Brisk Walking Lowers Risk of Early Death

We know that staying active in older age is important to help maintain a healthy weight, keep the heart strong and preserve function in order to remain independent as long as possible.  Cycling, swimming and walking all are great ways to keep moving and enjoy better health but how you move is also important.

Public Health England is urging middle-aged people between the ages of 40 and 60 to get moving, more specifically, to start incorporating short, brisk walks into their daily routine.  According to a recent BBC report, just 10 minutes a day of brisk walking can reduce the risk of an early death by 15 per cent.  But in the United Kingdom, it is estimated that only one in four middle-aged adults gets even one short brisk walk each month.

With one in six deaths related to a sedentary lifestyle and middle-aged people 20 per cent less active than they were in the 1960s, building in scheduled time for regular activity is more important than ever.   It’s not hard to find 10 minutes during a lunch break to take a quick walk.   Consider getting off public transportation one stop early to squeeze in a fast walk or choose to walk rather than ride to run errands or do shopping.

Finding a walking partner can also help maintain the motivation to stay active.  Brisk walking that increases heart rate and leaves you breathing faster is recommended to help lower blood pressure, keep extra weight off, reduce the risk for diabetes and relieve symptoms of depression.  Most health agencies in the United States, Canada and the UK advise that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of activity each week.  That can be broken up into short bursts of walking or other activities that increase heart rate.

To help track your walking and learn tips for incorporating more activity into your daily routine, look for the PHE Active 10 app here.