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Walk! (But Not on New Year's)

Walking as the best exercise for the body AND the brain. It's great for losing weight, and new research suggests that walking at least six miles per week may protect brain size and preserve memory in old age. But don't go for a walk on New Year's Day--more walkers are killed on the road on that day than any other time of year. It's called "DWW"--Drinking While Walking.

Researcher Thomas Esposito says, "Alcohol impairs your physical ability to walk AND to drive. It impairs your judgment, reflexes and coordination. It's nothing more than a socially acceptable, over-the-counter stimulant/depressant. It's not just walking outside. We often see people who have been drinking that have fallen down the stairs or tripped at home and injured themselves. If they had been driving and were stopped by police, they would have been arrested for driving under the influence."

But walking for the rest of the year is great: In a new study, 300 dementia-free people recorded the number of blocks they walked in one week. Then 9 years later, scientists took brain scans of the participants to measure their brain size. After 4 more years, the participants were tested again to see if they had developed cognitive impairment or dementia. They found that people who walked at least 72 blocks per week (about 6 to 9 miles) had greater gray matter volume than people who didn't, although walking MORE than 72 blocks did not increase gray matter any further. So make one of your resolutions for 2011 to take more walks!

If you're overweight, you need to read Anne Strieber's book, "What I Learned From the Fat Years." Using scientific principles, she discovered that exercise is vital to losing weight and keeping it off and that walking is considered by scientists to be the BEST exercise. Learn all about it--download this famous diet book today!



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