If your new year’s resolution is to move—and who couldn’t stand to walk more and sit less?—then Village Green is the perfect place to be.
The Village Green campus has lovely paths for you to choose from, all of them lighted and well maintained.
Researchers say even 15 minutes of walking each day can have profound benefits for your physical and mental wellbeing. According to SparkPeople.com, walking is good for your heart; it strengthens bones and joints; it helps with weight control; and it benefits your mental health in myriad ways.
Treadmills have become incredibly popular in recent years, and with good reason. Many gyms have television screens near the treadmill so you can walk and watch your favorite show at the same time. You’ll stay warm and dry no matter how far you walk and you’ll never be far from home.
But, there are reasons for heading outside, as well.
A 2008 study at the University of Michigan explored the cognitive benefits of interacting with nature and found that walking in a park or wilderness setting can help improve memory and attention.
Researchers Marc Berman, John Jonides and Stephen Kaplan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature.
According to an article on the University of Michigan website, the findings provide useful information for those suffering from mental fatigue.
"Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating," Berman said. Though people tend to stay inside during the winter months, that might be exactly the time to get outside.
"People don't have to enjoy the walk to get the benefits,” Berman said. “We found the same benefits when it was 80 degrees and sunny during the summer as when the temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in January. The only difference was that participants enjoyed the walks more in the spring and summer than in the dead of winter."
But, whether you prefer to walk inside or outside, the important thing is to walk. And, it’s better yet to walk with a friend. If you can walk outside with a friend, you’ll be doing good things for your mind, body and spirit—and it doesn’t cost a cent.