You can “walk” your way towards good health

12:29 pm Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community

Brisk walking for about 80 minutes a day can accrue various health benefits

New Delhi, 1 April 2019: Just an hour a week of brisk walking staves-off disability in older adults with arthritis pain, or aching or stiffness in a knee, hip, ankle or foot, as per a recent study. This is less than 10 minutes a day for people to maintain their independence. This minimum threshold may motivate inactive older adults to begin their path toward a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits promoted by physical activity.

Walking 20 minutes at a moderate pace each day is associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes in patients with impaired glucose tolerance, according to a study published in The Lancet. People who walked 2,000 steps more per day at baseline had a 10% lower risk of cardiovascular death, paralysis or heart attack during an average follow–up of 6 years, according to Thomas Yates, PhD, of the University of Leicester in England, and colleagues.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “here is a general perception among the public that doctors are never ill. However, this is not true. The medical profession by itself is a health hazard. Lack of exercise, poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation, work-related stress are potential health risks of the medical profession. ‘Charity begins at home’ is a well-known phrase. Doctors should also take care of their own health. This is important not only for themselves but for their patients too. To keep themselves healthy, doctors should walk 80 minutes each day, brisk walk 80 minutes a week and walk with a speed of 80 steps per minute. Walk in the sun as most doctors are vitamin D deficient.”

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Walking is the best form of exercise, which requires no investment, no special training. Walking in natural environments such as parks also reduces mental stress and fatigue and improve mood via the release of the ‘feel good’ endorphins. This proximity to nature also helps in the inward spiritual journey and shifts one from the sympathetic to parasympathetic mode manifested by lowering of blood pressure and pulse rate.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Take the stairs as often as possible.
  • Get off the bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Have “walk-meetings” instead of “sit-in” meetings.
  • Walk to the nearby shops instead of driving.
  • Stand up and walk while talking on the phone.
  • Walk down to speak to your colleague instead of using the intercom/phone.
  • Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch.
  • Buy a pedometer.
  • Walk 80 minutes each day; brisk walk 80 minutes a week with a speed of 80 steps per minute.

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