Research shows that a steady walk for ten minutes a day can cut the risk of an early death by 15 per cent. That’s the message in a Public Health England (PHE) report aimed at the 40 per cent of middle-aged Brits who haven’t managed to do that.
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?
Our hospital encourages staff to get away from their desks during their breaks and The Loop is the perfect choice.
It is a triangular walk designed back when the site cared for tuberculosis patients, when rest combined with gentle exercise outdoors was considered the best tonic during recuperation time from the disease.
The route, which is a leafy-laned mile and a half and takes 30 minutes to complete, has old wooden benches every few hundred yards – an echo to the days when TB patients had to take their time and regular pauses for breath during their daily constitutionals.
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. Track your progress and aim for goals, like 10,000 steps a day with a pedometer, and you will get a sense of achievement to boot.
3. It helps lower blood pressure, improves sleep and reenergizes
The health benefits are plentiful. Plus helping keep you from an earlier death should be a no-brainer.
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.
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. It’s easy to make an appointment; give us a call on 01580 363158.
Published on 12 April 2021