Many people develop a list of ‘resolutions’ when the New Year rings in.  More often than not, these include well intentioned goals that require lots of behaviour change.  Behaviour change around food and exercise are often keys to improving and maintaining good health – musculoskeletal and otherwise.  However these changes can be notoriously difficult to maintain in part because people try to tackle too much and take on too much change at once.

The American College of Sports Medicine is famous for its well researched and defined exercise recoommendations.  They suggest healthy adults get 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week, and this can be done in 30 minute bouts or in 3 bouts of 10 minutes. ‘Moderate intensity’ means that you can feel that you’re exercising, but you can still talk.

You don’t need to join a gym, take an expensive class, or buy yourself a Wii to start exercising.  You can walk.  If you can find 10 minutes three times a day (or 10 mins and then 20 mins etc) – or work up to that – you’re well on your way to improving your fitness.

Yes you’re busy – How can you find the time?

  • Get off two bus stops early and walk to work from there. This only means getting up 10 minutes earlier (instead of an hour at an exercise class twice a week…) If you’ve got more time, get off a tube stop early and walk.
  • Take your lunch to work, walk someplace 20 minutes away and eat for 20 minutes.  Then walk back.  You have to eat lunch right?  Here you save money by packing your lunch and you get your exercise in. Requires 10 mins to make your packed lunch ( or less if you use leftovers from dinner and pack them the night before)
  • Don’t use the lift.  Use the stairs.
  • Walk with others to make it more social – remember to move as quickly as you can but whilst still maintaining your conversation! If you’re alone – and it is safe – listen to music or an audiobook.
  • Make a list of places you’d like to see this year – countryside or cityside, maybe on your way to or from work.  Use them to kickstart your walking habit by making it interesting and novel, and this can help you find enjoyment in the process.

For those who find committing and recording helpful, the great organisation ‘Get Walking‘ has a 12 week programme of walks, a way to record your walking online, and downloadable route maps for those wanting to do longer ‘I’m going for a walk’ walks!  There are links to walking groups and walking events throughout the UK on the website.  Some of the walking holidays sound really nice.  You can also find inspiring stories of how people have changed their health and their lives through the simple act of starting to walk regularly.

 

 

WalkTenerife

NICE report recommends walking & cycling to tackle UK obesity: https://t.co/0FovyrLP #travel #health #hiking

Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:00:59 AM

 

BUMedicine

Small bursts of activity throughout the day, like taking the stairs & walking to the bus add up, says Dr. Nicole Glazer:https://t.co/TCMK9q1w

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 7:35:06 PM

 

 

Top walking and cycling tips to get your New Year off to a healthy

www.thebigwheel.org.uk1/3/13

Leave the car at home for short trips and opt for walking instead; Get off the bus several stops early on your way into work or the shops; Many people in Nottingham live within walking distance of their workplace – try walking to work (or part of the way) several times a week (you’ll avoid congestion, get outdoors and get some exercise under your belt); Nottingham has lots of wonderful walking routes – take a look at The Big Track or visit www.walkit.com to plan your

 

Walking and cycling should become the norm for – National Institute

www.nice.org.uk11/29/12

More people should be encouraged to keep fit by incorporating walking and cycling into their everyday lives, in an attempt to tackle declining rates of physical activity in England, NICE says. Regular physical activity is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, as well as being important for good mental health. However, cycle use is lower in Britain than it is in other European countries,

 

Walking group welcomes new members | The Hedon Blog

hedonblog.co.uk1/10/13

The group was originally set up through the Walking for Health scheme. Walking is recognised as a good way to keep fit and active whilst also enabling you to explore the local area in a way that’s just not possible by car.

 

Taking a step towards healthier communities « The Big Lottery Fund

bigblog.org.uk1/8/13

of obesity and related health concerns. The UK is now among the most obese nations in the world – one in four of the country’s adults are obese while levels of childhood obesity continue to rise at an alarming rate. Living Streets’ Living Streets’ award-winning Fitter for Walking initiative is taking steps in the right direction however – encouraging all ages to discover the great outdoors and become more physically active. In this guest blog, Jayne Phenton touches on

 

First Durham Dales Walking Festival aims to attract outdoor 

www.thenorthernecho.co.uk1/9/13

The festival, planned for the autumn, is being linked to the 75th anniversary celebrations of the Pennine Journey walk by Alfred Wainwright. The walks cater for all ages and abilities, with some fully accessible routes planned.