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Light headed?

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Last week I recommended walking the streets of Portland to observe the lights and decorations for your holiday exercise. The question is, how far should you walk? And, have you been feeling lightheaded lately?

The University of Pittsburgh studied people enrolled in their Cardiovascular Health Study, a research project focused on risk factors for heart disease and stroke and based on walking volume. The results from MRI scans found that a minimum weekly walking distance of 72 blocks would increase brain gray-matter volume. The study group averaging 156 blocks weekly had markedly greater gray-matter volumes.

Although block lengths differ by city, one block is assumed to be about an eighth of a mile, so 72 blocks would be about nine miles a week, or roughly a mile and a quarter per day. Although the snow has made the sidewalks of Portland a little tricky, they will soon be cleaned up. Then hit the bricks to enjoy the Portland streets in winter, burn those extra calories, improve your cardiovascular system, and increase you brain volume. Make sure the Portland Y is on your walking circuit and stop in for your favorite Y activity.