On Wednesday, the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy started a national walking campaign in an attempt to rein in obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Although taking a stroll may not seem as effective as regular physical exercise is, there’s a medical consensus that walking can prevent a cohort of diseases, help people lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, and increase their spirits. Additionally, it is absolutely free and just about anyone can do it.
“I firmly believe that everybody in America needs a safe place to walk or to wheelchair roll,”
Surgeon General told reporters Wednesday in a brief press meeting.
Murthy added that people who want to walk need a neighborhood that allows them to do it. Crosswalks and sidewalks are very important along with the general feeling of security when being by oneself outside.
But Surgeon General acknowledged that not all urban areas are stroll-friendly, so he urged municipalities, local communities, schools, and city planners to make the environment safer for pedestrians.
But there are other obstacles Americans need to overcome in order to get in the mood for walking. One of these obstacles is chronic lack of time. According to Surgeon General’s office, every adult should do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise five times a week to stay healthy. Yet, recent surveys show that most of Americans fail to follow any of these recommendations.
Nevertheless, doctors recommend walking for a series of reasons. For instance a fairly recent study showed that a 20-minute daily walk can reduce risk of premature death from all causes by 30 percent.
Additionally, Mayo Clinic researchers noted that walking can prevent obesity and help overweight people lose the extra pounds since every 30-minute stroll forces the body to burn 150 calories.
Moreover, walking can stave off diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels. A 2013 research paper showed that walking 15 minutes after every meal can prevent diabetes in the same manner a 45-minute stroll does it.
Walking has also long-term benefits for the cardiovascular system. Although, a series of studies had shown that jogging is better for heart than walking, a recent study found that people who walk the same distance their peers run have similar health benefits including improvements in their blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels, and heart disease.
Experts say that the best walking pace for optimal heart health is the one that allows you to talk, but it makes it uncomfortable for you to sing.
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