Walk yourself fit the 10,000 steps way

Sunday 15th July 2012

The Olympics are nearly upon us, and I have begun to feel a little guilty.

In the olden days, I was an active person.

I commuted to work, buzzed around a busy office, and played rugby at the weekends.

These days I'm a bit porkier... a bit greyer... and it feels like somebody's attached hunks of lead to my feet.

On the occasions when I guilt trip myself into going for a jog, I hobble through the streets like Jimmy Saville in the London marathon.

'It's not pretty,' says Lara.

The problem is, since I became an independent writer, my daily commute involves me leaving the bedroom and taking a short flight of stairs to my study.

There's no longer any need for me to walk anywhere.

As you're about to see, this could be dangerous. If we don't make an effort to go for a proper walk each and every day, we could leave ourselves vulnerable to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, adult onset diabetes, bone loss and osteoporosis.

Worse still, there's now evidence that leading an inactive life could increase your chances of developing Alzheimer's...

Boost your health with 10,000 steps

In 2004, two studies in an issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that walking helps lowers the risk of dementia.

The greater the amount of walking... the greater the benefit.

Which is why it makes a lot of sense to follow the '10,000 step rule'...

Experts say that taking 10,000 steps per day sets off a chain reaction of physical benefits, lowering your blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease.

It may sound like a lot, but most people cover about 4,000 to 6,000 steps in a typical day; so you probably only need to come up with another 4,000 to 6,000 steps each day to reach 10,000.

That's about a 30 to 60 minute walk!

If you stick to this discipline every day, you will find the effects amazing.

Bad moods will lift, you will get slimmer, your blood pressure will fall and your brain will be more alert.

Of course, it's hard to know how many steps you are taking.

Which is why I recommend an accurate pedometer'.

That's right a little machine that acts as your personal trainer and actually tells you how far you've walked or run....

I've tried it, and it's absolutely brilliant. It's almost like having a friend with you, encouraging you to reach your targets and achieve your goals.

I promise you, try this just once, and you'll be so keen to get out in the fresh air and get walking you'll leave scratch marks on the door!

Pedometer 

This little device could be a lifesaver!

A pedometer is a nifty little gadget which you fit to your xx. It can tell you exactly how far you've walked or run each day.

This allows you to keep track of your progress against the goals you have set for yourself.

For some people, 10,000 steps may be too little. If this is the case, try to add 500 steps every time you feel you need a new challenge.

For others, 10,000 steps might be too much. So try breaking it into shorter chunks. Do three 20-minute errands on foot... walk to the shops... walk round the office a couple of times... or just walk round the block before dinner.

You don't have to treat this like a session of boring exercise.

Just keep the pedometer on all day and try and take as many steps as you can - even if it's to the photocopier and back - and tally it all up to 10,000.

Why not leave the car at home when you need to nip to the shop, and keep the pedometer on to see how many steps you clock up.

Or get off the bus a couple of stops early... walk to the train station... or even go for a stroll with friends instead of having them round for tea.

As part of your daily routine, the pedometer will tell you how fit you're getting... and you don't have to go to a gym, or look ridiculous in a jogging outfit.

Pedometer

Don’t go for cheap imitations – especially those from Big Mac

I’ve already had my rant about how appalling it is to see the Olympic stadium hijacked by brands like Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

These companies are directly responsible for destroying our health by providing over-sweet and over processed products which are cynically marketed at our kids.

But the run up to the games actually saw McDonalds giving away free pedometers with each meal!

You’ve got to admire the PR company who came up with that one – but how on earth can anyone take it seriously?

These pedometers are cheap and nasty, and wholly inaccurate, but folk will be buying into them because they are told it is a good thing.

It isn’t, and will never be if it is accompanied by hidden salt, fat and corn syrup.

The excellent BBC programme ‘The Men Who Made Us Fat’ conclusively showed how these types of organisations were behind introducing salt and sugar fillers to our diet.

I applaud the desire to get folk out and about, for them to be as active as possible.

But we shouldn’t be mislead by a cheap advertising gimmick.

Get your walking boots on, take a good old cheese and pickle sandwich and a flask of tea, and hit the hills!

My resolution for the rest of the year

From now on, I aim to leave the car at home as often as possible and walk everywhere I can.

It's either that or I'll have to put on the golden tracksuit and go for a jog.

At which point my wife will probably leave me.

Hmmmm...Yours, as always


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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