Doctors have been extolling the virtues of walking for years, now the Federal Centers for Disease Control have raised walking to a new level of approval.

The CDC has now dubbed walking, “the wonder drug.” New Jersey diet and fitness expert Felicia Stoler agrees.

She says, “There is a joke that if you could just write a prescription for it, then people would take it and do it. If you could put exercise in a pill, people would be very happy to take it.”

CDC Director doctor Thomas Freiden says walking makes you healthier and happier.

He says you live longer, with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Stoler says many malls in Jersey actually open before their stores do to allow for year ’round walking.

The Fed also says that it s not just your heart and lungs that benefit from walking. Your brain also is helped. Walking helps older adults fend off cognitive disorders.