Woman lacing up her pink sneakers to go walking.

Walking Your Way to Good Health

Heart & Vascular

Getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week has its benefits. But you may not know where to start. Bayhealth Cardiologist Roberto Scaffidi, MD, says walking is a low impact form of exercise that’s a step in the right direction for most. Better yet, walking has other health benefits.

Here’s what Dr. Scaffidi, also the Chair of the Southern Delaware Heart Walk 2022, had to say about walking your way to good health.

  • Reduce your risk of heart attack. When you walk at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can reduce your risk of heart attack by 30-40%.

  • Strengthen your bones. Walking regularly can help keep your bones strong. “As you age your bones will remain strong and make you less likely to suffer broken bones,” said Dr. Scaffidi. Along those same lines, arthritis pain and symptomize will lessen.

  • Lower blood sugar levels. For those with Type 2 diabetes, walking has proven to lower blood sugar levels.

  • Improve mental health. As an avid runner, Dr. Scaffidi knows that pounding the pavement can vastly improve mental health. “Getting outside to get fresh air and Vitamin D provides an instant mood boost.” Walking out in nature has a calming effect and can help reduce stress and anxieties that tend to build up throughout the day.

When you start your walking routine, Dr. Scaffidi says to start off slowly. “Moving is better than not,” he said. “And you don’t have to start all at once. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t hitting goals right away. Just keep going and stay consistent.”

As a doctor who’s focused on heart health, Dr. Scaffidi says that those with a history of heart issues should talk to their doctor before starting a new physical activity.

Here’s your encouragement to lace up those shoes and hit the pavement.

Visit Bayhealth.org/Find-A-Doc or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (229-3627) to find a healthcare provider.