How long should i walk a day: Walking for good health – Better Health Channel
Walking for good health – Better Health Channel
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.
Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
Health benefits of walking
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
- increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
- reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
- stronger bones and improved balance
- increased muscle strength and endurance
- reduced body fat.
Walking for 30 minutes a day
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly. Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.
Building physical activity into your life
If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day and gradually build up to longer sessions. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you will need to do physical activity for longer than 30 minutes each day. You can still achieve this by starting with smaller bouts of activity throughout the day and increasing these as your fitness improves.
Physical activity built into a daily lifestyle plan is also one of the most effective ways to assist with weight loss and keep weight off once it’s lost.
Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
- Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
- Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
- Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog).
Make walking part of your routine
Try to make walking a routine – for example, try to walk at the same time each day. Remember, you use the same amount of energy, no matter what time of day you walk, so do what is most convenient for you. You may find that asking someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity. Some people find that keeping an activity diary or log also makes it easier.
Wearing a pedometer while walking
A pedometer measures the number of steps you take. You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts. This may motivate you to move more. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10,000 steps or more.
A comfortable intensity for walking
For most people, there is little difference in the amount of energy used by walking a kilometre or running a kilometre – it’s just that walking takes longer. Plan to cover a set distance each day and monitor how long it takes you to walk this distance. As your fitness improves, you will be able to walk a longer distance and use more energy.
Walking fast burns more kilojoules per hour than walking slowly, but this doesn’t mean you have to push yourself until you’re breathless. Instead, pace yourself so that you can still talk. This simple rule of thumb means that you walk safely within your target heart rate, which brings about health gains.
Our bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you are able to improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
- walking up hills
- walking with hand weights
- increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
- increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
- walking for longer.
Warming up and cooling down after walking
The best way to warm up is to walk slowly. Start off each walk at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up, and then pick up the speed. Afterwards, gently stretch your leg muscles – particularly your calves and front and back thighs. Stretches should be held for about 20 seconds. If you feel any pain, ease off the stretch. Don’t bounce or jolt, or you could overstretch muscle tissue and cause microscopic tears, which lead to muscle stiffness and tenderness.
It’s best to dress lightly when you do physical activity. Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature, which can make you uncomfortable during a walk or possibly cause skin irritations. A gradual cool-down will also prevent muscular stiffness and injury.
Walking is a low-cost and effective form of exercise. However, the wrong type of shoe or walking action can cause foot or shin pain, blisters and injuries to soft tissue. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, with appropriate heel and arch supports. Take light, easy steps and make sure your heel touches down before your toes. Whenever possible, walk on grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact.
Making walking a pleasure
Some suggestions to help make regular walking a pleasurable form of physical activity include:
- varying where you walk
- walking the dog
- walking with friends
- joining a walking club.
Making walking interesting
Ways to keep your daily walk interesting include:
- If you want to stick close to home and limit your walking to neighbourhood streets, pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights.
- If you feel unsafe walking alone, find one or more friends or family members to walk with.
- Walk at various times of the day. The sights to see first thing in the morning are bound to be different from those of the afternoon or early evening.
- Drive to different reserves, park the car and enjoy the views while you walk.
- Explore what’s going on around you, notice the sky, the people, the sounds.
A dog that needs regular exercise gives you the motivation to walk every day. You might like the companionship too. If you don’t have a dog, and aren’t planning on getting one, consider offering to walk a neighbour’s dog from time to time.
Suggestions for the safety of your dog and other people on foot include:
- Be considerate of other pedestrians and always keep your dog on its leash.
- If you plan to walk in a park, check first to see if dogs are permitted. Many national and state parks and other conservation reserves do not permit dogs.
- Other parks generally permit dog-walking on a leash. Many parks allow dogs off the leash – check with your local council.
- Always take equipment such as plastic bags and gloves to clean up after your dog.
Walking with others
Walking with other people can turn a bout of exercise into an enjoyable social occasion. Suggestions include:
- Schedule a regular family walk – this is a great way to pass on healthy habits to your children or grandchildren, and to spend time together, while getting fit at the same time.
- If you are walking with children, make sure the route and length of time spent walking are appropriate to their age.
- Babies and toddlers enjoy long walks in the pram. Take the opportunity to point out items of interest to young ones, such as vehicles, flowers and other pedestrians.
- Look for the self-guided nature walks that have been set up in many parks. Younger children enjoy looking for the next numbered post; older ones can learn about the plants and animals of the park, and perhaps take photos or record their experience in other ways.
- Ask neighbours or friends if they would like to join you on your walks. Think of starting a walking group.
Walking clubs and associations
There are a number of walking clubs in metropolitan and regional Victoria. Some cater for specific groups (such as women, dog walkers or bushwalkers), while others offer the opportunity to meet new people in your local area. Organisations to contact for further information include:
- Victoria Walks – provides walking mapsand suggestions for finding walks near you, including dog-friendly walks
- Bushwalking Victoria – offers a comprehensive listing of bushwalking clubs
- Your local council – may run a range of walking activities for people living in your area
- Heart Foundation Walking – offers the opportunity to join or start your own free walking group (for all ages and abilities, across Australia)
- The Lost Dogs Home in Melbourne – suggests you ‘get fit with a dog’. Contact them for more information about being a responsible dog owner
- Parks Victoria – can provide suggestions and ideas for interesting walks in parks and reserves throughout Victoria.
Safety suggestions while walking
Walking is generally a safe way to exercise, but look out for unexpected hazards. Suggestions include:
- See your doctor for a medical check-up before starting a new fitness program, particularly if you are aged over 40 years, are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.
- Ensure you read through the pre-exercise self-screening tool
- Choose walks that suit your age and fitness level. Warm up and cool down with a slow, gentle walk to ease in and out of your exercise session.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and appropriate footwear to avoid blisters and shin splints.
- Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat to avoid sunburn.
- Take waterproof clothing to avoid getting wet if it rains.
- Carry a walking stick or umbrella to fend off unleashed, unfriendly dogs.
- Before bushwalking, check the weather forecast and take appropriate safety measures (for example, pack correct clothing).
- Look out for hazards in alpine or coastal areas, such as cliff edges or large waves.
- Drink plenty of fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, take water with you.
Where to get help
- Your GP (doctor)
- Your local community health centre
- Your local council – for information about walking groups, walking tracks and parks
- Bushwalking Victoria Tel. (03) 8846 4131
- Lost Dogs Home Tel. (03) 9329 2755
- Parks Victoria Information Centre Tel. 13 19 63
- VICSRAPID Victorian Sport and Recreation Association of Persons with an Intellectual Disability Inc Tel. (03) 9926 1380
- Heart Foundation Walking Groups Tel. 13 11 12 to find a group in your local area
How Much Should You Walk to Lose Weight?
When you want to lose weight, many diet programs and health experts recommend brisk walking as a calorie-burning cardio exercise. But what is the right amount of walking each day to help you achieve your weight loss goals?
How Long to Walk Each Day for Weight Loss
Aim for a brisk walk of 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss. You can walk more on some days and less on others, but the total time for the week should be at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours).
You should walk fast enough that you are in the moderate-intensity exercise zone at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You should be breathing harder than usual and can speak in full sentences, but you couldn’t sing. You can use your heart rate and exercise zone reading from a fitness band, app, or heart rate monitor to ensure you are exercising at moderate intensity.
While you can break up your walking time into periods of 10 minutes or longer, you get an added benefit of burning fat when you walk at a brisk pace for longer than 30 minutes at a time after warming up.
If you’re new to walking, get started with shorter periods of walking and steadily build up your walking time. You might want to take longer walks every other day at first.
Try not to skip more than one day in a row. Consistency is good for burning calories and improving your metabolism, as well as for building new habits. On your non-walking days, try strength training exercises. If you find yourself worn out, take a day off. But be sure to get back walking the following day.
