Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Jan

17 Reasons to Walk More This Year

footprintsEven though some of you may be tired of me saying this, it needs saying. I say this a lot because it’s important: you need to walk more. In fact, if there’s one New Year’s resolution I think everyone should make, it would be to walk more. Many of you made this the centerpiece for your 2014 plans, many did not, figuring you already do enough. Nope. No one really walks as much as they should, though. That small subset of my readers who do walk enough should still read this post if only to fortify their resolve.

Why do I hammer home this point so often, anyway?

There are a few main reasons why I’m so fond of walking, also known as moving frequently at a slow pace. First, it’s all-inclusive. Absent debilitating injury or infirmity, everyone can walk. No excuses (unless you have one).

Second, the necessary equipment is right down there. See those bizarre appendages underneath you? That’s what you walk with. See that horizontal surface stretching into the horizon? That’s what you walk on.

Third, it’s the foundation for good health and makes life better. It’s this last point that brings me to the meat of today’s post: all the ways in which walking enhances our life.

Let’s go:

It keeps your buttocks engaged with the world.

A wise man once said that excessive sitting causes glute inactivation and atrophy. This is true, but it’s not like simply standing is enough to keep them strong and engaged. You have to walk, and walk often. To make sure the way you walk is actually activating your glutes, place your hands on each glute. You should feel your glute tense up a bit with each footfall as it accepts the load, and that same glute should tense up even more when you push off to take another step so that your hand gets a little “pushback.” Gallivant around like this, making sure each glute is working. Those buttocks! Ne’er-do-wells, the lot of ‘em if you give ‘em half a chance!

It modestly reduces body fat.

Walking isn’t going to get you shredded, ripped, cut, or yoked. It might not be as brutally and mechanistically effective on a minute for minute basis as other forms of exercise, but frequent walking will help anyone with two functioning legs and hip and knee joints that allow movement who would otherwise meld into the couch lose some body fat. That’s pretty cool, I think.

It improves glycemic control, especially after meals.

Just 15 minutes of walking after eating improved the blood glucose control in older people with poor glucose tolerance. Try to keep the walk as close to the meal as possible to aid in weight loss.

It improves triglyceride levels and lowers blood pressure, especially after meals.

Whether short (ten 3-minute bouts of brisk walking) or longer (one 30-minute bout of brisk walking), briskly walking after a meal lowers postprandial blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

It might help you live longer if you do it briskly (or at least presages a longer life, if not causes it).

A recent study of over 7000 male and 31000 female recreational walkers found that walking intensity predicted mortality risk. Those who walked the fastest tended to die the least. It’s important to note that this wasn’t an interventional study where walkers were coached to walk faster; this was just looking at the relationship between natural walking speed and mortality risk, so naturally slow walkers who resolve to increase their speed may not see the same relationship – but it certainly can’t hurt!

It’s well tolerated by people with arthritis (and could even improve their condition).

Arthritis patients have it tough on the exercise front. They won’t get any better avoiding exercise, but exercise tends to hurt. What to do? Walk. Walking is gentle, particularly if you perform it with proper form. And one study even found that walking (and weight lifting) improves balance in older adults with osteoarthritis.

It’s good for your brain.

Walking does much more than work the area underneath your neck. It also has extensive cognitive benefitsimproving memory in seniorscognitive control and academic performance in preadolescents (especially those who need it most), and (when done outdoors) boosting creativity in the young and healthy. The farther an older person can walk in six minutes, the better he or she performs on memory and logic tests; folks who perform poorly on the walking test tend to have reduced grey matter volume in certain sections of their brains. Aristotle’s famed tendency to walk as he taught students suddenly makes sense.

It reduces stress.

What do I do when I need to get away from a particularly stressful day in “civilization”? Go for a walk, preferably in a natural setting. For me, it’s the beach or the Malibu hills. For others, it might be the woods or even a park. Sure enough, going for a walk in the woods is a surefire way to lower cortisol.

It reduces stress even when it doesn’t.

