I recently participated in an online event featuring integrative medicine doctor Dr. Andrew Weil and Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli. The session, called "Walking Your Way to Optimum Health," discussed the importance of walking, keeping your feet healthy, and looked at Dr. Weil's new line of integrative footwear.
When asked how he stays in shape, Dr. Weil said that in his twenties he ran, in his thirties and forties he cycled, and now he swims and walks everyday. When he is on the road and can't swim, he makes it a priority to go walking. Dr. Weil talked about the benefits of walking, saying that it's the perfect exercise because it's what we were were designed to do. Since walking is something we can do indoors, outdoors, or with friends, and because it's one of the safest exercises — making injury rates very low — Dr. Weil believes it's an essential exercise to incorporate into our lifestyles.
Find out what else I learned about Dr. Weil.
After experiencing signals early on that convinced him he was not a runner, Dr. Weil found that low-impact walking was what worked best for him — saying that walking his two dogs twice a day is something he thoroughly enjoys. Cities like New York and San Francisco are great for walking, but there are unfortunately still many cities across the US that aren't pedestrian friendly, says Dr. Weil. When asked what the secret is for people who want to exercise more, Dr. Weil says that because exercise is a habit, you need to make it a new habit in your life. He said that associating yourself with more people that have the habits you want will make that goal more achievable.
Considering Americans take the least amount of steps each day compared to most other developed countries, the health benefits of walking should be touted more to get people excited about walking again. Here are some useful walking resources:
- Walk to the grocery store!
- Incorporate walking tours on your next vacation.
- Learn how to get the most out of your walk.