“Walking is man’s best medicine.” The ground breaking physician Hippocrates, said this around 300 BC. It’s amazing that this still applies today. Walking is one of the easiest exercises that the majority of Americans can perform. So what does it take? Not much – just the personal incentive to get started. Requirements are comfortable shoes and your choice of the place to walk. This can be the local school track, a park, your neighborhood, or even within your own home.
The current recommendation is 10,000 steps per day which equates to about 5 miles per day. This is the mission of the US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, and the Shape Up America! campaign (http://shapeup.org/10000-steps/). If you are a couch potato and are just starting out, you can simply time yourself and see how long you can walk before you get tired. Once you have established that amount of time, challenge yourself to walk for a longer time or distance. If you want to get technical, download a free app for your cell phone such as Map My Walk (www.mapmywalk.com/app/ ) or purchase an inexpensive pedometer to count your daily steps and then begin to challenge yourself to exceed that number each day. Every extra effort counts!
Hippocrates realized the need for exercise long before our modern day physicians ever began their studies. Some things are just that simple, so slip on those comfortable shoes and take a walk!