A recent study examined the effect of forest walking on stress in young adults, finding that although chromogranin A (a biomarker of stress) increased, the subjects reported reductions in subjective perceptions of stress (which, remember, may matter more than “objective” markers). 

It boosts immune function.

Several lines of evidence point to the benefits of walking on the immune system. First, a “mere” 30 minute walk increases killer T-cells and other markers of immune function. Second, among free-living Japanese elderly, higher daily step counts correlate with improved mucosal immunity. Finally, among postmenopausal women involved in a walking training program, the normally deleterious immune effects associated with menopause were ameliorated.

It prevents falls in the elderly.

Walking on uneven, natural ground like hiking trails, improves balance and reduces falls in the elderly. “Walking programs,” which usually have elderly patients walking indoors or on treadmills as briskly as they can handle do not appear to work very well. Slow, unsteady, and meandering walks appear to be better. Don’t wait until you’re already at risk of falling, though. The earlier you start habitually walking, the better your ability to navigate the land without falling will be.

It gives you a chance to think.

When we walk, we think. And because walking is a low-difficulty endeavor, we can direct our executive functioning to more internal matters. We work through problems, come up with ideas, replay conversations, scheme, ruminate, and discover solutions. Or maybe we just think about that funny dog we saw on the way to work the other day. That’s a worthy subject, too.

It can be a kind of meditation.

Meditation is a foreign concept for many Westerners; we know about it, but we don’t know it. Even when we want to try it, having read about the benefits, we can’t quite muster the will to sit still for twenty, thirty minutes at a time. Enter the walking meditation. Do it formally, or just go for a walk and let your mind tune out from all the chatter. You’ll feel better either way.

It improves meetings.

Regular old seated meetings can be tedious, yawn-inducing beasts, even when the people and subject matter involved are interesting. Walking meetings, which are exactly what it sounds like, are growing more commonplace in the business world, and I couldn’t be happier. Seth Roberts found that replacing his seated student/teacher meetings with walking meetings was refreshing and invigorating.

It’s in your blood.

Your distant ancestors didn’t develop horribly calloused knuckles and brave savannah predators just so you could sit at the computer and devolve into an immobile blob. You come from a long and storied line of walkers. Keep the tradition alive!

It’s in your genes.

This one sounds similar to the last one, but it’s different. What I mean by “it’s in your genes” is your genes “expect” you to move around a lot at a slow pace, and walking affects how your genes are expressed. Walking has been shown, for example, to positively affect the genes responsible for fat and carbohydrate metabolism in skeletal muscle, to reduce inflammatory gene expression in adipose tissue, and to lower oxidative and inflammatory gene expression pathways in older adults.

It enables recognition of the felt presence of immediate experience.

When you drive, you can’t really focus on all the interesting stuff occurring in the world around you. Outside of what’s happening on the road, you shouldn’t focus on what’s occurring around you when you drive. Even riding a bike you tend to get tunnel vision. Walking on the other hand offers infinite chances for engagement with the outside world. See a rose? When you’re walking, you can stop and smell it. See a little path on the side of the trail heading somewhere cool? If you were driving, you’d have whizzed right past it. We all need a little more presence in our lives, and walking enables it.

As you can see from the bulk of the evidence I’ve just presented, walking can have a powerful effect on your health – and it doesn’t take very much of it. Most studies showing the benefits have people walk for ten, fifteen, thirty minutes at a time. That’s a lunch break. That’s parking in the last lot. That’s taking a quick jaunt around the block. That’s stealing a few moments away from your desk. It’s doable, people. You just have to do it.

That’s it for today, guys. Now it’s your turn. Do you walk every day? Do you walk “enough”? Do you plan on walking more this year? Tell me why, tell me why not, or just tell me how walking has enriched your life. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I love walking, but not cold weather, so in the past I’ve exercised inside in the Winter. This year I decided to get out there & tough it out every day if only for a brief time. I’ve noticed a HUGE impact on my SAD! I’m not sure if it’s the sunlight (I often walk in late afternoon, so there’s not that much…) or something about the cold exposure, or just the effect of being out in the real world, but I’m MUCH less depressed this year than usual. I’m a convert!

