Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- More Americans are choosing to get some exercise by walking, but most aren’t getting enough to make a real difference in their health.
More than six in 10 adults in America are lacing up their shoes and going for walks, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The number of people who said they walked at least once for 10 minutes or more in the past week jumped from about 56 percent in 2005 to 62 percent in 2010.
Those who live in the northeast and west tend to walk the most, but the south gained the highest percentage of new walkers over the five year period compared to other regions.
And though this is good news, to gain real health benefits adults need to walk briskly for at least two and a half hours per week. And walkers need to maintain a fast pace for at least 10 minutes at a stretch.
Less than half of adults in the U.S. are getting the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity each week and this has health experts concerned.
Known benefits of exercise include helping to prevent early death and chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, depression and type 2 diabetes.
So what can you do if you’re not getting enough exercise? The CDC recommends joining a walking group or starting one with friends and neighbors.