by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The walks start from Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center after the Stenzel Garden tour.

See the sights in Northwest Portland, including an award-winning healing garden, by joining the 2014 Senior Walks, Garden Tour & Neighborhood Nature Walks offered by Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center.

The free walks are held one Tuesday a month from 10-11:30 a.m. Meet at the pavilion of Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, 1015 N.W. 22nd Ave. in Portland. Each walk begins with a 20-minute guided tour of the hospital’s Stenzel Healing Garden, followed by a one-hour escorted walk in the neighborhood to see plants, heritage trees, architecture and more.

Walks are held rain or shine. No registration is necessary.

The remaining walks for the year are scheduled April 22, May 13, June 10, July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 16, Oct. 7 and Nov. 11.

Strolling for the health of it

Just in case anyone needs a reminder that walking is good for you, Legacy Health System lists the following health benefits of even a simple stroll around the block:

1. Walking helps you stay strong and fit. It helps increase bone density, improves joint health, and increases muscle strength so you can continue to do your daily activities.

2. Walking can lower health-care costs. A daily walk could save you more than $300 a year in doctor visits, hospitalization, and prescription drugs.

3. Walking can help decrease weight, body fat and belly fat. Women who increased activity by an additional 3,500 steps a day lost 5 pounds in a year, men 8.5 pounds.

4. Walking improves your ability to cope with stress, depression and anxiety. Physical activity increases endorphins (neurochemicals that can elevate mood).

5. Walking will increase your energy level. Energy comes from energy. That’s why the more you move, the more you feel like moving.

6. Walking increases you brain power. Just 20 minutes a day can lower blood sugar, which helps stoke blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function.

7. Walking reduces your risk of cancer. People who exercise regularly, even moderate walking, cut their risk of certain cancers significantly.

8. Walking promotes cardio health, decreasing your risk of heart attack. Walking regularly reduces resting heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

9. Walking can cut your risk of stroke in half. A half-hour of moderate exercise five days a week reduces the risk for stroke by almost 25 percent. Double that effort by exercising for 1 hour a day for five days and the risk for stroke drops by almost another 25 percent.

10. Walking can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Walking for 30 minutes a day cuts diabetes risk for overweight and non-overweight men and women.

For more information, contact Teresia Hazen, garden coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Maria Bruce at 503-916-9295 or Gail Burzynski at 503-294-0961.

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