    Paleo-curious wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Even late afternoon you are exposing your skin’s light-receptors to full spectrum natural light, I’ve found this has a massive effect on SAD.

      Kelda wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • There’s often not much exposed except my face! But I guess that’s still important. Also I *feel* the light differently– I find I look up at the sky greedily– & I often get to see lovely sunsets, definitely a pleasure!

        Paleo-curious wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • 2 things have helped me walk all year round:

      1) Dogs. They need to walk every day, forcing me to walk every day.
      2) Google’s Ingress game. It’s a fun reason to walk, and has forced me to take routes I wouldn’t normally take, so I’ve explored parts of my work and home neighborhoods that I didn’t know existed.

      Michael wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • Alas, my cat has absolutely NO interest in going for a walk outside! ;-)

        And I’m not much of a gamer, but I just looked that one up & it is truly ingenious!

        Paleo-curious wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • AMEN, was just gonna say, “Get a dog” if appropriate… nothing gets you out at all hours, in all weather, toughens you up for crappy winter weather (some sympathy here, I live in England) than your furry four-legged friends. Or go completely insand and get two… like me. Dalmatians. Nuff said.

        michelle wrote on January 9th, 2014
    • I’ve also decided to start winter walking and far it’s going great. It was a crisp 27 degrees in Anchorage, Alaska today. I watched chickadees swarming around the bare tree tops, spotted a bald eagle, and managed to not get hit by a car while daydreaming :)

      Mikel wrote on January 8th, 2014
  2. Invaluable to the entire creative process and for problem solving. So many solutions to life’s dilemmas derived on my walking jaunts…

    Paula PaleoParisian wrote on January 7th, 2014
  3. I love walking as well especially because for me it does release stress, and I am able to meditate. I definitely will make a conscious effort to walk more and achieve all of my Primal goals by the end of this year because I know that my ultimate goal is to undergo a complete lifestyle change, and I honestly believe going Primal will allow me to do that.

    Elyphant wrote on January 7th, 2014
  4. My husband and I made it a (low tech) game this year. We each got pedometers, made a chart showing date and the amount each of us walked. If we get over 10,000 steps/day, you have met the goal. If you get over 15,000 steps per day, you can subtract 2,000 steps from the other person. You get ‘prizes’ for getting a certain number of days in a row of 10,000+ steps, and bigger prizes if we both get our steps in. It’s great because it’s competition and cooperation.

    Liddlem wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • I really love this idea!! My husband might actually go for this… what are some examples of prizes?

      Kelsey wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • Seriously? You have to ask? I know what the prizes would be at our house!

        Marti wrote on January 7th, 2014
      • Free things, haha. But if we both get 10,000 steps 14 days in a row, we can spend money.

        Liddlem wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Check out this website http://www.10000steps.org.au.

      You can set up your own challenges or join theirs. Work sets one up each year and we compete in teams. Gets people out walking at lunchtime!

      Lyn wrote on January 7th, 2014
  5. Walk… The plank…

    Groktimus Primal wrote on January 7th, 2014
  6. Would LOVE to walk more. Walking is the one thing I miss since the onset of illness. However I do try to take up the benefits of being outside by using my mobility scooter – and getting out to “walk” the dogs helps keep me happy. There are so many benefits to just “being outside”, even if walking must be removed from the equation.

    Sally wrote on January 7th, 2014
  7. I’ve been walking hour or two every day. I just put a good audiobook on my phone and walk. Double benefit this way, I move more and consume more books. :)

    Adrian Werner wrote on January 7th, 2014
  8. Thanks for this new walk info mark– I stand all day at my workstation but now I will incorporate at least a 40 minute walk at lunch (which I do in good weather about 2-3 times a week) but i can also walk the factory floor and didge the forklifts and other implements– it’s also fun to see the guts of what we do here at Electrolux!