If you’ve hit your weight loss goal and are working on maintaining your weight, the CDC recommends you should spend 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week in moderate-intensity physical activity while not eating more calories than you expend all day.
How Far Can You Walk in 30 Minutes?
If you walk at a brisk walking pace for 30 minutes, the distance you will cover would be:
- 1.5 to 2.0 miles.
- 2.5 to 3.3 kilometers
- 3,000 to 4,500 pedometer steps.
What If You Can’t Walk for 30 Minutes at a Time?
Life can be busy. If your schedule doesn’t permit walking continuously for 30 minutes, break it up into walking two or three times a day for shorter periods of at least 10 minutes at a brisk pace.
Always warm up for five minutes at an easy pace no matter what duration you will be walking. You can use higher-intensity intervals, stairs, and brisk walking to get the most out of shorter walking workouts. Research published in 2017 shows that high-intensity intervals are at least as good as continuous moderate-intensity workouts and can be a good way to fit exercise into your day.
Calories and Fat Burned in 30 Minutes
At a brisk walking pace, you would burn 100 to 300 calories in 30 minutes (depending on your weight) or 200 to 600 calories in an hour. By walking for 30 minutes or more at a time, some of those calories will be from stored fat.
During the first 30 minutes of exercise, your body is burning sugars stored as fuel. These are used up after about 30 minutes. To keep going, your body releases fat from your fat cells and burns it for fuel. This stored fat is exactly what you want to lose, and it’s a good reason to build up your walking endurance so you can walk for more than 30 minutes at a time.
Walk most days of the week for at least 30 minutes to burn an extra 1,000 to 3,000 calories in total for the week and to improve your metabolism each day.
A Word From Verywell
You’ve taken the first step towards a healthy weight and an active lifestyle. It may sound a little daunting to think of how much physical activity is needed to burn calories. But it’s also the amount recommended to reduce your health risks for diabetes, heart disease, and more.
Walking But Not Losing Weight: Mistakes and Fixes
It can be frustrating when you’ve been walking for weight loss, yet aren’t seeing the results you want. If this is how you’re feeling, don’t give up. With just a few changes, you can start to see the numbers on the scale go down.
It helps to remember that weight loss and weight gain are simple math.
- If you eat more calories than you use each day, you gain weight.
- If you eat fewer calories than you use each day, you lose weight.
So, if your goal is to lose weight walking four miles a day, for instance, you need to eat fewer calories and/or burn more calories each day. For sensible, long-term weight control and to reduce health risks, you’ll want to do both: eat less and exercise more.
Burn More Calories Per Mile
The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking or other moderate-intensity exercises almost every day of the week to help lose weight. This amount of exercise is also associated with reducing major health risks.
The value of moderate-intensity exercise is that the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn. And you use up these extra calories in less time than if your workout is lower in intensity.
Each mile you walk burns between 55 and 140 calories, depending mostly on your weight with speed and technique being secondary factors. You can calculate your specific calorie burn a few different ways:
There are a few strategies you can use to burn more calories for each mile you walk. Some of these are easier than others and they each have their benefits and drawbacks.
Pick up your pace to 12-minute miles and under by using racewalk techniques. You will burn more calories per mile because you will be using more sets of muscles than you do at a slower walking pace or by running. Racewalkers burn as many as a third more calories per mile.
Once you begin to lose weight, you will find yourself speeding up. An extra 20 pounds can really drag you down. You may burn fewer calories per mile, but you’ll be able to cover more miles in the same period of time. That can work out to more calories burned per walking workout.
Use fitness walking poles to increase your calorie burn per mile, as you use the muscles in your arms as well as your legs.
The more you weigh, the more calories you burn per mile. As you lose weight, you are burning fewer calories per mile. Some walkers add weight belts, weighted vests, or weighted backpacks to increase their calorie burn.
Be careful in doing this. Don’t throw off your walking posture or put more stress on your joints. For those who are losing weight and whose body is used to carrying around more pounds, a weighted vest would be a more natural way to carry more weight. Also note that if the extra weight slows you down, you might end up burning fewer calories than if you skip the weight and speed up.
Interval walking is a great way to increase your calories burned. One study of 15 women found that interval training helped them decrease body fat and reduce the size of their waist while also increasing their lean mass (muscle).
This type of workout involves alternating moderate and high intensity intervals throughout your walk. An example is walking at a moderate pace for two minutes, speeding up for 30 seconds, returning to a moderate pace for two minutes, and repeating this five times in a row.
Because interval training places more stress on the body, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends starting with one session per week. Once you feel ready to do more, increase to two sessions per week with a few days in between to fully recover.
Change Your Route
Another way to challenge your muscles even more is to not walk the same route or path day after day. One day, take a route that has a lot of hills as uphill walking can boost your calorie burn. The next day, take a path that has a different terrain.
Changing your route often also keeps your walks interesting. You’re able to see new scenery from one day to the next. Wherever you walk, take precautions to stay safe. This includes making sure you can be easily seen and paying attention to your surroundings.
Add Strength Training
If you don’t add exercise while cutting calories, your body doesn’t just burn fat, it also burns muscle. When you’re trying to lose weight, your goal is to maximize fat loss. But if you’re only cutting calories, along with the fat loss, you’ll also be losing lean body mass such as muscle.
This is a problem because muscles drive your metabolism. If you’re losing muscle, your metabolism will likely slow, making weight loss (and maintaining any weight loss) more difficult. You can end up in worse physical condition after changing your eating habits than before. Sitting still for much of the day is also recognized as its own health risk.
If you build muscle while also changing your diet, you are increasing your metabolism. Those muscles burn a few more calories than fat, even while at rest and sleeping.
If you have just taken up walking or have begun to racewalk, you are building muscle. If you have always been a walker, add some strength exercises to build muscles. Upper body exercises are recommended since walking will not build your upper body. Walking is a weight-bearing activity and will help prevent osteoporosis as you age.
Consume Fewer Calories From Food
If you have increased your walking and are still not seeing weight loss, it might be a good time to look at what you are eating. You may need to take in fewer calories. There are many strategies for this, but the key is to maintain good nutrition.
Explore what the right number of calories is for your level of physical activity and your weight loss goal. Use the weight loss calculator to find the right number. Then use the recipe and nutrition calculator to analyze your favorite foods to ensure you are eating what is best for health as well as weight loss.
Sometimes it helps to to track what you eat with a food diary or app. To track the calories you burn with activity, use a pedometer or fitness tracker. Some will link directly to your food diary, keeping all of your calorie burning information in one place.
A Word From Verywell
It is frustrating when you’ve been increasing your physical activity and watching what you eat but you aren’t seeing results. Take a step back and analyze your eating habits with a calorie goal and a food diary or app. Use a fitness tracker to measure your exercise (consider one that has inactivity alerts too). Better nutrition and regular physical activity offers big health benefits, even if you don’t see immediate weight loss.
12 Full-Body Walking Benefits, According to Doctors and Trainers
One of the most powerful ways to maintain a healthy weight, stay strong, and live longer is so shockingly simple, even a toddler can do it. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. “Walking has always been my main source of cardio, and except for when I was pregnant, I’ve been the same weight my entire life!” says fitness expert Denise Austin.
The key is to strut for, ideally, at least 30 minutes a day, says Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. And whether you decide to lace up your sneakers and walk to work, pair up with a friend, or join a hiking club, research shows that walking can do everything from lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of chronic diseases to making your brain sharper and your heart happier.
Love walking? Join the Prevention Virtual Walk on October 2, 2021! Sign up for free and do your 5K wherever you please. We look forward to walking “with” you!
Walking is simple enough that nearly any able-bodied person can do it. “Plus it has tremendous benefits, from supporting a healthy immune system to boosting your metabolism to strengthening your joints, muscles, and bones—not to mention it’s amazing for stress relief and enjoying a little ‘me time,’” says Austin. Here’s what else you can expect when you start walking for just a half hour—that’s less time than it takes to listen to one music album!—most days of the week.
