Almost everybody can walk. No expensive equipment or special skills are needed making walking just about the easiest form of exercise to adapt to your lifestyle. (Never underestimate “easy!”) A jaunt around the block can be squeezed into even the busiest of schedules, and, best of all, injuries are rare.

In an effort to increase walking across the nation, Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy has issued a call to action. Step It Up! promotes not only walking but also walkable communities. Murthy is asking all Americans to start walking, while also requesting communities enhance the safety and ease of walking for everyone, no matter their age or ability.

Why walk? By increasing your physical activity, you will significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease and premature death, according to the Surgeon General. Regular exercise helps to prevent high blood pressure and extra pounds, while research also indicates physical activity protects against heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and depression. And, even people who already have a chronic disease may benefit from becoming active. Walking and other forms of exercise can lessen the severity of an illness or condition, while managing or reducing symptoms.

To learn more about what you can do to Step it Up! take a look at this infographic:

What You Can Do Surgeon General