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The health benefits of walking for just 10 minutes a day

Health benefits of walking

A Public Health England report, aimed at the 40% of middle-aged Brits who are inactive, highlighted that a steady walk for 10 minutes a day can increase your physical fitness and cut the risk of an early death by 15%. Read our article to discover five reasons to start walking:

Fitness, by definition, means the condition of being physically fit and healthy. In today’s world, with more of us working from home or sat at desks in an office, it can be difficult to remember to do basic movement such as stretching or walking.

What are you waiting for? Get involved by signing up to that gym membership you’ve always wanted or attending the yoga class your friend goes to or get out today at lunchtime for a short walk. Whatever you decide to do, get moving today and help to strengthen your muscles, joints and alleviate some of your aches and pains.

How long should I be active for every day?

PHE has long since recommended two and a half hours of some form of moderate activity a week, equating to a 20-minute stroll every day that is fast-paced enough to raise the heart rate.

However, so concerned is it at the sedentary lifestyle of swathes of 40 to 60-year-olds that Government advisors are suggesting making a small change from inactivity to ten minutes a day will reap surprising health benefits.

Are we active as a nation?

In the region of 6.3 million in that age group say they have not walked in the past four weeks. Half say they exercise through other means, but a fifth do nothing.

PHE says one in six deaths can be tracked back to idleness with people moving 20 per cent less than they did in the 1960s. It says there is no excuse not to find ten minutes to walk in a day – be it leaving the car behind when you pop to the local shop or getting some fresh air at lunchtime, proven to boost mood as well as fitness.

How can I find time to be active?

There is always time to find 10 minutes out of your day to get out in the fresh air for a walk – be it leaving the car behind when you pop to the local shop or getting some fresh air at lunchtime, proven to boost mood as well as fitness. Our hospital encourages staff to get away from their desks during their breaks and walking The Loop is the perfect choice.

This triangular walk was designed back when the site cared for patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB). Rest combined with gentle exercise outside was considered the best medicine when patients were recuperating from the disease. 

Reasons to take a daily 10-minute walk:

1. It reduces stress and cheers you up

It instils some calm when you step away from whatever is causing you the distress, leading to a clearer head, plus the release of endorphins helps with mood.

2. Walking is one of the best exercises for losing weight

It’s free, easy and the side-effects will boost your self-esteem. A brisk walk a day can help to burn calories depending on how fast your pace is. Track your progress and aim for goals. Starting small, before gradually working up to 10,000 steps a day, which you can track with a pedometer, will give you a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction

3. It helps lower blood pressure, improves sleep and reenergizes

The health benefits are plentiful. Plus, knowing that walking can help to prevent an early death should be the greatest motivator

4. Some human interaction

A walking buddy means you will get out and do it. Plus, step away from emails and your phone and enjoy a proper conversation in the moment, taking in some flora and fauna.

5. Kill those food cravings

Walking can curtail a hankering for calorific treats, keeping you on track with your diet goals as well. You may notice you’re more likely to choose a healthier snack after exercise

Walk for your health

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with developing a variety of health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and musculoskeletal disorders.

For more information about how staying active can benefit your health and how to start walking and stay motivated, read our walk for your health article.

Get on top of your health

If you’re experiencing symptoms, or have concerns about your health, our specialists offer a range of tests and scans and private GP appointments.

Use our online booking system for fast and easy access to private GP appointments at a time that suits you, or contact our Private Patient team via Livechat or by calling 01580 363158 for more information.

Published on 23 February 2023