"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk," said Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th-century Danish philosopher. "Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness." More than 150 years later, millions of people are following in his footsteps. And for good reason. Researchers know that walking regularly can strengthen your bones, tone your muscles, and trim your waist, and it may reduce your risk of some cancers and other deadly diseases. The more you walk, the better your mood and the lower your risk of depression.
Whether you walk throughout the day, take regimented hikes, use a treadmill, or speed-walk, you can boost the health benefits of your routine. And if you currently hardly walk at all, here's your chance to hit your stride.