Walking, and especially enhanced walking, has to be the new “gold standard” in living and in planning cities. During the present crisis, when an individual may want to avoid modes of public transportation, walking and running remain safe, efficient and reliable means of getting around or escaping a potentially dangerous situation.
The “fight or flight” instinct is so inbred into our survival mechanism that we take for granted our ability to flee . . . run . . . or walk briskly out of harm’s way.
This is dependent on the integrity of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. In his anatomical drawings depicting the engineering of the human body, Leonardo da Vinci noted the foot and ankle as an engineering marvel.
Experts such as Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, concur “the ability to ambulate and walk efficiently is essential to coping with emergencies and crises.”
This physical attribute is essential right now in virus-ravaged New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, indeed globally, as sedentary or car-mobile populations are otherwise stuck in their apartments and homes.
Walking will positively affect your general health, including improving blood pressure, staving off diabetes and regulating blood sugar, losing weight, reducing stress, and, of course, maintaining your mental health.
Each and every one of these salubrious benefits proceeds powerfully from great physical and mental health, all compelled by a healthy gait and mobility.
Dr. Rock G. Positano is the director of Non-Surgical Foot and Ankle Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York.
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