People planning on undergoing obesity treatment might want to work on developing a healthy lifestyle to maintain after their procedure.

According to Dr William Bird, Natural England's strategic health advisor, regular walking is one way of doing this.

Dr Bird said: "Regular walking protects against heart disease and bowel cancer and halves the risk of breast cancer in older women.

"It also reduces the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, stroke and depression, and protects against osteoporosis."

He added that it will also help to improve a person's mental health by fighting depression.

The comments follow research from Michigan State University, which found that people who owned and walked their dogs were 32 per cent more likely to meet the federal benchmark levels for physical activity.

Mathew Reeves, an epidemiologist at the university, said that many people could improve their health through dog ownership.

Meanwhile, Dr Bird explained that a two mile walk each day is the "optimum exercise".


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