6 in 10 Americans are now walking every week, and they’re three times more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than people who don’t take strolls. In a new report, the CDC finds that more and more Americans are taking up the simple act of walking for exercise, and that those who get out there and walk are about three times more likely to meet physical activity requirements.
CDC director Thomas Frieden said, “Fifteen million more Americans were walking in 2010 compared to 2005″…“There really is no single drug that can do anything like what regular physical activity does and that’s why [walking] really is a wonder drug. It makes you healthier and happier. Even if you don’t lose any weight, getting regular exercise will decrease your risk of getting sick, getting diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and many other conditions.” In addition to that walking can reduce the power of weight-gaining genes.
Walkers were defined as those who engaged in at least one bout of walking in the previous week for at least 10 minutes; the walk could have been undertaken for any reason, such as transportation, fun, walking the dog, relaxation or exercise. Americans living in the West and Northeast logged the most walks, but Southerners made the most strides in terms of increasing their walking prevalence, with 49% reporting walking in 2005, compared with 57% in 2010.