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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Taking Time

I live just a few blocks from Central Park and I usually walk there weekly. Sometimes I traverse the Great Hill on my way to the farmer's market, when I can spare an hour in the morning. Other times I loop around the Reservoir or the Harlem Meer. If I have more time, I stroll through the Conservatory Garden, my favorite piece of the park.

Walking is an especially good form of exercise because it's aerobic, weight bearing, and easier on joints than running (swimming is even better in this regard). It's a work-out for your whole body, including your heart and blood vessels, and your muscles and bones.

Walking in a forest or park is even better because green outdoor spaces have health benefits of their own. Studies have documented that spending time in nature can reduce stress, lower blood sugar, improve concentration, diminish pain and boost immunity. It can even have anti-cancer effects.

This fall has been especially busy for me, and I've been letting my weekly walk slip. I was recently reminded how important it is to take time for yourself, and to do things that bring you joy and keep you active. So this week I made a new resolution to go for a walk in the park at least once each week.

Now I'm reminding you to take time for yourself.

You don't need to wait until the New Year to make healthy changes. As a time of transition, fall is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your goals and your daily activities, and make positive changes happen.

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