1. Walking will improve your mood.
A glass of wine or a square (or three) of dark chocolate can blunt the edge of a rough day—but going for a walk is a zero-calorie strategy that offers the same perk, says Dr. Jampolis. In fact, research shows that just 10 minutes of walking can lift your spirits. The effect may be amplified even more if you take a stroll through some greenery.
“Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility,” she says, especially when you’re going for a stroll through some greenery or soaking in a bit of sunlight. This can be particularly helpful during the colder months, when seasonal depression spikes.
Finally, when you make your walks social—you stride with, say, your partner, a neighbor, or a good friend—that interaction helps you feel connected, says Dr. Jampolis, which can make you feel happier.
2. It will help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
“As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale isn’t moving much,” says Dr. Jampolis. That’s because regular walking can help reduce belly fat and, as a result, improve your body’s response to insulin, according to research.
Itching to up your calorie burn? When walking outside, plan a route that includes hills, alternate between speed walking and a slower pace, and challenge yourself to walk the same routes on different days to see if you can beat your previous times, says Austin. For an extra boost of motivation, she also recommends aiming to to hit 10,000 steps a day.
“Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older,” says Ariel Iasevoli, a personal trainer at Crunch gyms in New York City.
The best part? You don’t have to slog it out on a treadmill at the gym to see these benefits. “One of my clients reduced her body fat by 2% in just one month by walking home from work each day, which was just under a mile,” she says.
Intervals are key here, says Michele Stanten, a walking coach and author of Prevention’s Walk Your Way to Better Health. Increasing your speed for small bouts of time during, say, a 30-minute walk allows you to burn more calories than if you strolled at a moderate pace for half an hour. It also benefits your cardiorespiratory system. To try adding intervals, warm up for 3 minutes. Then spend 25 minutes alternating between 1 minute of walking almost as fast as you can go and 1 minute of brisk walking (aiming for a 6 on an intensity scale of 1 to 10). Cool down for 2 minutes.
3. Walking can reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
“The physical benefits of walking are well documented,” says Scott Danberg, director of fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami.
The American Diabetes Association recommends walking to lower blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Some research even shows that for every 1,000 daily steps you take, you could lower your systolic blood pressure by .45 points. That means if you clock in 10,000 daily steps, your systolic blood pressure is likely to be 2.25 points lower than someone else who walks only 5,000 daily steps.
One of the most cited studies on walking and health, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that those who walked enough to meet physical activity guidelines had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular events (like heart attack or stroke) compared with those who did not walk regularly.
For disease prevention, longer walks are key. Stanten recommends doing one hour-long walk at least once or twice a week.
4. It can even help you live longer.
Seriously! And it doesn’t take much to get results. In fact, one study found that people who did just 10 to 59 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking) per week had an 18% lower risk of death during the study period compared to those who were inactive. Meanwhile, people who completed the recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise in at least 10-minute spurts had a 31% lower risk of death. Other research shows the faster you walk, the more your risk drops. The benefit may come from the cardiorespiratory workout that walking provides.
5. Walking boosts brainpower.
The research here is quickly growing. In one study, brain scans of people who walked briskly for one hour three times a week showed the decision-making areas of their brains worked more efficiently than people who attended education seminars instead. Other research shows that when kids spent 20 minutes walking on a treadmill, their performance on academic tests improved. Experts think these benefits could be due in part to increased blood flow to the brain that occurs with exercise.
6. It can help alleviate joint pain.
Contrary to what you might think, pounding pavement can help improve your range of motion and mobility because walking increases blood flow to tense areas and helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints.
In fact, research shows that walking for at least 10 minutes a day—or about an hour every week—can stave off disability and arthritis pain in older adults. A 2019 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine followed 1,564 adults older than 49 with lower-body joint pain. Participants who walked for an hour each week were more likely to remain disability-free four years later.
7. Walking can even delay the onset of varicose veins.
As you age, your risk of varicose veins increases. However, walking is a proven way to prevent them from developing, says Luis Navarro, M.D., founder and director of The Vein Treatment Center in New York City.
“The venous system includes a circulatory section known as ‘the second heart,’ which is formed by muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot,” he explains. “This system works to push blood back up to the heart and lungs—and walking strengthens this secondary circulatory system by strengthening and preserving leg muscle, which boosts healthy blood flow.”
If you already suffer from varicose veins, daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs, says Dr. Navarro. “Also, if you are genetically predisposed to have varicose and/or spider veins, walking daily can help delay the onset.”
8. It may stimulate your digestive system.
If you currently praise coffee for keeping your digestive system going strong, get ready to start thanking your morning walk instead. That’s because a regular walking routine can greatly improve your bowel movements, says Tara Alaichamy, D.P.T., a physical therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. “One of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system,” she says.
9. Walking enhances creativity.
Whether you’re feeling stuck at work or you’ve been searching for a solution to a tricky problem, research shows it’s a good idea to get moving: According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. “Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters,” says Dr. Jampolis.
10. It can also improve your sleep.
If you work out regularly, you’ll sleep better at night. That’s because sleep naturally boosts the effects of melatonin, the sleep hormone. A 2019 study from Sleep found that postmenopausal women who do light to moderate intensity physical activity snooze better at night than those who are sedentary. Walking also helps reduce pain and stress, which can cause sleep disturbances.
11. Walking will kickstart your immune system.
These days we’re all looking for ways to improve our immunity, and walking seems to be a smart strategy. Research shows that moderate-intensity exercise—and walking in particular—ramps up our immune system. It increases the number of immune cells that attack pathogens in our body, which lowers our risk of becoming seriously ill from infectious diseases. Not only that, if you do get sick, research has found that people who walk more spend less time in the hospital.
12. Last but not least, other goals will seem more reachable when you have a walking routine.
When you become a regular walker, you will have established a regular routine—and when you have a routine, you are more likely to continue with the activity and take on new healthy behaviors. “I firmly believe that walking regularly can help you to accomplish other goals you set your mind to,” says Kim Evans, a personal trainer and daily walker.
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I Forced Myself to Walk for an Hour Every Day During Lockdown
- Before the coronavirus pandemic, I was taking spin classes three times a week and walking in New York City every day, but when I started working from home, my activity level slumped.
- To get my fitness back on track, I challenged myself to walk an hour every day, which seemed like an achievable daily activity that might benefit my mental health as well.
- A month later, and the impact is obvious to me: I feel better physically and mentally, and it’s something I will continue with even after gyms open up again.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered New York in March, I had a pretty good exercise routine going: I walked briskly in New York City every day and attended spin classes at the gym three or four times a week.
But after my gym closed and I started working from home, my activity level slumped. While everyone on my Instagram feed was taking exercise classes in their living room, I just wasn’t interested. I started to feel lethargic and it was getting harder to fall asleep.
A month ago, to take control of my health, I decided to challenge myself by setting a daily, achievable goal: to walk an hour every day.
I expected it would make me feel better, but actually, I’m surprised just how effective it’s been.
Walking seemed an easy first step to get my health back on track, especially because of its reported benefits
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults complete at least 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” a week. Doing so can lead to health benefits including reduced risk of
, anxiety, depression, and dementia.
When it comes to walking, “moderate intensity” is a minimum of 2.5 miles per hour, but it depends on sex, age, and fitness level. My natural walking pace is just under 4 miles an hour, putting me within the bracket to experience its benefits. At an hour a day, I’d also be completing around 420 minutes of walking a week, more than double the recommended amount.
Spending time in nature.
Initially, an hour felt like a surprisingly long time
I’m fortunate to live in the suburbs with lots of sidewalks and parks, so I wasn’t short of places to walk, and I could safely socially distance while doing so. But I was surprised just how many different turns I had to take in order to walk for an entire hour.
Still, I kept it up. After weeks of walking, I got pretty good at guessing a distance I could complete in the time, rather than watching the clock.
