Surgeon General Says: Walk 22 Minutes A Day

by | Sep 16, 2015

Would you walk 22 minutes a day for the U.S.A.?

Walking and walkable communities should be a national priority, says U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who just launched a landmark “Step It Up” campaign to encourage Americans to walk more and to make all communities safer and easier for walking.

Some say the call to walk is as important to national health as the Surgeon General’s anti-smoking campaign in 1964.

Consider: One out of every two American adults is living with chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes. Increasing physical activity by 150 minutes a week – or 22 minutes a day – lowers risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, colon and breast cancer. It improves cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness and bone health. And it can be fun.

Why walk? The country’s top doc chose walking as a powerful public health strategy because it doesn’t require special skills, facilities, or expensive equipment and it’s an easy physical activity to begin and maintain as part of a physically active lifestyle.

Most people are able to walk, and many people with disabilities are able to walk or move with assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers. Walking has a lower risk of injury than vigorous-intensity activities. Walking is a good way to help people who are inactive become physically active because walking can be easily adapted to fit time, needs, and abilities.

But  if you’d prefer to move your body and raise your heart rate another way, go for it!

Visit Wellbody Hall in Wellbody Academy and use the Optimizer, Planner and Barrier Feud activities to create S.M.A.R.T. personal fitness goals. Could one of your goals be 22 minutes of walking (or other brisk activity) a day? Also in Wellbody Hall, get inspired by short videos showcasing local people who improved their neighborhood’s fitness level through a “walking school bus” and community walking programs.

Here’s a good summary of the Surgeon General’s 22-Minutes-A-Day Campaign.