With all of the “quick fixes” available to us these days, sometimes it’s hard to believe that the most effective way to prevent disease is actually through something we have control over – our lifestyle habits! From what we eat and how frequently we’re in motion, to how we deal with stress--we have an enormous amount of control over our health and how we feel.
For example, a new study suggests that 40 minutes of moderate activity, like walking, each day can help prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women, particularly in those who are overweight. Getting in a daily walk is linked to decreasing cancer risk, as well as the risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and even depression.
Think of it this way: pharmaceutical companies invest billions in research trying to come up with cures for major illnesses. These are the very illnesses that we can prevent or reverse ourselves, in our own home laboratory-- our kitchen , walking path, or yoga mat. And while doing so might not earn us billions in sales, feeling healthy, strong, energetic and clear-headed is worth way more than that—it’s priceless.
Many of us show up for work every day not only to earn a paycheck but to add value in some way. In the same way, we can add significant value in our own lives by investing a little bit of time each day. If you can find 13 minutes to walk each morning, 13 in the afternoon, and 13 in the evening (or any combination thereof) on most days, you’ve gotten that 40 minutes! What’s amazing is, that’s less than the time it takes to catch up on your favorite TV show, but it can have so much more impact! And, of course, you could enjoy your favorite show while you exercise on a treadmill or other stationary machine. Maybe even better: take a friend, family member or pet with you for some fresh air, or put your ear buds in and catch up over the phone while you walk!