10:30 AM

Take a Walk TODAY like Al Roker for fitness’ sake

HSS sports medicine physician Jordan D. Metzl, MD, joins TODAY co-host and meteorologist Al Roker on a walk through Central Park in New York City and discusses the benefits of walking on the body and mind.

Dr. Metzl explained while people are exercising, they aren’t putting every day steps into their life. “Things like walking to dinner or walking to school or walking to work. Each of these steps add up. That’s cumulative throughout the day, the week, and month. It has major implications on health throughout your entire body.”

Dr. Metzl continued, “Anybody can walk at any age. I want to make the distinction, walking to get out to walk and walking for exercise. If you're walking for exercise, you want to think about how much exertion you're doing. We have a perceived exertion scale, an effort scale, of 1-3. We're now in a one just talking. Two is, you're breathing heavier." He cited a good average pace is a 1-2, "meaning you can talk, easy conversation is fine.”

To get more intensity out of the walk, Dr. Metzl suggested putting in some speed. “We can even walk a little faster. We can put in some hills (walking uphill is tougher). Then you can stop off and do things at a bench. Do some squats. Any of those types of things are helpful.”

Dr. Metzl concluded, “People think about walking for physicality, but for mental health, it's extremely important. The idea of clearing your mind, clearing your brain, reduces anxiety, and helps with sleep. There's a lot of mental benefits to walking every day outside.”

Watch the segment online at TODAY.com. This segment appeared during the 8am news hour on February 26, 2021.

Additional coverage online at TODAY.com. This segment appeared during the third hour of TODAY on February 26, 2021.