Health Team

Are you walking enough to benefit your health?

WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask explains how to make sure your walking routine is really helping your heart.

Posted Updated

Allen Mask
, M.D., Health Team physician

Researchers say Americans appear to be walking more often than they were a decade ago -- but are they walking enough?

According to WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask, there's a way to make sure your walking routine is really helping your heart.

Study data in the National Health Interview Survey from 2005 to 2015 shows the number of people walking increased by 10 percent in the past years.


Wellness expert Dr. Michael Roizen commented on the study, which looked at the walking habits of adults -- both for transportation and for leisure.

According to the study, walking for transportation increased by 3 percent, and leisure walking grew by 10 percent. However, the average distance traveled grew less over time.

Dr. Roizen said, if we're not active, we won't have normal blood pressure, cholesterol or stress management, which are all keys for a healthy lifestyle.

To be considered active, people should be aiming for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. "The key is where you get healthy is 10,000 steps a day," said Dr. Roizen. "It's not a magic number we pulled down, it's the number where you break metabolic syndrome -- where you break insulin resistance in your muscle cells.

Dr. Mask recommends using an inexpensive pedometer -- or, if you're willing, a more high tech fitness wrist band to keep track of how many steps you get.


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