Surgeon General of the U.S. Promotes Healthy Walking

A beach in Albufeira, Portugal. Stay active, stay healthy! (Dr. Noorai Bharwani)
A beach in Albufeira, Portugal. Stay active, stay healthy! (Dr. Noorai Bharwani)

Regular walking has physical and mental benefits.

“If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk,” says writer Raymond I. Myers.

If you want to be healthy and stay healthy then take a walk, says U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy is an American physician, a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. He knows what he is talking about.

Only half of adults and just over a quarter of high school students get the amount of physical activity recommended for good health. That is not good.

How much activity do we need to stay healthy?

It is recommended that adults get at least two and half-hours a week of moderately intense physical activity. Children should be active at least 60 minutes every day.

Why do we need to be physically active?

The reasons are pretty simple but very important. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and a list of other health problems – and can ease symptoms and improve quality of life for people already living with chronic diseases.

Murthy says your walking should be brisk enough that you can still talk but not sing. Walking should be brisk enough to get your heart rate up. To encourage walking we need to make our neighborhoods easier and safer for foot traffic. Walking is simple and affordable. Murthy encourages communities to create walkable neighborhoods. Make sidewalks safer for seniors.

November is senior’s falls prevention month. Studies have shown that walking is good for balance. A good balance does help prevent falls.

Walking is not always easy. Changing weather and flu season is a hindrance to establish consistent walking habit. Icy roads and sidewalks are dangerous. People find indoor areas like malls and indoor walking trails in places like YMCA very helpful.

You can walk leisurely 30 minutes a day for general health benefits. You can walk briskly to improve cardiovascular fitness by walking 30 minutes a day five days a week. If you are trying to lose weight then you need to walk briskly for 45 to 60 minutes a day five days a week. And make your dinner slimmer.

Scientific literature suggests that regular, brisk exercise of any kind can improve confidence, stamina, energy, weight control and life expectancy and reduce stress. It can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and other health problems. And Friedrich Nietzsche, author of Twilight of the Idols says, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” What more can you ask for?

Now lets get cracking!

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