The faster you walk, the more benefits you’ll see, but I maintained a consistent, brisk pace without overly exerting myself or getting too out of breath. I knew I couldn’t punish myself on these walks if I wanted to keep them up.
I also learned not to stick to a scheduled time for my daily walk
At first, I anticipated walking before work. I’m an early riser so a 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. start felt feasible. I loved how quiet the streets were, and I liked the feeling that I’d already achieved my goal when I sat down to start work for the day. Some days, I even took a flask of coffee with me.
Walking through my empty neighborhood.
But a week later, I woke up and the thought of taking a walk made me groan. That was exactly what I didn’t want: to be put off when I’d barely begun. So I loosened up my strict schedule and started walking after work instead. At weekends, I’d simply take a walk whenever I felt like it. If the weather was particularly bad, I could work around that, too.
This relaxed attitude to scheduling meant I didn’t feel guilty for not waking up early enough or stressed about when I was going to fit it in during my day. It remained something enjoyable that I didn’t dread or resent.
I quickly realized walking is a completely hassle-free way to exercise
One of my Insider colleagues, Talia Lakritz, recently shared her experience of dressing up for remote work every day, and one thing she lamented was needing to change into her athletic clothes for yoga during her lunch hour, but I didn’t have that problem.
You need no special equipment, facilities, or clothing to walk — you can just go. Every day, I simply got up from my desk, put on any shoes (even
), and opened my front door. There was simply no excuse not to do it.
There was no need to change out of my workday clothes when going for a walk.
After a couple of weeks of daily walks, I started to feel so much better physically
One of the most significant ways I rate my physical health is by changes in my resting heart rate. My resting heart rate is susceptible to lifestyle choices, such as not getting enough exercise or eating poorly. For me, a simple way to stop it from increasing is by maintaining regular exercise, even if it’s gentle, and eating well, which I largely do as a vegan.
After I had completed about two weeks of daily walks, I suddenly realized something: I felt so much better, physically. There had been no sudden increases to my resting heart rate, and my physical health felt strong and consistent. For me, this feeling was incredibly significant. It was both something I could have assumed yet really didn’t expect to feel so accutely.
I’ve forced myself to walk in different places, while respecting social distancing rules.
My anecdotal experience seems to fit into a bigger picture painted by studies. A study review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, for example, found that people who were part of a walking group showed significant reductions in their resting heart rate, as well as other physical improvements, such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure. According to a review of studies shared by Healthline, walking five days a week can also help lower your risk of heart disease.
Even though walking can lead to weight loss, it hasn’t for me
I weighed myself before I started my daily walks and again after a month, just in case there was a change, but there wasn’t. That said,
was never my goal: feeling healthy and committing to staying active was.
Like everyone else, I have upped my snack intake since working from home, so while I haven’t lost weight from walking, it has perhaps allowed me to maintain my weight while eating whatever is in my cupboards.
Walking can help weight loss, however. Walking a mile burns approximately 100 calories, depending on your sex and weight, according to Healthline, and studies have indicated that walking for an hour multiple times a week reduces belly fat.
Mentally, I’ve noticed benefits, too
Walking has also been found to have significant impacts on mental health. A study by Harvard University and other institutions showed that three hours of exercise a week could decrease the risks of depression. This risk decreased a further 17% with each added 30 minutes or so of daily activity.
While I do not have depression, I can experience anxiety, which also affects my sleep. For me, separating my home life from my non-home life is essential, but that has been hard in lockdown.
Before the pandemic, I was commuting from New York City to my home in Long Island every day, and I enjoyed the 40-minute train journey that allowed me to disconnect from city stresses. Reading during this daily commute helped me feel much more relaxed and improved my sleep.
This obviously stopped when I was forced to stay at home. However, after about three weeks of walking, I realized that taking a walk immediately after my workday instituted the separation I had once experienced on my commute. When I returned to home, I felt clear-headed and refreshed for the evening.
My reading hasn’t suffered, either. Rather than reading a book, I’ve listened to them on headphones thanks to free audiobooks from my library.
I’ve finished many audiobooks on my walks.
I’ve also spent more time in nature
Some evenings and weekends, I’ve driven somewhere new for my walks. I’ve taken (socially distant) strolls on my local beach’s boardwalk, around a lake at a nearby state park, and through the woods. These walks have gotten me away from the environs of my home during the lockdown — a welcome change.
Seeking out the smells and sights of nature might not have happened quite so regularly without these daily walks, and in a relatively short time, I believe I’ve reaped the benefits of being in nature, such as reduced anxiety.
I’ve loved spending more time in nature.
A wealth of studies has shown contact with nature is linked to psychological well-being and has positive impact on memory, attention, imagination, and a feeling of purpose, among other things. One 2019 study found that people who spend at least two hours in nature each week “are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological well-being” than those who do not.
One thing that organizations such as the American Heart Association indicate is that walking will lead to a “better quality of life and sense of overall well-being,” which sums up my feelings perfectly.
While I predicted I’d feel better after walking every day, the positive effects have been more significant than I expected
While I’m looking forward to the intensity of spin class once the gym opens again, I plan on keeping up my daily walks for as long as I’m working from home, and perhaps even after the lockdown is completely lifted. While I will likely shorten my walks over time, I’m going to aim to complete at least the 30 minutes a day recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Why not? It’s easy, free, and is helping me in more ways than I expected.
A beach stroll.
Is walking daily “good enough” exercise?
Benefits of daily walks
Walking can be a good way for you to stay healthy. When you take up walking daily, your health can improve dramatically. Here are some powerful benefits of walking every day for 30 minutes:
- Improved digestion. Walking can help keep you regular.
- Mood improvement. Walking daily helps reduce depression, anxiety, and even insomnia. Bonus points if you’re walking outside with a friend. Walking in the sunlight will fight off seasonal affective disorder.
- Reduction in health risks such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and some cancers.
- Weight loss and improved body composition. When you start walking daily you might begin to see yourself losing weight. Even if the scale doesn’t move much, watch for inches to slip away as your body composition improves.
- Improved creativity. Researchers have found that going for a walk can help you come up with solutions to problems, which means your lunch break at work is the perfect time to take a walk.
- Reduced or improved varicose veins in your legs.
How long should you walk, and how often?
So you’re convinced. It’s time to take up a daily walking routine. But how long should you walk and how often? It depends on what you want to achieve. To decrease health risks such as heart disease, you need to exercise at a moderate level for 30 minutes at least four days a week. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you need to get on the treadmill and stay there for 30 minutes. Researchers have found that it’s the total time spent exercising daily that matters, even if your 30 minutes is split up in 10-minute increments throughout the day. Walking is the perfect form of exercise to split up this way. If you live close enough, take a short walk to work. Walk over to a friend’s house instead of driving. Those small increments of walking add up.
Leisurely stroll, or brisk pace?
One of the biggest downfalls of thinking about walking as exercise is our tendency to think that walking means easy. To get the benefits of walking, you need to be working at it. No leisurely strolls around the neighborhood while you stop to talk with your neighbors. You should be walking at a brisk pace. The aim is to be walking at least three and a half miles an hour. Which means setting your treadmill to 3.5 if you’re walking inside or aiming for more steps if you’re wearing a pedometer.
When you ‘re ready to take up walking, here are a few things you can do to make sure it’s “good enough” exercise.
- Warm up first. Warming up lets your muscles loosen up and your heart start pumping before you start working hard. When you’re walking, this might mean you plan to spend the first five minutes in a leisurely stroll before you begin your brisk walk.
- Walk with a friend. You’ll be more likely to keep your walking goals if you have someone to keep you accountable.
- Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle. This helps your arms swing naturally as you get going.
- Make it brisk. Remember, at least 3.5 mph on your treadmill. You can add in an extra little boost to your exercise routine by incorporating interval training (alternating between short bursts of fast and slow speeds). You can also add in more hills or stairs to your walking routine as you feel comfortable.
