Charles Dickens said: “The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk—steadily and with a purpose.” New research indicates he was right.

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