Pick up the pace and improve your health
Research shows that walking briskly, rather than just a steady walk, has huge health benefits. The combination of the intensity of the exercise and the time it takes is key.
The findings of the research, by Public Health England, found that 60% of middle-aged adults had not walked for 10 or more consecutive minutes in the previous month, and 41% of the 15.3 million English adults, aged 40 to 60, walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace of at least 3mph.
It’s a shocking fact that in the UK physical inactivity is a major cause of disease and disability for adults, costing the NHS millions per year.
Active 10 and the Active 10 App is part of a recent healthcare initiative, launched as part of the One You Programme, devised by Public Health England, for those that find it hard to fit exercise into their daily routine.
The initiative recommends walking briskly, at a pace that is faster than your normal walking pace and continuously, for just 10 minutes a day, to have huge health benefits.
It’s a simple and achievable way to get you thinking about your health and how you can incorporate some level of exercise in your day. Whether it’s:
- Walking the dog
- Walking to work
- Walking instead of driving to the shops
- Walking during your lunch break
- Getting off the bus earlier
- Parking the car further away
It is hoped that people who start this small challenge will increase to more minutes a day and see the huge benefits it brings.
But what about those who suffer with lower back pain who often find exercise too painful? Well, walking for exercise can actually be beneficial, as it gently assists in mobilising and improving blood flow to structures of the lower back.
Here are 10 reasons why walking can benefit lower back pain.
- Strengthens muscles in the body: hips, legs and feet.
- Increases spine stability.
- Conditions the muscles that keep the body upright.
- Nourishes the spinal structures, increasing stronger circulation and nutrients into soft tissues.
- Improves posture and flexibility. Combined with stretching allowing for a greater range of motion.
- Strengthens bones, reduces bone density loss and the risk of osteoporosis.
- Helps maintain healthy weight as ageing slows down the metabolism.
- Reduces risk of future back pain and injury.
- Increases overall health and wellbeing.
- Improves mental health, boosting endorphins that help to reduce the perception of pain.
Being active is all about prevention and reducing risk. If we can take charge now, our personal health and wellbeing will reap benefits for many years to come.
If you have any questions or concerns about building walking or other exercises into your daily routine, please talk to one of our osteopaths for advice and support.