Health and Wellness

Gwyneth Paltrow says this wellness practice is 'one of the healthiest things we can do' — and it's free

NBC

Gwyneth Paltrow is the founder and CEO of luxury lifestyle brand Goop. It's website is full of expensive, unconventional wellness products for sale, such as a $500 infrared sauna blanket and a $84 crystal-infused water bottle. But when it comes to Paltrow's own routine, her favorite wellness practice is surprisingly simple and cheap: walking.

"I started walking about a year and a half ago, and I make sure to walk every day," Paltrow tells Julia Boorstin in an interview with CNBC Make It. Sometimes Paltrow walks with her husband, Brad Falchuk, her kids, Apple, 15, and Moses, 13 — or her rescue dog. Other times she prefers going out alone.

Walking is Paltrow's "time to let the brain disengage from input, while having fresh air and moving the body," she says. "It's also, from a research perspective, turning out to be one of the healthiest things we can do is just walk."

(Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren is also a fan: She walks 6.6 miles each day and says it helps her relax and feel grounded while campaigning.)

In 2017, Goop reported that Paltrow swears by "earthing" or walking barefoot in nature. "They say that we've lost touch with sort of being barefoot in the earth and that there's some type of electromagnetic thing that we're missing," Paltrow told ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in June 2017.

While the research on earthing is hazy, lots of studies suggest that walking in nature has legitimate benefits.

Studies show that walking can boost creative output by up to 60%, as well as improve your mood and decrease feelings of boredom. A 2015 study from Stanford University found that taking a 90-minute walk in nature improves cognitive functioning and decreases anxiety.

Walking counts as a low-impact form of cardio exercise, and it may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. Walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is enough to meet the federal exercise guidelines for adults.

In addition to walking, Paltrow's workout routine also includes exercising daily with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson. "I've been a Tracy Anderson fanatic for over a decade, I'm an investor in her company, so yeah, I go every morning," she told Women's Health magazine in March 2017.

Although many of the wellness practices that Goop preaches are expensive, "the true tenets of wellness are all free," Paltrow told the New York Times in March 2019. "Being in nature, meditating, eating whole foods. If you told our grandparents that eating whole, natural foods was elitist, they would have thought you were crazy."

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