By New York Post
Forget the spin classes — New Yorkers can lower their blood pressure and keep the pounds off simply by running errands, according to a city Health Department report.
The survey found 83 percent of those who walk or bicycle at least 10 blocks a month report being in good physical and mental health, compared with 70 percent of those who do not get off their butts.
“Adult New Yorkers who walk or bike to routine destinations are more likely to report excellent, very good or good health than those who do not,” the study concluded.
Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said that in recent years the city has moved away from urging residents to join gyms and instead is pushing walking or biking as part of a daily routine.
“Any form of exercise is good for your health, but walking is the easiest form of exercise for people to do,” Farley said.
Steve Chatelain, 29, lives in Queens and commutes to his job at a medical call center in downtown Brooklyn.
He says he walks 10 blocks a day amid his bus and subway rides to and from work and opts to walk for all his errands rather than pay for a pricey gym membership.
“I walk everywhere,” Chatelain said. “It’s my own form of exercise, and I don’t have to pay a gym a trillion dollars.”
In contrast, Martin King, 48, now drives from his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant to his job in downtown Brooklyn and admits the lifestyle change has been rough on his health.
“When I was living in Queens, I would catch the train every day” and walk eight blocks to and from the subway station, King said.
“I have to be honest with you — since I’ve been driving, I’ve gained at least 20 pounds and I’m miserable,” he lamented. “I would love to go back to the subway, but it’s more about convenience.”
The study found younger people do more walking and biking for daily chores: 76 percent of those 18 to 24 years old, compared with 54 percent of those 65 and older.
By comparison, 28 percent of those 65 and older called themselves “active commuters,” compared to 16 percent of those in the 18-to-24 age bracket.
Whites walk more than blacks, Hispanics and Asians, the report found.
New Yorkers with higher incomes walk and bike more for errands — 73 to 63 percent — while low-income New Yorkers, by 19 to 15 percent, are likelier to walk or bike to work.
Farley said those in low-income areas might not feel as safe walking, but added that if more New Yorkers were out in their neighborhoods, they might all start to feel more secure.