It’s no surprise that we all need to exercise. Our bodies were not designed to sit all day; they were made to move. Back ache, stiff neck, knee twinges, headaches… even the healthiest of us will feel the effects of working too long at a desk or being stuck in that long commute.
Studies have shown that regular exercise not only improves overall health, it also reduces the risk for many common conditions. These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and of course, chronic kidney disease. Exercise may even put you in a better mood! For some people, it works as well as anti-depressants for battling depression.
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. That may sound like a lot if you don’t currently have many opportunities to move but it’s vital that we all find ways to fit physical activity into our day.
Unfortunately, most modern schedules include plenty of sitting and not so much moving around. Lots of folks try to make up for a sedentary lifestyle by running, hitting the gym or taking exercise classes. Those can be great choices but even an intense hour of exercise doesn’t make up for sitting all day. In addition, many exercise options require special training, equipment, memberships or transportation, which are not be available to everyone. The elderly or people with medical restrictions may also be nervous about testing their physical limitations and possible injury.
Good news! There’s an activity available to everyone that is simple, convenient, relatively safe and doesn’t cost a thing… WALKING. The only equipment you need are your own two feet. If you have mobility issues then certainly a cane, walker, or supportive arm comes in handy but even someone confined to a wheelchair can enjoy getting out in the fresh air, interacting with a group and building supportive relationships.
Do you have to walk for a set number of blocks, miles or length of time? No. Studies have shown that even the smallest amount of physical activity added to the day moves us incrementally toward wellness. Step by step, one foot in front of the other, we can walk toward better health.
Time to get motivated and get moving! If you’ve already got a friend or two (or a dog) who will walk with you, great. But if you’re finding it hard to get started and don’t want to go it alone… JOIN US! West Orange Nephrology has partnered with the national Walk With a Doc initiative to engage our patients and the community in getting out and walking. This is a FREE program and EVERYONE is welcome.
Don't live in our area? No worries… you can find all the Walk With a Doc locations at: https://walkwithadoc.org/our-locations/
Lace up your walking shoes and let’s move toward wellness, together.