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Forget intense exercise regimes! Just walk

Posted in Personal Health 16 Aug, 2012

Most people I know looking to lose weight, including me, tend to do so with the view of adapting an impossibly challenging exercise routine that, let’s face it, isn’t always sustainable. Especially considering that most of us probably have been stuck in an unhealthy routine for quite a while. However, I am not denying the benefits of a complete lifestyle overhaul. Sometimes it works and is just what is needed, but other times more subtle changes can be a way to remove any anxiety and worry about your weight for good.

No pain, no gain

Research would suggest that one of the best ways to stay healthy is moderate activity such as walking or gardening, and apparently you are never too old to get into the habit of being more active. I think many people are intimidated by doing exercise, because we have a preconceived idea that it needs to be intense and require hours and hours of dedication to be helpful.

So, what’s the point if you aren’t going to do it properly? Well, it would appear that if you are part of that particular school of thought, you are wrong, because we really don’t need to take it so seriously. Yes, obviously, if your weight is affecting your health, it can be a different story and in these cases quick weight loss has been proven to be quite helpful, but what happens after this fast weight loss? Sustaining weight loss is the ultimate challenge!

A little effort goes a long way

However, if you’ve been keeping up to date with recent health news or even just the news in general, you’d have probably heard the buzz about walking. Yes, the scientific community has finally proven that the act of moving from one place to another at whatever pace you choose is better than doing nothing. This is know doubt why in the US the CDC is simply elated by the fact 57% of people are saying that they are walking at least 10 minutes a week, which is apparently one step closer to the guideline 150 minutes of activity recommended.

Before we judge our US cousins too harshly, it’s been proven that even just a tiny amount of walking can help lower some of the major risk factors associated with being overweight, although you aren’t really likely to actually lose weight. If you want to lose weight, it may require more than 10 minutes of walking a week, and of course, a calorie controlled diet.

Add some variation

While I am quite excited about the prospects of walking as an exercise and currently do quite a lot of walking myself, I still think it’s good to vary exercise. According to the NHS, walking is a perfectly acceptable form of exercise, but we also need to see if we can include exercises at least twice a week that help strengthen our muscles and provide a overall joint stimulus to help ward off conditions such as osteoporosis. However, I think for anybody that isn’t currently active, simply trying to walk more is a great start and can be the catalyst for more activity. Many studies show that with weight loss and an increase in activity it becomes easier to include other activities in your repertoire, because it simply becomes easier and more enjoyable to be active.


  • CarolynFriday, Aug 17, 2012

    When I get the bus, I always try to get off one stop early so I can fit some more walking into my daily routine. Sometimes I'm just too lazy, though...

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