Walking is man’s best medicine”, is a quote by Hippocrates. These words hold so much truth as research has shown there are numerous health benefits of walking. The NICE guidelines on Physical Activity show the benefits of walking as follows:
· Reduced risk of heart disease
· Reduced risk of stroke
· Reduced risk of obesity
· Reduced risk of Type II Diabetes
· Keeping the musculoskeletal system healthy
· Improved mental wellbeing
Walking truly is beneficial for our health. So, how many steps do you take a day?
Fitbits, walking trackers and even some smart phones all help to measure your daily step count. 10,000 steps a day is widely recommended. However, the benefits are greater and greatest if walking is done at an intensity level of greater than 100 steps per minute. The duration of walking is also important, so the American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes, five times a week.
Enjoying your walk or walking in a nice environment or with good company will help to improve compliance. Finding or setting aside time to walk is probably the biggest barrier for most people. If you can even fit in 10/15 minutes a day it is better than 0 minutes.
Tips to improve your step count:
· Walk to work
· Go for a stroll on your lunch break
· Have a walking partner
· Get a dog
· Take the stairs rather than the lift
· Park far away from your destination
· Set up a competition with a friend or family member using an apple watch or other app
· Being prepared for wet weather i.e. waterproof coat and boots.