Health and Wellness

Elizabeth Warren walks 6.6 miles a day and listens to fiction audiobooks to unwind


If Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren won the presidency, she would be the oldest first-term president ever inaugurated (like many in the running). But as she pointed out during Thursday's Democratic debate, "I'd also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated."

Whichever way you look at it, at 70, exercise is a part of Warren's daily routine, and a way for her to unwind.

At the end of the day, Warren likes to go on long walks, she told Rolling Stone in a recent interview.

"I've averaged 6.6 miles every single day [this year] — some days I get way above that, and some days I fall short because the rest of the team keeps me working on too many other things," Warren said. "And I don't get to count my steps when I'm doing town halls."

Warren said she often listens to fiction books on tape while she walks.

"It's very—relaxing is almost not the right word; it's grounding," Warren told GQ in August. "It's okay, I'm walking, I'm reading a book, I'm unwinding from all of the things that come flying in during a presidential campaign."

Currently on her audiobook playlist? "The John Rain series — it's a good sort of mystery adventure," she told Rolling Stone.

When Warren isn't tuned into a book, she listens to Patsy Cline, she told MSNBC's "The Beat with Ari Melber" in November.

Regardless of where Warren is in the country, she gets her steps in simply by doing laps in parking lots. "Sometimes it just really means circling the parking lot, but each time thinking, 'Okay, but I'm moving,'" she told GQ.

Walking is simple and easy on the joints, but it counts as aerobic exercise. It's recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) a week, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

This habit also has lots of benefits beyond just physical fitness. A 2014 study found that walking "opens up the free flow of ideas," and is an easy way to boost creativity. Walking through nature has been shown to improve your mood and memory. Other studies suggest that a light to moderate-intensity walk can help you sleep.

And you don't have to walk several miles like Warren to reap the calming benefits: A 10-minute walk is just as good as a 45-minute workout for anxiety relief, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

As for her fiction habit, studies suggest people who read fiction tend to have high levels of emotional intelligence and empathy.

Of course, Warren also has other, less active ways to kick back. She and her husband, Bruce Mann, "love an hour of good TV," she told Rolling Stone.

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