Avoid traffic-clogged streets when walking for fitness.

If you walk on busy city streets, breathing the traffic fumes may cancel out the health benefits of the exercise, a new study suggests. The London-based study, recently published by The Lancet, included 119 volunteers over the age of 60 who were either healthy or had stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or stable heart disease.

The simple activity of walking has so many powerful health benefits. Done correctly, it can be the key to losing weight, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and boosting your memory, as well as reducing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more.

The type of walking that produces measurable health benefits must be done often enough, long enough, and hard enough to benefit your health. It is an excellent activity for all ages and an ideal form of physical activity.

Taking a walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There’s a good chance it’ll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health.

Walking is a top exercise physicians recommend to their patients because it is very easy to do, requires nothing but a pair of tennis shoes, and has tremendous mental and physical benefits. Here’s what you can expect when you start walking for just 30 minutes every day, most days of the week.

1. Your mood will improve.

2. Your creative juices will start flowing.

3. Your jeans will get a little looser.

4. You’ll slash your risk of chronic disease.

5. You’ll keep your legs looking great.

6. You’ll start to get more “regular.”

7. Your other goals will start to seem more reachable.

Source: Prevention