Dr. James Levine from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has reviewed the evidence. Here are the benefits.

Blood pressure

  • Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise training can lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
  • The average reduction for systolic/diastolic pressure is -10.5/-7.6 mmHg.
  • The reductions do not appear to be gender- or age-specific.


  • Walking at least a mile each day may provide strong protection from mortality in older adults with diabetes.
  • Walking also protects adults who have no evidence of glucose intolerance.


  • Take your choice: resistance training, aerobic walking, combined exercise.
  • All groups have lower lipid levels.
  • Total cholesterol, low- (bad) and high- (good) cholesterol levels, and triglyceride blood levels are all significantly lowered.

Cardiovascular disease

  • In order to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, accumulated daily walking as opposed to structured walking activity should be considered as a viable option in women.

Anxiety and depression

  • There’s a small effect in favor of exercise in reducing depression and anxiety.
  • It makes little difference whether the exercise is of high or low intensity.

The bottom line?
Dr. Levine concludes, “In the short span of 150 years, we have forsaken our legs as a means of locomotion, work, and leisure. We are designed to walk all day long, and ? we should.”

Animation: www.artie.com

7/12/07 09:57 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.