By Lauren Pastrana

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Wednesday is National Walking Day!

The first Wednesday in April is dedicated to celebrating the benefits of walking.

It’s so important, the American Heart Association has gone from celebrating just “National Walking Day”, to billing all of April as “Move More Month”.

But walking isn’t just good for your heart and your waistline.

Today’s Lauren’s List explains some of the “other” benefits of walking.

Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk
Your body and mind are more connected than you think. A study from the University of Virginia found that men between 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Improves Colon Health
Regular, daily walking – even 10 to 15 minutes several times a day – can help the body and digestive system function optimally. Exercise is essential for regular bowel movements. One study presented at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium found people who were physically active for four or more hours per week reduced their risk by 20 percent. Also, greater walking duration, not an increased walking pace, is associated with improved overall survival.

Fights Off Glaucoma
For those who are at risk for glaucoma, walking is recommended to help relieve pressure in the eye. The Glaucoma Research Foundation says “studies have shown that moderate exercise such as walking or jogging three or more times every week can have an eye pressure lowering effect.”

Improves Mood
If you’re feeling down in the dumps, a better mood may be just a few steps away. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, people who went for 30- to 45-minute walks every day, five days out of the week, showed improved moods and a decrease in “depressed” feelings.

How often do you go out walking?

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Lauren Pastrana