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The Secret to a Healthy Life: A Daily, Half-Hour Walk

11:14 AM EST on December 12, 2011

Arthritis? Diabetes? Depression? Anxiety? Whatever might ail you, the best prescription may just be a half-hour walk.

That's according to research by Dr. Mike Evans, an expert on preventive health care. The video below, shared by the Missouri Bike and Pedestrian Federation, explains that just a small daily dose of moderate exercise can have tremendous implications for personal well being -- more than any other lifestyle decision:

Dr. Evans doesn't get into neighborhood design, but his research has important implications for the way we build our communities.

If you live in a neighborhood where you can run at least a portion of your errands by foot, you can get in a half hour of walking without setting aside a whole block of time from your busy day. You may get your daily walking quota in without even noticing it.

Meanwhile, if you live in an area where destinations are far apart and street conditions make walking unsafe, just getting in 30 minutes of walking a day can become a logistical problem. Do you have to join a gym, and drive there? How much time does that take? Maybe it isn't practical everyday.

If walking is the best prescription for a healthy life, then complete streets and mixed uses are the prescription for healthy communities.

Elsewhere on the Network today: Bike Omaha reports that this Nebraska town is making transportation alternatives part of a broader campaign to reduce obesity. Straight Outta Suburbia explains how Southern California's underwhelming public transportation system cost the region at least one important resident. And The Heaviest Corner says that what downtown Mobile, Alabama needs more than a "silver bullet" baseball stadium is mixed-use housing.

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