“Walking is man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates 

I’ve always recommended simple walking to my patient, but have been on this kick lately to really push a simple walking program to all my patients (just watch out for the bears on back country roads!).  It can really make a big difference in your outcomes, patient satisfaction and best of all, cheap, easy and available to everyone.  

With our backgrounds (exercise science, nutrition, etc), we all know the benefits and have the duty as healthcare practitioners to promote it.  I want to link out a video from Dr. Mike Evans from University of Toronto.  I found this on WellEvolEdU physical therapy blog, thanks!

I like the fact that Dr. Mike Evans says that you don’t have to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon, but 30 minutes of activity is all you need.  I agree, and so does ACSM.  I was surprised to hear that “low fitness” was the strongest predictor of death!  More than the typical “medical” diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes, etc.?! 

These animated whiteboard presentations are really good!  How do you make these anyway!?

Stay tuned for next post on how WE, as physical therapists, can “measure” walking.  Is this possible?





  1. Harrison,
    I like the video! He does bring up some great points, and I agree with you seeing patient satisfaction with such a simple form of exercises.

    I went to a lecture where they discussed walking speed being a “sixth vital sign”. I thought it was a great point, being that exercise has been linked on multiple occasions to predictors of mortality and morbidity. They suggest doing a 4M walk test. I have used this on multiple occasions, however find a ceiling effect for my more active/mobile patients. I look forward to hearing your suggestions for further evaluating gait.

  2. Thanks for the mention Harrison. I will add more later. It seems that we are on the same wavelength. I do have one question, Were bicycles invented before or after Hippocrates? Just kidding. I will continue to follow your valuable site.- Randy Bauer PT, ATC

  3. Great posts on walking! I have also been sharing this information with my patients as it seems more and more research highlights the importance of staying physically active, not just “exercising” as prescribed for health benefits. This is why I’ve chosen #30min365 and am promoting it with my clients. It’s simple. Make a conscious effort to move everyday, not just 3-5 times per week. I think some people do get put off by exercise because they have an idea of exercise that can seem daunting. For people who aren’t exercising, just by walking 30 minutes a day the benefits are great to overall health.

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