For Release Friday, April 19, 2013
The next big health care breakthrough – which could cut rates of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and Alzheimers by at least 40 percent and save Americans $100 billion a year – comes from a place you’d least expect. On your block. At the park. Everywhere.
What’s this amazing treatment, which also happens to be easy, enjoyable and virtually free? It’s as simple as taking a walk.
“Walking is like medicine for my patients,” says Dr. Bob Sallis, a Kaiser Permanente family practitioner from Fontana, Calif., describing the connection between how much time his patients spend walking and their overall health. “If walking was a pill or surgical procedure, it would be on 60 Minutes.”
“Being physically active is one of the most important things people of all ages can do for their health,” explains Joan Dorn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She notes walking ranks No. 1 among Americans’ favorite aerobic activities, and that walking as little as 30 minutes is one way to achieve significant health benefits.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin has announced that she is preparing a Call to Action on Walking, which is being compared to the famous 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on the dangers of smoking. “Walking is easy,” Dr. Benjamin told a group of health, business, education and government leaders who came together in Washington to advance a national walking movement. “Everyone can do it, and it’s fun. We have to make being healthy joyful.”