Where You Walk Impacts Your Health
Whether you take a morning jaunt, a stroll with friends, or power walk for your exercise, we all know that walking is good for us. However, where you walk makes a difference when it comes to the health benefits you’re receiving.
A new study done in London decided to look at the effects of walking both within the city and within parks. 119 volunteers over 60 were included in the study and they were either healthy or had stable pulmonary or heart disease.
The group was supposed to walk for two hours at midday at two separate locations: Hyde Park, a giant outdoor area with healthy levels of air pollution, and Oxford Street, one of London’s most crowded urban areas.
Most participants saw their lung capacities improve after one hour in Hyde Park and the benefits lasted for about 24 hours. Participants also had their blood flow increase over the same period of time. When the same participants walked around Oxford Street 3-8 weeks later, the same benefits barely registered.
So what does this mean? While walking does have good benefits, where you walk makes a difference when it comes to receiving those benefits. A city street filled with pollutants from cars and people is more likely to impact your body in a negative way if that’s where you decide to get your exercise.