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Walking for Health

Walking is the best prescription for health. Walking 21 minutes a day or 2 1/2 hours per week can cut your risk for heart disease by 30%. Walking doesn’t cost you anything, can be done anywhere, requires no equipment, requires no membership, and has been shown to be effective to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. Walking cannot only help you in your physical health but has been found to help your mood and is effective to aid in treating depression. With exercise, beta-endorphins are released which have been found to elevate one’s mood.

The speed of walking is important to evaluate the state of your health. If you are walking for your health a pace of approximately 3 mph or 120 steps per minute or a 20-minute mile is about right. Should you wish to lose weight by your walking exercise program then you need to pick up the pace to 4 mph or 135 steps per minute or a 15-minute mile. With aerobic fitness that would be walking at a pace of 4 1/2 mph or 150 steps per minute.

In order to track your walking exercise program consider buying a pedometer or activity tracker such as a Fitbit. A 20-minute walk is approximately 120 steps per minute or 2400 steps. Eventually, if you can advance to 10,000 steps per day you should be able to cover most bases. By gradually increasing your pace you can receive additional health benefits

To learn more about Dr. Cotler or to schedule an appointment, please call us on (713) 523-8884 or visit www.gulfcoastspinecare.com

Howard B. Cotler, MD, FACS, FAAOS is board certified and recertified in Orthopedic Surgery. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

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