Posted on Feb 18, 2020, 5 p.m.
Walking is one of the easiest, simplest and cost free ways to sneak exercise into a busy schedule as it can be done virtually anywhere, anytime, any place without special equipment, either alone or with a group of friends indoors or outside in nature.
Despite many well documented studies proving that physical activity can provide protect benefits for a variety of health conditions and being sedentary is a risk factor for a wide range of diseases the long term follow up of physical activity trials remains inadequate.
A study from St. George’s University of London and other institutions published in the journal PLOS Medicine has found that adults and the elderly can benefit from walking on a regular basis, findings showed that increasing the amount of time spent walking helps to boost heart health.
Data was analyzed from 1,297 participants aged 45- 75 years old of the PACE-UP and PACE-Lift trials wherein two randomized controlled trials of 12 week pedometer-based walking interventions in primary care were followed up with long term data from primary health records at four years. The goal was to increase step count and physical activity; data showed after sustained increases in physical activity within 3-4 years the participants in the exercise group had fewer fractures and cardiovascular events. No differences were observed in incidences of depression or diabetes in either group.
At least 61 of the participants required the walking intervention to prevent a single cardiovascular event, and 28 people required the walking intervention to prevent one fractor, according to the study. It was noted that while the rates of adverse health events were low and was restricted to those documented in primary care records, any under recording would not have differed by intervention status thus ensuring bias was not present in this study.
Short term walking intervention was concluded to offer long term benefits, and this simple, free, and effective intervention should be practiced more to help address health problems that are linked to being sedentary and a lack of regular physical activity.
It is important to make time to exercise even with a busy schedule; quick workouts spread throughout the work week is better than doing nothing at all. The real beauty of walking is that it is free and can be done pretty much at any time in anyplace without special equipment, solo or with friends, indoors or outside.
Try walking with a companion whether that be a pet or a friend. You can even turn that walk into a fun filled adventure by exploring new areas, with a scavenger hunt, site seeing, or bird watching. Rather than a walk around the block with your four legged fur baby why not go to the park where you can both enjoy some scenery and socialization.
While you are watching TV you could try to walk in place during commercials, or doing yoga, or on a treadmill while listening to music. If you are on the phone often for long periods of time, stand up and walk around. If you can walk rather than drive, or park further away.
Riding a bike part or all of the way will get those legs moving. Get off a stop early from our location if you take public transportation and walk the rest of the way. When you take a restroom break walk to the far bathroom, and when going for water walk to the far water cooler.
Taking the stairs is great exercise, going up and down a flight of stairs is a quick way to get in some exercise. Utilizing the stairs more often can provide some serious health benefits without having to buy special equipment.
When it comes to being physically active every step counts, walking will help to boost your heart health in the easiest cost free way possible.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.