- Skip the weights. They make it more likely that you’ll injure yourself, and they don’t have many benefits.
- Stretch your muscles when you’re done walking.
Whether you’re walking around your neighborhood in the evenings with your family or alone at the gym, walking can be a good low-impact exercise. Remember, an exercise program you can stick with is more effective than the best exercise program out there. For many people, that means walking. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise regime.
Forget 10,000 – new advice on how far you should walk daily | UK News
There is no point aiming for 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy – a brisk 10-minute walk is just as good, according to official new advice.
Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of GPs said focusing on time, rather than distance or quantity of steps, can reduce the risk of early death by up to 15%.
One in five middle-aged adults are said to be physically inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.
A PHE poll of more than 3,000 adults found the main reason people give is “not having time” (31%), followed by not feeling motivated (27%) and being too tired (25%).
The official recommendation is for adults to carry out at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week.
This has been linked to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Half of the adults questioned in the PHE poll thought more than 240 minutes of exercise a week is required to see general health benefits.
One in seven (15%) thought more than 420 minutes a week is needed, amounting to an hour a day.
The majority (87%) said they already walk more than 10 minutes a day, although only just over half (54%) said they walk briskly for this amount of time.
PHE has created the Active 10 app, which measures a walker’s intensity and time, rather than just distance.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser for the app, said: “The additional health benefits that can be achieved by walking at a brisk pace for periods of 10 minutes or more – as opposed to totting up a certain number of steps throughout the day – are undeniable.
“I’d advise anyone of any age and activity level to start to fit in at least one 10-minute brisk walk a day as a simple way to get more active, especially those who may be taking medication for a long-term health condition – you will receive even more benefits from walking briskly for 10 minutes or more a day.”
PHE medical director Professor Paul Cosford said: “Managing all the pressures of everyday life can mean that exercise takes a back seat, but building a brisk walk into your daily routine is a simple way to get more active.
“The Active 10 app gives you a clear picture of the intensity of your walk.
“Taking a brisk 10-minute walk each day will get your heart pumping, improve your mood and lower the risk of serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.”
Apps that have set users step targets rather than time have been criticised by a leading computer scientist.
Step counting apps could be driving people to chase over-ambitious goals, according to Dr Greg Hager, from Johns Hopkins University in the US.
He said “very few” of the estimated 165,000 available healthcare apps are based on scientific evidence.
90,000 How often should the dog walk, what should be included in the walk and the duration of the walk
Walking is necessary for a dog not only in order to satisfy its physiological needs. It is also physical activity, and socialization, and strengthening of the emotional connection with the owner. But you will achieve all these goals only if the walking is correct and long.
Why do you need to walk the dog?
The personality of a dog does not develop without society. Man and other animals are not suitable for this role – dogs have completely different relations with us. As you interact with other dogs, your pet will learn new behaviors, hierarchy, and how to use signals of reconciliation. Without such lessons, the dog will not become complete and will experience anxiety and stress when meeting with relatives.
Both in the apartment and in the aviary, the dog does not receive the load that it needs. In nature, dogs run, take many kilometers of walks, jump over barriers. Without these exercises, muscles, joints, the entire musculoskeletal system, and the heart suffer. Everything is like people have: if there is no sport, there is no health.
Without emotional and physical unloading, the dog experiences stress and … boredom.To cope with them, she comes up with interesting homework. For example, he gnaws at wallpaper and furniture, howls and whines loudly, jumps and bites the owners.
How often and for how long should you go for a walk?
Most dogs tolerate up to 10-12 hours between walks. It is enough to walk with them twice a day – in the morning and in the evening. But if your dog has problems with the nervous or genitourinary system, then the number of walks can increase to three to four per day.
They walk with the puppies more often – every 2-3 hours.They can’t stand it any longer for physiological reasons, so do not scold them for home blunders. In a couple of months, the puppy will enter the regime and get used to endure between walks for six hours or longer.
The length of the walk depends on the age and breed of the dog.
For calm, decorative or mature dogs, one and a half to two hours a day is enough. For hunting and young dogs, the time increases to three to four hours. Sled dogs need to walk even more or include intense exercise in the walk.
The morning walk is usually shorter than the evening one – 30 minutes is enough for it. The evening walk is more detailed, during which the dog needs to spend all the energy accumulated during the day.
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What should be included in the walk?
During the walk, the dog should have time:
to relieve natural need;
Run 2-3 times for 5-10 minutes;
communicate with relatives;
pass “next” to you, without being distracted by others;
train a couple of teams and get a treat for this.
If you include all these points in the walk, then the walk will be complete. The dog will receive emotions from communicating with his own kind, learn information about the world around him, and establish contact with the owner. And he will be tired enough to fall asleep soundly, and not wake you up with night rounds of the apartment. You don’t need to complete all the points every day – today you can run more in the company of other dogs, and tomorrow you can hone commands and obedience. But try to maintain a balance.Only then will the dog satisfy all needs and be happy.
90,000 How many times a day should the puppy be walked? – Tips
Bringing a puppy to the house is a joyful and exciting event. After all, you are acquiring not just an animal, but a child animal, for whom the world is arranged completely differently than for an adult dog. And, like any good parent, you google the rules for caring for a new family member.
How long does it take to walk the puppy? How often? How long? Here are the basic rules to follow.
We start walking only after preventive vaccinations
The street is a very aggressive environment for a puppy. There are many foreign bacteria and microbes to which it does not yet have immunity. That is why experienced veterinarians advise to start walking only after preventive vaccinations have been delivered. Usually they are done in two: at one and at two months – this is the standard scheme for vaccination of puppies. During this time, the dogs have time to acquire sufficient protection.
Getting ready for the first walk like landing on the moon
You need to prepare thoroughly for the solemn moment of the first walk. After all, it is rather difficult to predict the puppy’s reaction: some bravely rush into reconnaissance, some get scared and snuggle up to the owner, and someone may be so scared that they will run away and get lost.
T o is, first of all, you need a leash.
It is a leash with a collar, not a harness, which can harm the fragile skeleton of a dog.I must say that many puppies are frightened by the collar and on the street they simply begin to freeze from only new sensations on the body.
Therefore, I recommend starting to try on and wearing a leash a little at home, while you have not yet gone for a walk, and when street training already starts, “dress” a few minutes before going out. This will give your dog a collar = street reflex. Just no exceptions and indulgences!
Secondly, it would be nice to teach the dog simple commands.
The most important thing that any well-bred puppy should know is his nickname. Make sure he at least turns his head at the sound of his name. This is the basic command from which the more complex ones are built.
The second command that comes in handy on the street is “no!” or “fu!” The dog should definitely know that you do not approve of its actions and obey you. This will come in very handy when your pet will taste literally everything in sight.A puppy’s mouth is such a device for exploring the world, keep this in mind and do not take your eyes off the dog.
And, of course, the little dog must know the command “to me!”. It doesn’t matter if you walk in a crowded place or in a forest belt outside the city, on a leash or not. This team will ensure the safety of both of you and everyone around you.
For the first walks, 10-15 minutes is enough. Of course, a lot depends on the weather conditions and on the reaction of the animal.If the dog is comfortable, he has the strength and mood, and you can stay.
Puppies under three months are not recommended to walk for more than an hour a day, because they are, in fact, children and quickly get tired. Overloading their nervous system can literally cost you dear: a dog out of control can break anything in the house. Therefore, it is reasonable to split the walk into 3-4 short walks a day.
However, you also need to consider the size and fitness of your pet.For example, overweight dogs get tired faster than “athletes”, so it is worth taking them home earlier. You can easily determine your rate after the first few runs.
Unfortunately, for many owners of puppies, full-fledged walking is possible only on weekends: it is quite difficult to get out so often on weekdays. In this case, the rule is “something is better than nothing.”
Walking should be fun
Be sure to use every opportunity for your puppy to communicate with others like him.It is desirable that the age and weight category match.
