“That’s a silly question, right?” But the truth is, most of us are not moving enough, not moving enough to keep us in shape, maintain our weight, keep us healthy, keep us happy and finally to keep us free of disease. Public Health England have just released a commercial encouraging us to walk briskly for 10 minutes a day. Quite frankly, that is pathetic but the truth is that many of us do not even achieve this paltry amount.
Data compiled by Public Health England (the government body tasked with improving the nation's health) found that more than 6.3 million adults aged 40 to 60 failed to achieve just 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking per month and that 45% of over-16s are so sedentary, they do not manage 10 minutes per day of brisk walking.
Due to this, as part of their ongoing One You campaign, Public Health England (PHE) has launched an app called Active 10, designed to encourage at least 10 minutes brisk walking a day.
While this is way, way below the current minimum guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, that’s just 30 minutes, 5 times per week, they believe that for many the current guidelines are so unachievable that it may be off-putting.
As a nutritionist and certified leader in Fitness walking, I know only too well that inactivity leads to poor health. The retreat is in a small conservation village in the heart of Cornwall. On the first day, many guests struggle to get up the slight incline that leads out of the village and onto open countryside. Guests walk daily for between one to two hours. That is still less than 10% of the time available to us in any one day, so activity has to be built in around the remaining hours in a day. For desk-bound workers that could be anything from getting off the bus a stop early, walking rather than standing on escalators, actually getting out at lunch time rather than eating lunch at one’s desk and incorporating more exercise into weekend activities when there is more time available.
We are animals and when I look out into the garden here I am lucky enough to see birds, squirrels, roe deer, horses, sheep and cattle and guess what? They are all moving!
We need to move not only to keep our cardiovascular health but also inactivity puts us at much higher risk for diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Activity, especially in the fresh air also helps to ward off depression.
As children we ran all the time for the sheer joy of it. Why stop as we age? Fauja Singh (pictured above) ran the Mumbai Marathon at 104. That may be beyond the capabilities of most of us but walking 10 minutes a day, really?
To get started why not look up Couch to 5K
There are downloadable podcasts and Laura is a great motivator.