According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 60 percent of adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity. In fact, 25 percent of all adults are not active at all. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that adults obtain at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity and muscle-strengthening exercises on at least 2 non-consecutive days per week. Further benefits, the report suggests, can be obtained by increasing the amount, intensity, and frequency of physical activity. However, as Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, explains “doing anything more than you were doing is very worthwhile."
Some of the most cited reasons for not exercising include: lack of time, inconvenience, and lack of motivation. Why not overcome these mental barriers and start off the week on top by scheduling a mile-long walk with a family member or friend in the nice, crisp autumn air? Walking for just 22 minutes a day, 7 days a week will help you reach the weekly aerobic activity guidelines. As the wise Greek philosopher Hippocrates once said, “Walking is man's best medicine.” Not only will you gain many great benefits, including lowered risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, and colon and breast cancer, you will also gain a valuable shared experience that can help fuel your week. Learn more about the Monday Mile at www.healthymonday.org.
Every Monday, the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project, part of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, offers tips for preventing disease and injury, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Check back each week for new tips or visit our archive.