Do not forbid dogs to get acquainted, sniff and play together, so they learn to live in society and gain useful habits from each other.
And don’t forget to take your puppy’s favorite toys outside! This is not only because playing outside is much more interesting, but also because for a dog his toy is a small part of the house. This means that it will not be so scary to go out into the unknown.
As you can see, there is nothing difficult with walking a puppy.Only thorough preparation, ammunition, toys and a sense of proportion are important. On my own behalf, I want to add that the dog is important not only the very fact of walks, but also your attitude to what is happening.
Seize the moment, learn new commands, run a race (only carefully when the dog gets comfortable), throw balls and sticks to him, explore the surroundings together.
After all, this is not just a duty and a formality, but a way to move, get your portion of oxygen and recharge with cool emotions for the whole day.
Do not deprive yourself of this pleasure!
Anton Koteikin, a consultant of the Samizoo.ru online store, was with you.
How long does it take to walk in the fresh air? Real experience and small tips.
How long does it take to walk in the fresh air? I think the answer to the question will largely depend on “what family you came from” and on the characteristics of your character.Indeed, someone can hardly stand the “norm” of one hour, but for someone a couple of hours on the street is not time at all …
Why did I write that in many respects being on the street depends on the family? I have a simple example – my parents always spent a LOT of time on the street. Forest, mountains, sanatoriums, natural attractions … Yes, we never got bored. Of course, I am a little lazier than my parents and do not mind sitting at home whenever possible. But! As soon as I sit at home for at least a day and not go outside, I start to “fade” – my head starts to hurt, my mood drops, I begin to feel lethargic and there is a feeling that “something is missing.”So people like me need air. Do you want your kids to get a lot of fresh air? Walk with them since childhood!
Moreover, my health is directly dependent on fresh air. And from myself, I know that if hemoglobin falls, and this happens, then no drugs will help me. Fresh air is my only medicine!
Where to walk, how to walk and when to walk?
Of course, it is most pleasant to walk where “the eye rejoices”, and not along dusty streets, where there is nothing to breathe, and there is nothing to look at.The first place that comes to mind is, of course, the forest. Here walks can be long and interesting.
The favorite path of our family begins with such a small church, located almost in the forest. Around the church, monks maintain a huge flower bed of indescribable beauty!
Further from this church, the road leads through the forest to the Volga River. It is almost impossible to go down here by car, and as you understand, the air here is the purest! There is no gas pollution, and in the beach season there is a minimum of people here.
Of course, you have to look at the weather – in the summer, walks are, in principle, in happiness, and you don’t have to go home even for a whole day! However, nature, as the song says, does not have bad weather, so in winter you can have a great time with your family in the forest!
By the way about the company. Personally, I can’t stand long walks alone, so I’m one hour behind my back! But if there is a good company, then the walk can last from two hours or more! And not only in summer, but also in winter! In extreme cases, music in headphones becomes my companion, and then the time spent in the fresh air also increases noticeably.
And my husband and I are very fond of “night” walks. Of course, now you can’t go for a walk with children at night, but sometimes we still find time for the “evening” air. This photo was taken during such a walk …
Walking in the fresh air. The opinion of doctors.
Of course, walking in the fresh air is also a kind of exercise, so if before you were on the street only for 15 minutes “from home to work”, then you should not rush to the top and literally move to the street.No, your muscles will not start to ache from habit, as it happens after a workout. And even the lungs will not begin to “breathe faster” out of habit, no. You will simply burn out mentally and want to go back home, to your native warmth.
Start gradually at half an hour and gradually work up to 2 hours or more. There is no definite norm here, but doctors advise to walk for at least half an hour a day.
Active absorption of oxygen will not be superfluous, that is, jogging in the fresh air or brisk walking for a short time.It will be a kind of prevention of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases. Again, you need to start active rest gradually – from 10 minutes and then on an increasing basis. Over time, you should carry out active rest at least twice a week.
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Medical myths: do we need to take 10,000 steps every day?
- Claudia Hammond
- BBC Future
Photo author, Getty Images
We have heard this more than once: you have to take 10,000 steps every day to feel healthy and in shape.However, some of the research findings may surprise you.
Many of us use smartwatches, pedometers, mobile apps in smartphones to calculate how much we walked in a day. We are happy when the figure of 10 thousand steps has been reached – well, of course, this is important! The app I’m using explodes on the screen in green confetti, congratulating me.
It also fixes “strikes” – this is when I manage to give the norm of 10,000 steps for a whole week. How often does this happen? I’ll answer honestly: rarely.
Of course, the accuracy of some pedometers is debatable. It is clear that they count rather roughly and do not take into account the peculiarities of your movements. For example, if you are running, the number of steps will be the same as for waddling, although the difference in health benefits is significant.
However, pedometers give you a general idea of how active you have been during the day.
If you are going to count steps, what matters is the number that you set for yourself as a goal.Most loggers give you 10,000 steps per day by default.
This figure is so widely known that it is logical to assume: it was born as a result of many years of research, when scientists were fighting over how many steps per day are optimal for your health – 8000, 10,000, or maybe 12,000 …
In fact, no such studies have been carried out.
Photo author, Getty Images
10 thousand steps are better than five thousand, studies have confirmed this.But what about seven thousand? It turned out that things are not so simple
The magic number “10,000” was born in 1964 before the Olympic Games in Tokyo, during the then marketing campaign. A Japanese firm began selling a pedometer called Manpo-kei: man means 10,000, po means steps, and kei means counter.
“Manpo-kei” turned out to be very popular, and the figure 10,000 stuck in people’s heads.
Since then, there have been studies comparing the benefits of walking 5,000 and 10,000 steps daily.Unsurprisingly, the higher number won.
However, until recently, the effectiveness of the number of steps in the range between five and ten thousand has not been studied. Even now, this has not been comprehensively tested in adults.
A recent study by Harvard Medical School professor Yimin Li and her colleagues focused on a group of more than 16,000 women over the age of 70. Scientists tried to compare the number of steps taken during the day with the likelihood of death from any cause.Each of the women spent a week with a wearable device to track her movements.
The researchers then paused for about four years and three months. By that time, 504 of the women who took part in the experiment had died.
How many steps do you think those who were still alive walked per day? Those magical ten thousand?
It turned out that the average number of steps that these women took daily was 5500, and even a small increase in this figure mattered.For example, women who took more than 4,000 steps a day were far more likely to die than those who took 2,700.
It’s amazing that such a small difference could have such a dramatic effect on life expectancy.
Following this logic, you can assume that the more steps you walk in a day, the better. For a certain range of steps, this was true – but only up to 7,500 per day, after which the benefits from them stopped growing.
Any addition of steps after this number had no effect on life expectancy.
Photo author, Getty Images
For women after 70 years, the benefits of steps increased to 7,500, but then its growth stopped
Of course, one of the drawbacks of this study is that we cannot be sure : it is possible that the steps preceded the illness from which this or that woman died.
The study included women who were healthy enough to go outside and move around on their own. Of course, scientists previously asked them how healthy they feel.
But some of the participants, although they might be able to walk, are not too far. In other words, they took fewer steps then, because they were already unwell, and in their case the difference in the number of steps did not matter.
Perhaps, scientists have suggested, for this age group, 7,500 steps is quite enough – although it is also possible that adding the number of steps would give the body additional protection.
In addition, a higher number of steps could only indicate a more active lifestyle that the participants have led over the years, and this is what helped them live longer.
This is why it is difficult to determine exactly which number of steps brings the most health benefits and how much to add to your daily number.
The question arises regarding the optimal number of steps from the point of view of psychology. The goal of “ten thousand every day” can seem like a daunting goal – so many will simply give up on it.
Constantly, day after day, falling short of this goal, you may despair. In one study with British teenagers, it was found that at first 13-14 year olds liked to fight for 10,000 steps every day, but soon they realized how difficult it was to do it regularly, and began to complain about the unfairness of the task.
