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Oklahomans walk their way to better health

Oklahomans walk their way to better health. (KTUL)
Oklahomans walk their way to better health. (KTUL)
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Physical activity each day, even something as simple as walking, could greatly reduce the risk of diseases and potentially reduce spending.

“CDC recommends that you spend about 150 minutes per week doing some sort of moderate physical activity,” said Barry Dockery, a sports medicine physician at Hillcrest.

The 150 consecutive minutes can be broken down as well.

According to the American Heart Association, walking just 30 to 60 minutes per day can drastically improve your health and reduce the risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer.

According to the CDC, heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in Oklahoma.

Walking could also have major economic benefits.

“You can save a ton of money, especially walking,” Dockery said.

“Your own personal cost is much less because you're not having to pay for medications, diagnostics, etcetera,” General Internal Medicine Inpatient Medical Director at OU Medical Center Joanne Skaggs said.

Glenn Harris, a heart health advocate, told NewsChannel 8 he has walked in support of heart health for 15 years.

“We are walking for heart health, and if you don't, it may be too late, and people could be walking in memory of you. I am just so thrilled to be walking as a survivor. And not that people aren't walking in memory of me," said Harris.

Harris walks for his daughter, who was only 24 when she passed from sudden cardiac arrest.

Now, he organizes walks around the nation in memory of loved ones lost to heart complications and to raise awareness.

Medical professionals say it’s never too late to start walking, and if you have existing heart conditions, consult your physician.

“Particularly if you're having symptoms of shortness of breath or chest pain, you want to make sure that you're fine before starting. That we don't want anyone and doing that in an unsafe manner or perhaps there's some on-mat health needs that might need to be addressed before starting that exercise program. And then additionally, if you start experiencing symptoms while you're exercising is always important to discuss that with your personal physician," said Skaggs.


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