It’s well known that our nation is struggling to reach the Government targets for physical activity government/collections/physical-activity-guidelines and that this is having pretty severe consequences on our health and wellbeing.
I think a big part of the problem with the guidelines is that people think doing the recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day is unachievable. That they have to be sweating it in the gym or running marathons and subsequently don’t do anything!
So, it’s great to see Public Health England’s new initiative 10 Steps To An Active You. You may have seen the posters or leaflets cropping up near you!
The message is simple, you don’t have to do an intense workout to get the benefits of exercise, walking briskly counts too. They’ve even launched a free app that takes away the guesswork. It shows how much brisk walking you’re doing and how you can do more. It’s easy to use and helps you set your goals for the day.
Why is walking briskly good for my health?
There is evidence to show that a brisk 10 minute walk each day brings the following health benefits:
- Increased physical fitness
- Greater ease in performing everyday physical activities
- Improved mood
- Improved quality of life
- Increased physical leanness and healthier weight
A regular 10 minute brisk walk can make you feel better in so many ways. It can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood, as well as lowering your risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Why brisk walking? Wouldn’t something more intense be better?
Research shows that rather than the number of steps taken or distance walked, it’s the combination of the intensity of the exercise and how long you’re doing it for that leads to the health benefits. That’s why we’re focusing on encouraging people to go for at least one brisk 10 minute walk a day.
More intense exercise can benefit those who are able to make the commitment to this, while brisk walking is for people who find it difficult to find the time to fit exercise into their day.