A few years back Dr. Mike Evans created this informative, inspiring, and highly entertaining video lecture on what he believes is the single most effective effort we can make in improving our health. I have shared this with my family, friends, and for over three years, and now I am excited to share it with y’all! Here’s the video description from Dr. Evans’ YouTube page:
“A Doctor-Professor answers the old question “What is the single best thing we can do for our health” in a completely new way. Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.”
What jumped to the forefront of my mind while watching this video is that the potentially most effective health intervention is also immediately available to every one of us – old and young, rich and poor. Walking is 100% natural and 100% free, and while some of us may live in areas where outdoor walking isn’t safe or convenient we can easily pace about our homes for a purposeful thirty minutes a day. My dad and mom have been trying this out this winter, and they have been surprised by how many steps they rack up just getting up and walking during commercials and half times. And anyone could even walk in place in front of the television during commercials and rack up about thirty minutes and over 2,000 steps in just one hour of TV watching, according to this study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
And while I was intrigued by Evans’ statement that “obesity + exercise” ameliorated much of the negative health consequences with obesity (found in the fourth minute of his video) I wish to direct the interested reader to this article titled The Myth of Healthy Obesity from the Annals of Internal Medicine; and here’s a Health Day post on the same article, which is a lighter read and contains commentary from our own local authority, Dr. David Katz. I want to be clear that the content of these articles doesn’t change my enthusiasm for daily walking for folks of all shapes and sizes; indeed, it turns out that not walking is worse for one’s health and longevity than being obese! and for those who are interested in going further with their daily walking I recommend Move A Little, Lose A Lot by James Levine. (“Going further” need not be a pun – Levine created the first treadmill desk!)
BTW: I highly recommend visiting Evans’ home page, www.EvansHealthLab.com Click the link to his “Whiteboard Med School” to see more of his video lectures on a variety of topics.