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If we were designed to walk, where's the trail?

The discovery may indicate that it wasn't just Lucy, but all of mankind, that finally stood tall. As MU anatomy professor Carol Ward explained, "This tells us she's given up the ability to be good in trees to be good on the ground. There was no more compromise."

This discovery appears to confirm that walking is part of our genetic design and our natural behavior. Unfortunately, in many parts of our nation, people no longer have an opportunity to enjoy easily accessible walks in the woods.

Due to an overabundance of development and the processes of urban sprawl, large segments of our population have lost a clear connection with the outdoors.

Without a visible path that leads to natural surroundings, some people may never have the opportunity to reconnect. It is a sad situation, for they will lose a bit of their humanity.

Walking in nature, playing in nature and even simply viewing nature has been proven to beneficial to human health and well-being. Research reveals that people with nearby access to a park or open space are 50 percent more likely to maintain a routine of walking which can improve physical and mental health, particularly among young people.

Humans have a deep-seated need for contact with nature, Walking offers an intimate opportunity to connect with the land and forests, and to rejuvenate our physical and mental health

Walking in the woods helps to recharge our internal batteries, reduce stress and fatigue and offers greater mental clarity while increasing our physical energy. Just 5 minutes in a park, in the woods or even in your own backyard can boost mental health. Walking doesn't just reduce your waistline; it enhances your memory, too. A new study indicates that walking six to nine miles a week may delay your brain from shrinking as you age.

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