Can walking keep you healthy? A major study suggests you can power-walk your way to better health and well-being with fast 30-min walks, five days weekly, reducing your weight more effectively than other forms of exercise.
According to lead researcher Dr Grace Lordan, writing in the Journal Risk Analysis: “ Given the obesity epidemic and the fact that a large proportion of people in the UK are inactive, recommending that people walk briskly more often is a cheap and easy policy action”.
This latest research was conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science.
About 50,000 participants took part in the annual Health Survey for England between 1999 and 2012, using questionnaires, followed by a nurse visit.
Measurements, including Body Mass Index (BMI) were taken.
- Taking a brisk thirty minutes’ long walk a day, five days a week is more effective than other exercise methods at keeping your weight down.
- Women of all ages who walked regularly were found to have particularly benefited by becoming a dress size smaller.
They lost 4.3cm (1.7in) off the waist.
- Men who walked regularly, thirty minutes or more per day, lost 3.3cm (1.3in).
- Men and women over the age of fifty experienced stronger benefits than younger people.
- Men who took brisk walks of thirty minutes, five days a week, four weeks long had a reduction of one unit lower than average BMI (Body Mass Index).
For women this value was 1.8 units.
- Exercise/sport participation for the same period of time was effective at keeping weight down, albeit at a markedly reduced rate of BMI 0.3units (men) and BMI one unit (women) lower than average.
Body Mass Index is a way to determine a person’s risk of developing diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases.
BMI is your weight (in kg) divided by your height squared (in metres).
A person with a BMI of over 30 is classed as being obese.
One in four persons in Britain is obese.
Findings from previous researches
Walking can reduce your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, more than running.
What You Need To Do To Get Health Benefits
To get health benefits health benefits health benefits that would outweigh what you get from other keep-fit activities like running, working out at the gym and swimming you have to do this:
You have to ” power walk”, walk briskly for at least thirty minutes, enough to raise your heart rate and make you sweat!
To conclude, it is my opinion that for any exercise to be effective, it has to be something you can incorporate into your life, until it is part of your lifestyle!
Therefore,for this exercise form to work, for the long-term, it’s got to be something that you can do regularly and enjoy. It’s no good if you will not keep doing it, until it becomes part of your lifestyle.
Which of these factors do you think would make “high impact”(brisk half hour) walking difficult-
- Not used to long, brisk walks
- No space for this type of walk
- I’m too busy
- Walking is boring, no socializing
- Too difficult- I get out of breath
Education is everyone’s duty!
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To Your Optimum Health & Well-Being,
Have a great week.
Cecilia Scheyerle, MPharm