I conducted my own psychological experiment, changing the required number of steps in the mobile application to 9000.
I tried to fool myself that I go through the remaining thousand, moving around the house, when I do not carry my smartphone with me. But really, I just wanted to cheer myself up so that I could complete the step plan much more often.
To inspire normally sedentary people to take more steps, it may be psychologically correct to use lower goals.
Photo author, Getty Images
Walking without counting steps is much more enjoyable than constantly glancing at the pedometer.
The trouble is that the strenuous counting of each step deprives us of the pleasure of walking.
When the researchers tested their level of life satisfaction at the end of the day, it was lower than that of those who simply walked, regardless of the number of steps.
And even for the most physically prepared, counting steps can be counterproductive, giving them a false signal: “everything, the goal is achieved, you can not try any more.”
What is the conclusion from all that has been said? Count steps if you feel motivated. But remember, there is nothing magical about 10,000.
Set yourself a goal that suits you personally. It may be more than ten thousand, or it may be less. Or maybe you just decide to ditch your pedometer and feel great after that!
Legal information. This article is for general information only and should not be construed as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other healthcare professional.The BBC is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the materials of the site. The BBC is not responsible for the content of other sites, links to which are present on this page, and also does not recommend commercial products or services mentioned on these sites. If you are concerned about your health condition, see your doctor.
To read the original of this article in English, visit BBC Future .
How much you need to walk with the dogs
Walking mode directly depends on the size of the dog, breed, level of activity and sensitivity to weather conditions.Some breeds are happy to go for long walks in the cold, but in the summer they have a hard time – for example, Rottweilers, who easily overheat. But working dogs, hounds, sled and hunting breeds can walk as long as a person can. Walking, by the way, is useful not only for dogs, but also for people – especially those who lead a sedentary lifestyle because of work.
Where can I run properly?
The philosophy “A tired dog is a good dog” is the only true one in the case of walks.For a healthy dog, walking around the house on a leash is generally not enough. Most dogs need half an hour to an hour of exercise per day: stick games, frisbee, running and jumping. It is advisable to exercise every day.
Take your dog to the dog playground. There she can be released from the leash and allowed to run properly. However, this option is only suitable for those whose dogs get along well with other dogs. If the weather outside is such that it is impossible to get out there, still do not neglect the exercises: just do them at home, give the dog tasks for quick wits, throw toys, and so on.
How to walk with brachycephalic breeds?
Before going on a long walk with brachycephalic breeds – those with a “flattened” muzzle (bulldogs, pugs) – you need to consult a veterinarian. However, these breeds will definitely tire more quickly than other breeds. In the heat for such dogs, you need to take a bottle of water with you to prevent overheating of the animal. Not all dwarf breeds get enough exercise while running at home – this is a popular misconception.For example, pugs often become obese because they are not very physically active.
How to walk with elderly and weak dogs?
Older dogs should be walked with as long as they can outside. The same is true for dogs with a variety of medical conditions and recent surgery. Dogs that walk little and do not get exercise are often overweight. And, just like in humans, being overweight leads to health problems: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and so on.It aggravates hip dysplasia and arthritis. Obesity in dogs causes problems with joints, ligaments and muscles. This is especially dangerous for older dogs who already have a hard time climbing.
How to walk with the puppies?
It is always worth remembering that puppies can only be released for a walk after all the vaccinations have been carried out. Once you have vaccinated, you can safely walk. Puppies need less exercise than adult dogs, so it is believed that every month a puppy has a 5 minute walk (and there should be two per day).Therefore, a three-month-old puppy needs to walk for 15 minutes, a four-month old – 20, and so on. The puppy needs to walk in a safe place, slowly moving farther and farther from home. So he will not get stress and will develop harmoniously.
How to walk with toy dogs?
Maltese, Pekingese, Japanese Chin, Pomeranian and other decorative dog breeds were originally bred for home keeping and travel on the hands of owners. But, for example, dachshunds or Jack Russell terriers that do not exceed their size are hunting dogs with an appropriate level of activity, and therefore, with a need for movement.So be sure to check with the breeder for your specific breed.
Text: Evgeniya Okskaya
Why walking is vital and how much you need to walk a day :: Health :: RBC Style
July 16, 2021
A walk is the simplest source of joy and meaning, the Norwegian traveler Erling Kagge is sure.His new book inspires you to walk for at least 15 minutes a day.
The MYTH publishing house has published a book by Erling Kagge, a Norwegian traveler who conquered the North and South Poles, as well as Everest.”Walk” tells about what is so amazing about walking and how it affects our physical and mental health.
Why do we need to go if we can go
Homo sapiens have always walked. Since the moment he first left East Africa, that is, more than seventy thousand years ago. The history of our species has always been determined by upright posture.
But what do we see today? It became easier for people to overcome distances – transport appeared. We prefer fast car travel to walks.Three quarters of children in the UK spend less time outdoors than prisoners.  One in five little Britons is mostly indoors all day, and one in nine children has never been to a park, forest or beach in a year. Walking feels like luxury or insanity: such a waste of time. Is it so?
Still from the film “Pride and Prejudice”
Erling Kagge is convinced that walking is vital.And it’s not just that constant walks affect fitness: for example, walking in the bosom of nature is one of the most delightful experiences one can have. After the kilometers traveled, it is especially useful to look back, look at the surrounding landscape and relax. In 1982, the Japanese gave this activity the name shinrin-yoku, which means “swimming in the forest”. Forest therapy effectively reduces stress and blood pressure . “We are designed to blend in with the natural environment,” explains Yoshifumi Miyazaki, director of the Center for Environment, Health and Science at Chiba University.
Erling Kagge admits that he often walks barefoot or in socks. At home, at a party or in the office – wherever possible, he takes off his shoes.
“I do this in order to be able to wiggle my toes and get rid of the thick layer of rubber that separates my body from the ground or floor. I do this not only to take care of my feet, but also to feel the wood floor, cement, carpets, grass, sand, mud and asphalt underneath. Or moss, pine needles and stones.To feel pleasant reflexes in every toe, in the pads of the feet, heels and ankles. ”
Walking barefoot is a useful exercise. Kagge describes a situation in which one woman, a lawyer, worked hard until one day she hit a wall. She was overtaken by an attack of panic: it seemed to her that she was dying. After rehabilitation, she returned to work, but again experienced a severe panic attack and headache.
Shot from the film “Barefoot on the pavement”
She was sent to a course of psychomotor physiotherapy, where at the very first session she was asked to stand up straight.They asked how she felt. The woman said, “Nothing.” Then the question was clarified: what does she feel under the feet, in the body, legs and hips. The woman again said, “Nothing.” Only after the doctor squeezed her muscles, the headache faded into the background and she felt something. The doctor asked the woman to sit on a chair, put her feet on two wooden rollers and roll them with the soles. A week later, she suddenly felt a terrible pain in her feet. The therapist told her to stand on the rollers and roll them back and forth under her feet.The pain increased so much that the patient began to have a spasm. It was only later that she realized that the physiotherapist was prescribing these exercises to bring her head back into contact with her body. She needed a return to earth, Kagge believes.
Walks also affect our inner state. Cardiac surgeon Magdi Yakub was once asked what he realized after seeing thousands of beating human hearts. He replied: “We need to walk every day.”
Walking has another bonus – it stimulates creativity.In 2014, Stanford University researchers found that walking 6-15 minutes increased creativity by 60%. It is curious that the idea to conduct such a study came to minds of its leaders, Marili Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz, during a walk .
Still from the movie “Before Dawn”
When things went wrong with work, Albert Einstein used to run in the forest surrounding Princeton, and Steve Jobs, planning to develop and expand new ideas, went for a walk with colleagues.By the way, many of his successors in Silicon Valley adopted this experience and today hold meetings and meetings in the open air in the hope of achieving the desired effect.