    Pastor Dave Deppisch wrote on January 7th, 2014
  9. Walking is the indispensable center of the program that brought my body weight down almost 27% in the last year. I jog a teeny bit (I am afraid of out and out sprinting because of mechanical problems with my ankles) and I am lifting heavier weights, but my great joy is the NYC Bridgewalk. Williamsburg Bridge, usually, but also the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Queensboro, and when time is tight, the modest and close-by Pulaski. I bundle up and do it in the cold when the sun is shining and the wind isn’t too much. And I find some of my most cherished memories are from walking through the East Coast cities I’ve lived in in the past. Great column, Mark.

    Martha wrote on January 7th, 2014
  10. We don’t get the top 5 or top 10 reasons to walk but an exhaustive 17 reasons to walk. My favorite on this list is “It improves meeting”, I’m sending this to my boss as we speak.

    Captain Competition wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • That’s one of my favourite things about MDA – posts rarely have a ‘top 3′ or ‘top 5′ but long researched, thought-out and highly in-depth pieces.

      I hate it when in magazines or blogs people’s advice on being healthy is cliche, unoriginal rubbish like ‘eat less processed food’ and ‘exercise more’.

      MDA tells us exactly HOW to do those things in practical ways. Love your work Mark!

      jennafelicity wrote on January 9th, 2014
      • Couldn’t agree more!

        Marg in New Zealand wrote on January 22nd, 2014
  11. I’m so much happier now that I’ve replaced the majority of my gym workouts with long walks and this post confirmed the health benefits for me! Another thing I like about it (and this is very girly) is that I can do it without sweating and messing up my hair, I can do it in my street clothes (no spandex necessary) and it can be done sporadically throughout the day so there’s no pressure to set aside an hour for a workout. Great post!

    Florence wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Yes!! Exactly why I love walking, too. And riding my bicycle for short jaunts – same deal. Not much sweating, no spandex, but I do have to put up with a bit of helmet hair…

      KariVery wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • That was literally the conversation I had with myself today when I was deciding how I wanted to work out! Haha no spandex needed, and I got to wear a cute hat and jacket!

      Mikel wrote on January 8th, 2014
  12. I walk everyday here in sunny Southern Cal. I do feel sorry for folks stuck with the freezing weather. I bought a mini-trampoline this week and I love it – it’s fun and you can jog in place on it or do more vigorous jumping routines which will leave you breathless fast – like sprinting except with the core engaged. I highly recommend these if you’re housebound.

    Pure Hapa wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • I love walking in freezing weather. It’s very invigorating and probably even burns more energy.

      Nocona wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • We bought a mini tramp a few years ago and LOVE it! Got it for the opposite reason folks in cold weather places might have one; in FL it gets brutally hot in summer and it’s easier to jog and jump in place on the tramp indoors when it’s too hot outside. We are seniors and the tramp is more forgiving on the knees and other joints, but we do walk outside, too, as you need some impact on hard surfaces to build/maintain bone.

      Laurie wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • I want a mini trampoline!! How cool.

      jennafelicity wrote on January 9th, 2014
  13. There’s a tedtalk by a woman who proposed walking for business meetings. It was a way to get moving for busy people but she found that the creative affects during those meetings were amazing. Lots of great ideas and better communication came at those times. Sorry don’t remember the exact talk, il post if I can find it.

    Luke wrote on January 7th, 2014
  14. Pure Hapa:

    A friend of mine used one of those indoor tramps and managed to injure both feet to the point that 2 years later she still has trouble. Want to be careful here that you have good support/adequate “break in” time before going all out.

    Kent wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Thanks. I already read something about that so I’m wearing shoes on it. I messed up my foot with a bout of plantars fascitis a few years ago on the Pilates reformer – TOO much stretching and arching the feet – no good.

      Pure Hapa wrote on January 7th, 2014
  15. can’t write, I’m heading out for a walk

    Tom B-D wrote on January 7th, 2014
  16. I walk / snowshoe 3 to 5 hours per week in the woods of Maine. For others who live in cold climates, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much warmer a good pair of snowpants and wool hat can make one feel.

    Peter wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Makes me think of the saying “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” It’s all about the layers. Bundle up, get out, and enjoy!

