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Walking can improve your mind and body

As a caregiver someone is always telling me how important it is to take care of myself and to manage my stress. Both are easier said than done, and yet we know that, although it may not always be easy, it is very important advice to follow. One easy way to accomplish both goals simultaneously is to go for a walk.

On the physical health side walking has many benefits. It improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol levels. It has been shown to decrease the risk of diabetes and cancer. It prevents osteoporosis, builds muscles and loosens joints. But there's more than the physical benefits. Walking helps people relax, feel stronger, sleep better and smile more.

The advantage of walking over other types of activity is that it's free. You can do it anywhere. There's no expensive equipment to buy. You can do it alone or with friends. You have the opportunity to get out in nature and appreciate the changing seasons around you. There are no complicated routines to learn.

Being out in nature will enrich you as you observe the world around you and feel the sunshine on your face. Even if you have no one to help you with respite, you can enjoy the benefits of walking by bringing the person you care for with you on a walk. It might offer the opportunity for both of you to get away from the usual daily routine and experience something pleasant, healthy, and relaxing together.