A recent article on the BBC website discussed the new research that being a fast walker improved your health and reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A study by the University of Leicester found that self-proclaimed slow walkers—regardless of sex—were around twice as likely to die of a cardiovascular malfunction than participants who considered themselves ‘brisk’ walkers.
The study tracked 420,727 healthy adults over a period of six years, looking for possible correlations between self-reported walking pace and a range of fatal conditions.
Why should you walk?
- Walking strengthens your heart and reduces your risk of coronary heart disease. Brisk walking (slightly out of breath) is great cardio exercise and lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Improve your blood pressure and even out your blood sugar levels.
- Reduce the amount of cholesterol and fatty acids in your blood.
- Walking helps you to lose weight. You will burn 75 calories by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes and if you walk at 4mph you will burn off enough to lose 150 calories which are the equivalent of 3 jaffa cakes AND a jam doughnut.
- Walking prevents dementia. More likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the year’s pass.
How many steps should I be walking a day?
Most people average around 3,000 to 4,000 in a day, why don’t you aim for 5,000 or 6,000? Ideally, you want to get to 10,000 steps a day.
Walking is simple and FREE you don’t have to be fit to get started. Increasing your walking will help to launch your fitness, get you started in the right direction and help you to love and admire your gorgeous body because it is gorgeous.
How do I know how many steps I’m taking?
The average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day. To find out how many steps you take each day, buy a pedometer from Amazon.
Clip it firmly to your belt or waistband, and it will measure every step you take: around the house, across the office, window shopping, to school or the park. You might find that you walk almost 10,000 steps (about five miles a day) already, or that you walk less than you think.
Whatever your results, knowing how far you can walk in a day will motivate you. How many calories will you burn if you walk 10,000 steps a day? For example, if you are aged 45 and weighing about 11 stone you can burn around 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3-5mph).
What if you don’t do any exercise at the moment? Don’t worry if you’re not very active, increase your walking distances gradually. No one expects 10,000 steps on the first day! If you’re worried about your joints or any existing health conditions, talk to your GP. If your joints are a problem, you can see if your local swimming pool holds exercise classes. The water helps to support your joints while you move, and once you lose a bit of weight, that will reduce the pressure on your joints.
Do you need any special clothing?
A pair of cushioned trainers, which you probably already have.
What’s the best way to start? Using your pedometer, find out how many steps you take during a normal day. It could be as little as 900 steps, or as many as 5,000 steps, depending on what you do. Record your daily steps over a week on your checklist and use the total weekly number to work out a daily average. Use this daily average to build your steps gradually, by adding a few more steps every so often, until you’re regularly walking 10,000 steps a day.
How long do I have to keep walking?
The rest of your life! Being active is a lifelong healthy habit. It’s great for preventing weight gain, lifting your mood, and reducing your risk of many serious diseases, such as heart disease. It takes a while for a regular activity to become a healthy habit, so just keep going and it will become second nature.
You’ll soon find yourself doing many more than 10,000 steps on some days.
Is walking enough? Or should I think about another exercise as well?
I am so glad you asked that! If you’re achieving at least 150 minutes of physical activity from walking, then your are meeting official health advice. Now you can stride out and find other activities that tickle your fancy… how about Zumba or cycling? Or you can join me for some exercise classes I am a qualified ‘safe’ exercise practitioner with 18 years experience. Feeling good about yourself and feeling fulfilled comes from learning about yourself and what you can do to make changes. Happy changes. Interested? Book a call with me to find out more
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* RESEARCH to follow up this discussion click here to read BBC article being a brisk walker could save your life