With the crisp winter mornings and evenings upon us, there is no better time to remind everyone of the easiest form of exercise you probably aren’t doing.
A study by the PHE in England revealed that more than 6 million people, failed to get a 10-minute walk done each month.
Ireland has long been on a par with the UK in its eating habits and activity levels, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to us that this is becoming all too common over here also.
As people spend more and more time sitting for work and we spend more and more time in front of computers, tablets and smart phones at home, it is hardly surprising that our obesity levels are rising year on year.
Inactivity is on the rise and we don’t seem to be recognising the direct link between the rise of technology and the rise of obesity.
In the 2008 Pixar film Wall-E, there is an important underlying message on the path that we are headed.
The humans in the movie have become so dependent on technology, they are unable to walk due to obesity and inactivity.
They have chair to move them about and the only form of activity they get is eating and controlling their operating systems.
In 2008, this may have seemed very farfetched.
In 2019, it is becoming more of a reality.
More and more people are becoming inactive.
• We drive everywhere.
• We park in the closest space to the door
• We take the lift
• We take the escalator
• We walk as little as possible
Add to this our overconsumption of high calorie, processed foods and drinks and you have a recipe for disaster.
However, there is simple solution that you can do, that doesn’t involve going to the gym, doesn’t cost any money and will improve your health.
Walking is such a simple solution, it is almost always overlooked.
People always want to look for the quickest solution, the most extreme one which will warrant the fastest results.
However, 99% of the time and for 99% of the population, they aren’t able for these extremes and after a few weeks, they end up back in inactivity.
Walking is low impact, low intensity, easy on the joints and has a range of health benefits.
“The health benefits of brisk walking for 10 minutes each day include: increased fitness, improved mood, increased leanness and a healthier weight and a 15 per cent reduction in the risk of dying prematurely, PHE said.”
If you are starting out to try and be more active and are looking to add walking into your daily routine, try and start with simple things.
• Park farther away from the door.
• Take the stairs when you can.
• Walk to the shops, or park in the middle of the shopping centre and walk around the shops.
• Start with 10 minutes each day and build this up.
• Aim to build up to 10,000+ steps daily and track this on a step counter.
The main thing NOT to do, is to try and do everything at once.
Don’t start out by trying to do 10,000 steps on the 1st day. This could end up too much and could put you off due to muscle soreness the following day.
If you work in an office or have a desk job, you should try and get up and move about every 20 minutes.
The Mayo Clinic gives the following benefits for it;
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
• Strengthen your bones and muscles
• Improve your mood
• Improve your balance and coordination
The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.
You may be reading this and thinking that it is too easy, or it isn’t what you need.
If you are currently inactive and have been for an extended period, walking is exactly what you need, and is probably the best thing you can do for your health right now.
To keep up to date with everything and to plan ahead for getting in shape in 2020, be sure to keep an eye on my social media and also on my website.