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Move More Month: Walk to Stay Active During Pandemic

In a survey by UnitedHealthcare, more than 50% of respondents said walking is their preferred way to exercise. (Adobe stock)
In a survey by UnitedHealthcare, more than 50% of respondents said walking is their preferred way to exercise. (Adobe stock)
April 23, 2020

ANNAPOLIS -- Even though Marylanders are housebound because of the coronavirus pandemic, health experts say getting out for a stroll is something people still can do to maintain good health.

April is Move More Month, which aims to get people to create daily walking plans to improve their well-being.

Dr. Michael Bess, vice president for health care strategies at UnitedHealthcare, says he's encouraging folks to walk more at home or outside either solo or with immediate family members, which will help folks stay healthy during the outbreak.

"Walking remains a generally safe option to help support emotional or physical well-being, and especially because studies show walking may help boost your immune system, which is specifically important during this COVID-19 crisis," he states.

Bess says walking can help to ward off depression while isolated, and help to manage chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

For cardiovascular fitness, Bess recommends walking a total of 10,000 total steps each day. He says if that seems overwhelming, it's easy to break it up into several short walks each day.

"We kind of look at frequency, a complete 500 steps within seven minutes six times a day," he explains. "And then intensity, a brisk 3,000-step walk for about 30 minutes."

To boost motivation, Marylanders can sign a pledge to walk more and possibly win a prize by entering UnitedHealthcare's Step Up for Better Health Sweepstakes.

Go online to UHCwalkingmaps.com for more information and to see 10,000-step walking routes for more than 50 cities.

Disclosure: United Healthcare-MD contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Diane Bernard, Public News Service - MD