      Stacie wrote on January 7th, 2014
  17. “Walk on!”

    ninjainshadows wrote on January 7th, 2014
  18. Presently I am a victim of the Polar Vortex so no walking outside for me today. Would need the ice cleats for sure. It is ‘warming’ up to 19 tomorrow so maybe if the wind isn’t blowing, me and my ice cleats can go for a walk.

    I grew up at the top of a hill in So. Calif. and walked everywhere. My mom who did not drive walked that hill almost every day and lived to 94. At 90 she could keep up a good conversation while walking up that steep hill and not even seem out of breath. In her elderly years, she said if she didn’t go for a walk everyday, her brain didn’t work well.

    My mom was a good example for me in many ways and her example of walking rather than riding was right up there.

    Sharon wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • My mom is 90 and still going strong. She attributes it to walking two miles every morning. She goes really fast, too. I have a hard time keeping up with her when we walk together!

      Janey wrote on January 7th, 2014
  19. I got a Jawbone Up last summer (not exactly primal, but hugely motivating) and it’s doubled the number of steps I walk a day–just because I pay so much more attention to how much I’m walking and running since I got it.

    Love seeing all these reasons together in one place. Glad to hear all that walking really does do a body good!

    Anne wrote on January 7th, 2014
  20. “When we walk, we think. And because walking is a low-difficulty endeavor, we can direct our executive functioning to more internal matters.”

    It is no coincidence that some of the most creative minds in history were also great walkers: Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Bertrand Russell, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau — the list goes on and on.

    Helga wrote on January 7th, 2014
  21. just back from hiking with my dog – its a balmy 11 outside – we just bundled up – it was great.

    barb wrote on January 7th, 2014
  22. I live and work in NYC and I have been walking between 3 and 5 miles a day for the past few years and I feel great. Mark thanks for your Great Blog!

    Tom wrote on January 7th, 2014
  23. I love to walk, don’t walk enough due to the dark, cold, wet weather presently. I would still do it but for the adverse effect it has on me when I get too cold, perhaps someday that will improve.
    I went skating with my son on Saturday, there was a woman (63 yo) who was there to give those of us that don’t know what we are doing some pointers. She said it was a good idea to walk backwards every day. I like that idea, now to remember to do it on purpose every day, that will be the hard part.
    Thanks Mark for the reminder to walk more.

    2Rae wrote on January 7th, 2014
  24. I love this! I’m thankful for entries like this because too often what we hear from others is that we are crazy for walking, which is ridiculous! I always walk my kids to and from school, including winter, and all I ever hear is “I can’t believe you walk in this!” So, thanks for a reminder that I’m not crazy! :)

    Nealy wrote on January 7th, 2014
  25. I have a fitbit and they are doing a 2014 challenge where there is a new challenge every week. This week it is to walk an extra 2K steps a day. I thought that this would be a hard challenge, but I didn’t know how easy it was to just walk more, and how good I felt afterwards!

    Manda wrote on January 7th, 2014
  26. This was a great blog post! I try to walk everyday but it’s 9 degrees outside right now! The local mall won’t let people walk there any more since this older person walking there had a heart attack and died. So, I just get on my bicycle trainer and ride 30 minutes a day until the weather gets better!

    Plugger wrote on January 7th, 2014
  27. I found some of Seth Roberts’ posts on walking and learning to be helpful:
    (http://blog.sethroberts.net/category/walking-and-learning/)

    Jaber wrote on January 7th, 2014
  28. I think that it is natural to be nomadic, at least for some of us. I felt truly alive when I was hiking the pacific crest trail. It felt wonderful to sleep in a new place every night and walk all day. It did not feel natural or healthy to do it for months on end, like the entire trail would have you do, but for a month or two it feels perfect, like humans were meant to travel on foot to a new place.

    Diane wrote on January 7th, 2014
  29. I love my walks. I have 2 dogs who need a good walk twice a day regardless of my feeling like walking or not so out we go! They get generally 45-60 minutes twice a day and I’ve become an addict! The walk is as much for me most days as it is for them now. But even on the days where I feel lazy and might just stay on the couch they get me out and I’m NEVER sad that I went! I love seeing the day wake up every day, rain or shine, warm or cold. And it’s never as cold as it seems after you get going! I often walk with my mom or a friend or two which is great but I frequently end up walking by myself too and I love the places my brain wonders to when it’s just me and the dogs.

