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.




NICE report recommends walking & cycling to tackle UK obesity: #travel #health #hiking

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



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

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



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