Despite the urging of their doctors and public health experts, many Americans are still not moving enough to meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, but studies show most are still falling short of this goal.
The risks of not exercising regularly are real. Inactive adults are at higher risk for dying earlier, as well as for depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers, according to the CDC. But the benefits of moving more are also clear. Those who exercise regularly live longer and are at lower risk for developing many diseases. Plus physical activity boasts other benefits, such as weight control, improved academic achievement and more positive self-esteem.
If you want to start exercising more often, walking may be a good start. All that’s required are a good pair of walking shoes and a neighbor, friend or family dog to accompany you. Find advice for starting a walking program online: cdc.gov/vitalsigns/Walking and hemaware.org/story/walking-exercise.