    Noctiluca wrote on January 7th, 2014
  30. Reminds me of a post from another favorite blogger Steve at Nerd Fitness…he challenged his readers to walk to Mordor and back. A fun take for any LOTR fans =)

    http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2012/07/23/walking/

    Stacie wrote on January 7th, 2014
  31. If I don’t walk my dog at least 3 miles a day, I feel like I’ve let him down. He’s a great walking partner.

    Natalie wrote on January 7th, 2014
  32. Prior to rescuing our dog in 2011, I rarely walked for exercise. I was mostly a gym rat, logging boring miles on the dreadmill. My dog has transformed my life in many wonderful ways, including motivating me to get outside and walk. Now we travel 100+ miles a month, and we are both happier and healthier as a result.

    Barb wrote on January 7th, 2014
  33. I always feel great when I walk! Does anybody know if gentle cycling has the same benefits? I do bike a lot for errands, and get a pretty consistent 20-30 minute ride in almost every day. It’s more practical for me since it’s faster — thoughts?

    Alma Mahler wrote on January 7th, 2014
  34. Another great post Mark!

    I’ve been walking almost everywhere in the past month (average 13km a day) and it’s definitely been eye-opening.

    You notice a lot more around you and it’s like meditating.

    Rocky wrote on January 7th, 2014
  35. Ah, to walk in a rural setting! I walk home from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the famous bridge, and it is rarely a stress-free experience. It’s a madhouse of cyclists freaking out if any of the thousands of pedestrians steps into their lane, tourists snapping photos of themselves jumping, runners, and then those of us just walking home. But, it’s cool. It’s home. But, I do dream of a rural setting…

    Debbie wrote on January 7th, 2014
  36. I noticed a lot more people out walking on my lunch break today…I imagined they were all MDA readers.

    Stacie wrote on January 7th, 2014
    • Haha! They are probably just the “Januarians” as I call those who start the year vowing to move, then lose interest within the month… gyms everywhere are full of them… :-)

      But there is always hope, maybe you’re right!

      Paleo-curious wrote on January 7th, 2014
  37. My grandmother, who never learned to drive, walked everywhere because she had no other form of transportation. She was still walking the three blocks to church at 100 years old. She lived to 103, but the last two years when she was no longer living on her own and walking daily, she went downhill fairly fast both mentally and physically. I attribute that to the fact that the staff at her nursing home wouldn’t let her walk any longer. Since moving to an urban area, I walk everywhere–to get groceries, go to the bank, library, gym, etc.–as well as for pleasure. My longest walk so far was 8 miles. I do, however, have to plan long walks around available public bathrooms. :-)

    PawPrint wrote on January 7th, 2014
  38. I go for post dinner walk with wife, at the nearby mall in northern virginia. its the only place warm and lighted in the evening. The cart vendors have come to recognize us nowadays lol.

    asif y ali wrote on January 7th, 2014
  39. I agree with all posts regarding dog needs. If it weren’t for my german shepherd, I’d probably get glued to my computer for hours, but he wants to walk, and I’m grateful for the break. He gets 4 walks a day, we split 2/2 with my husband.
    Also, I am using a cool little device, Striiv, which you can see on http://www.striiv.com/products/striiv/ and that makes you earn points towards 3 different options to donate to charities, so that’s an extra incentive.
    Even if it’s bloody cold in Wyoming in the winter, I always find it magical to walk under the stars, so I bundle up pretty good, and off we go. I always feel great afterwards.

    Aude wrote on January 7th, 2014
  40. Good timing! My challenge in the winter is not the cold, but the dark! I leave for work and come home in the dark. I was just thinking about how I feel I have been neglecting giving my dog the walks he loves (easy to get away with with an elderly shih-tzu) and decided to add walking to both my before and after work routines and enjoy watching the days gradually lengthen.

    Em wrote on January 7th, 2014

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