Larry Stansberry of New Orleans puts in long hours as the Chief Executive Officer of St. Margaret’s at Mercy, where he has worked since 2001. When he gets some time off of work he likes spending it with his family, following the ups and downs of the New Orleans Saints, and enjoying the occasional cigar.
He also likes to take long walks, and has learned that walking is one of the best exercises there is. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment beyond a good pair of walking shoes. And it doesn’t cost anything to participate, can be done almost anywhere, and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
And it’s healthy. As Larry Stansberry of New Orleans knows, regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, and increase the levels of good cholesterol. And it has been shown to help keep blood pressure in check.
Regular walking has some additional, unexpected health benefits, too, such as helping to prevent dementia. Dementia is a serious health problem that affects one in every six people over the age of eighty. But as Larry Stansberry New Orleans knows, being active has a positive, protective effect on brain function. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of dementia by as much as forty percent. Walking six miles or more each week could help to avoid brain shrinkage, thereby preserving memory as the years go by.
Finally, walking can stimulate and strengthen bones, leading to better bone density. And that can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. And if all of that weren’t enough, as Larry Stansberry of New Orleans knows, regular walking can boost your mood and sense of well being, making you happier.