Erling Kagge gives his readers advice: if it seems to you that your brain has gone on a strike, try wandering around your home for at least 15-20 minutes. You will feel the thoughts dissipate, the mind becomes clear. Perhaps you will find answers to questions that have bothered you.
What his walk says about a person
The gait can reflect our feelings.Even the smallest deviations from your usual walking style will tell others whether your day is good or bad. The gait can tell more about a person than the face.
While walking is partly genetically determined, it also expresses individual values and social norms. A cop walks differently than a hipster. The first clearly controls body movements, the second moves with a relaxed, slightly dancing gait. “Everything in us is done as if on command,” says French sociologist Marcel Moss.Movement is like a bridge between our psychological and social systems. As the successor and follower of Moss Pierre Bourdieu put it, the social position of a person is imprinted in the body.
Daily care of a newborn “KGBUZ” Taimyr MRB “
What is daily newborn care, how to wash your baby and take care of the umbilical wound, how to change diapers, take care of your nails, feed your baby and walk with him – we will tell you about these basic procedures for caring for a newborn in our article.
When it comes time to return home with a newborn from the hospital, every mother begins to worry about how she will take care of her baby without the help and competent advice of the medical staff.
Without exception, all mothers are worried whether they can provide their child with the care necessary for his healthy growth: to bathe the baby correctly, cut off his nails, treat the umbilical wound.
Therefore, before the mothers have time to cross the threshold of their home, they have many questions about caring for the child: is it worth washing the baby after each urination, what is the best way to treat the navel: brilliant green or tincture of calendula?
Today we will try to find answers to the main questions about baby hygiene and talk about the basic procedures of daily baby care.
Morning toilet for a newborn
Like every person, a baby should wash in the morning, of course, his mother should help him with this.
After the newborn wakes up, strip him naked, let him lie naked for a while – this is good for the baby’s skin. Then carefully examine the baby, check for redness on the skin, prickly heat. If so, prepare a baby cream to lubricate problem areas after washing your baby.
The baby is washed with cotton pads dipped in warm boiled water.Washing the newborn is carried out from top to bottom.
Wipe your baby’s eyes from the outside to the inside. For the hygiene of each eye, it is recommended to take a new cotton pad.
Gently wipe the baby’s face with a damp cotton pad, the ears outside, the skin behind the ears, and the neck.
Listen to the baby’s breathing, it should be free. If breathing is difficult, clear your baby’s nose. To do this, you can use a special saline solution for children under one year old and an aspirator (a device that helps suction mucus).
You can also remove crusts from the spout using two small cotton balls dipped in baby oil. The flagella must be carefully inserted into each nostril of the child’s nose and rotated several times. If your baby’s nose is breathing well, then it doesn’t need to be cleaned.
Then you need to wipe all the folds of the baby’s skin with a damp cotton pad, replace the dirty diaper with a clean one by washing the baby or using baby wipes to cleanse the skin.
Umbilical wound care
During the neonatal period, a special place on the child’s body is the umbilical wound, which requires careful care.
As a rule, the umbilical wound is treated once a day, you can do this after bathing, when all the crusts are soaked from the water and the mucus is washed out.
How to treat a newborn’s navel? There are several ways to treat the umbilical wound, each of them is quite effective:
- navel care with boiled water – for this, once a day, moisten a cotton pad with boiled water and wipe the umbilical wound thoroughly so that it becomes clean, then for dry the navel for a few minutes;
- navel treatment with hydrogen peroxide and antiseptic (chlorhexidine, baneocin, levomekol, iodine, brilliant green, alcohol-based chlorophyllipt) – take two cotton swabs to treat the navel, dip one in peroxide, the other in an antiseptic, first treat the navel , with which we wash all the crusts from the navel, and then with an antiseptic.
Recommendations regarding the choice of one or another method of navel treatment are usually given by nurses in the maternity hospital, as well as by the visiting nurse who will come to your baby during the first month of life.
Important! If you notice that the skin around the umbilical wound is inflamed, be sure to see your doctor.
If you see that the umbilical wound does not heal within a month, it is better to show the child to the doctor. Usually, up to 14 days of life, the umbilical residue falls off and the wound heals.
Washing the newborn
It is necessary to wash the baby under running water after each bowel movement.
It is convenient to wash a newborn as follows:
Place the baby with his stomach on your left palm facing you or with his back on your forearm with his head facing you.
Place your child’s lower torso under running water.
Lather the baby’s buttocks and genitals with baby soap (it is better to choose liquid soap for children, it is more convenient to use it).
Then wash off the soap thoroughly with water, pat the baby’s skin with a towel or diaper.
If the baby has just urinated into the diaper, then you do not need to wash it, but when changing the diaper, use wet wipes.Choose special baby wipes without fragrances and alcohol.
Most often, mothers use disposable diapers to care for their children. There are a few simple rules that are important to follow in this case:
When using them, remember that a child should not be in one disposable diaper for more than 4 hours.
It is necessary to put on a diaper on a newborn so that the umbilical remains are not covered. This is necessary for the fastest healing of the umbilical wound.
It is desirable that the baby just lay on the diaper without a diaper for several hours a day so that the skin can breathe.
It is also important to ensure that diaper rash does not form on the skin under the diaper. To prevent diaper rash, it is necessary to dress the baby according to the weather, that is, do not overheat him, and you can also use a special diaper cream.
If diaper rash has already formed, you need to see a doctor, he will recommend a remedy for their healing, most likely it will be a cream containing dexpanthenol – an effective healing medicine.
Of course, it is better to prevent diaper rash, as they can be very painful and disturb the baby.
Bathing a newborn
All mothers are interested in the question: when can you start bathing a baby after leaving the hospital?
“You can bathe the child immediately after discharge, but if you have been vaccinated with BCG, but within a day or two after the vaccination, it is better not to bathe the child, so as not to wet the injection site.”
After the umbilical wound heals, you can bathe the child in a regular bath in tap water, gradually increasing the bathing time from 5 minutes to 30-40.
Every day, while bathing a child, it is necessary to wash his genitals and buttocks, 1-2 times a week, you need to wash the entire baby with soap, and also wash the child’s head with a special baby shampoo.
Important! Always bathe your child with the door open in the bathroom, thanks to this, the child will not be so cold after you take him out of the water, since the temperature difference will not be too great.
Each time the baby should be lowered into the water slowly, starting with the legs. It is necessary to support the entire body of the child in the water.If water gets into your baby’s ears or eyes while bathing, it’s not scary, it’s quite natural!
From the very first days of life, you can begin to lightly harden your child. To do this, before you start bathing the baby, prepare and place a vessel with water in the bathroom, the temperature of which will be 0.5-1 degrees lower than the temperature of the water in the bath. At the end of the bath, pour this container over the child.
After bathing, the baby should be blotted with a diaper or towel, but do not wipe it off, as this procedure can damage the delicate baby skin.
You also need to prepare two small cotton flagella and gently screw them into the baby’s ears so that the cotton absorbs the water that gets into the ears during bathing. After the baby’s skin is dry, it is advisable to treat the folds with baby oil.
Newborn’s nail care
It is necessary to take care of baby’s nails 1-2 times a week, as the nails grow very quickly in children. To cut nails, you need to purchase special scissors with rounded ends.On the legs, the nails must be cut off evenly, and on the hands – by rounding the edges.
Walking with the baby
In summer, you can walk with your baby the next day after leaving the hospital. It is advisable to protect the child from direct sunlight. It is better to go for a walk in the summer either in the morning (before 10 am), or in the evening (after 6 pm), at this time it is not so hot.
In winter, it is recommended to start walking 2-3 days after leaving the hospital. If the temperature outside is below 10 degrees, it is better not to go out with the baby.
The first walk should be very short – 10-15 minutes. Then walk 10 minutes longer every day.
When preparing for a walk with the baby, mothers usually doubt whether they have dressed the baby correctly.