Businesswoman holding digital tablet and walking in the city
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The plentiful benefits of walking

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    May 2024

    We’ve all heard this many times before: Everyone should engage in at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic exercise” every week for optimal health benefits. This essentially translates to 30 minutes a day of running, biking, swimming, or some other aerobic activity for at least five days a week. This recommendation is backed by medical research and supported by multiple medical organizations including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Heart Association.1

    But for many of us, this is a challenging objective to reach! We’re busy. We may have work, kids, or many other priorities. But what if the goal was easier to attain? Something smaller. Something everyone can incorporate into their daily routine right now.

    I'm talking about walking.

    Multiple studies have shown that regular physical activity, including walking, decreases the risk or severity of multiple health issues such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cognitive impairment, and dementia. It can also improve sleep and mental health, strengthen bones to decrease risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis, and promote healthy aging by improving ability to do daily activities.2

    Set small goals and start today. Make a commitment to walk 30 minutes three to five days this week. This can occur before work, during your lunch break, or even after dinner. The goal is to do it at the same time every day in order to incorporate into your daily routine. Start slowly and work your way up to walking 30 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be fast. A leisurely pace accomplishes the same benefit. Encourage your spouse, your children, your friends and/or your coworkers to join you. This way you have some accountability.

    According to the CDC, “everyone can experience the health benefits of physical activity – age, abilities, ethnicity, shape, or size do not matter.”3 

    So let’s start walking today!   

    Contact the Author
    Gina Guzman
    Dr. Gina Guzman
    Vice President & Chief Medical Officer
    Munich Re Life US
    1. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, Second Edition, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018. How much physical activity do you need?, American Heart Association 2. Ungvari Z, Fazekas-Pongor V, Csiszar A, Kunutsor SK. The multifaceted benefits of walking for healthy aging: from Blue Zones to molecular mechanisms. Geroscience. 2023;45(6):3211-3239.doi:10.1007/s11357-023-00873-8 3. Benefits of Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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