Take 30,000 steps every weekend

It may sound impossible, but it is very practicable for you to take 30,000 steps by walking around your home, neigbourhood and environment, while also not forgetting to get the rest you deserve every weekend.

Walking, as simple as it sounds, is one of the activities that most people avoid in the 21st century. It is not rocket science to say that people are not walking as much as they should these days. We can’t blame them either; today’s technologies have helped us to get things done without moving about.

Also, thanks to the Internet, many people can now work conveniently from home. This is the era of home delivery; you can shop for anything and everything online without lifting more than just your finger. More people hold desk jobs that require that they should sit at the computer for at least eight hours a day.

In short, any walk that would take more than 20 minutes at a go is now presumed as stressful activity that one need not do if there is an alternative.

Family physician, Dr. Femi Omolola, says the world is battling with the burden of obesity, heart disease and cancer because of the comfort that comes with 21st century technologies.

Omolola states, “The lifestyle of many people is such that they wake up, get in their car, sit in their offices, drive back home, and sit to watch TV till they sleep. They are sitting, driving or sleeping. There is no room for exercise when you have this routine.

“Walking for at least 30 minutes a day will keep diseases and doctors at bay; and that holds true, whether you walk for 30 minutes at a time or break it up into 10 three-minute walks.”

Omolola says that more people, especially those living in cities, are living sedentary lives that could predispose them to high blood pressure, heart diseases and other health conditions.

He says, “When it comes to staying healthy, walking is one of the easiest, most convenient activities you can do to achieve that. To burn calories, all you have to do is walk faster and devote more time to each walk.

“Every adult is expected to take at least 10,000 steps each day. So, if you walked on Saturday and Sunday and walk a bit more on Friday, you can average 30,000 steps through this weekend.

“Apart from burning calories, walking helps the circulation of blood and other fluids in the body, reducing unnecessary pressure on the blood vessels. By walking every day, you are subconsciously building and strengthening the muscles of the heart, which help in lowering blood pressure.

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“As you walk, more blood is pumped in the blood vessels and other organs in the body. Food and other nutrients digest and circulate better when you are walking. Just as a car needs oil and fuel to function optimally, the body also needs exercise and good food. And 30-minute brisk walks are what anybody, including those of us working in the office, can manage.”

Scientists note that people can dramatically improve their chances of living longer – even if they are only moderately taking a brisk 20-minute stroll a few times a week.

In a US study of men aged over 70 with high blood pressure, the fittest were half as likely to have died within a decade when compared to those who did not do any forms of exercise.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Charles Faselis, says the amount of activities needed to improve one’s health and lifestyles does not require trips to the gym.

“This level of fitness is achievable by most elderly individuals engaging in a brisk walk of 20 to 40 minutes, most days of the week. “Walking does not just add years to life, but adds life to years.”

Faselis states that their findings support the notion that fitness has a positive impact on health, regardless of age or the presence of chronic illness.

British studies have confirmed the benefits of walking regularly, especially for adults. The lead investigator of the research, Prof. Peter Elwood, from the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, said, “In a 35-year study of 2,500 men, we have found that spending half an hour walking on most days is associated not just with a reduction in the risk of death, but also a reduction in cognitive decline and dementia.”

Walking is a form of exercise, and like the experts have said, exercise saves lives. Here are the other benefits of taking at least 10,000 steps a day which doctors say can be achieved by walking for just 30 minutes a day.

Improves creativity

If you have been experiencing some mental block lately, Stanford researchers have a solution for you. Their study found that walking increases creativity levels, producing twice as many creative responses as when you are sitting. You get the benefits, whether you are walking outside or inside; so get going in your living room!

Walking lowers stress

A University of Michigan study found that group walks lower stress, particularly in people who deal with an emotionally traumatic event. Research at Heriot-Watt University even found that the brain enters a meditative state when you walk in a green environment — all the more reason to take a walk with your neighbours this weekend.

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