Walking and health

Alternative names
Health and walking; Mild exercise; Exercise - is walking worthwhile


Regular exercise, including walking, decreases your risk of death, heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, and obesity. It also improves overall health, helps osteoarthritis and diabetes, boosts HDL (good cholesterol) levels, and lightens mood.

As long as there are no medical conditions that contraindicate walking (such as predisposition to falls or advanced degenerative joint disease), walking is an excellent, inexpensive form of exercise.

Thirty minutes of physical activity (walking or other physical activity) on most days is recommended by the Surgeon General. A brisk 30-minute walk burns about 200 calories. Walking slowly for 30 minutes uses 100 calories. Even making a few minor changes, such as parking farther from work or from a store and walking the extra distance, can make a difference. See physical activity.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 6, 2012
by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

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