Sedentary work is the most common way to earn a living these days. But sitting for prolonged periods day in and day out is also contributing to the world’s increasing number of health issues.
Studies show that sedentary lifestyles are increasing across the globe due to a lack of available spaces for exercise, the abundance of sedentary jobs such as office work, and the increased usage of television and video devices.
Another study shows that brisk walking can offset the risk of ill health posed by sedentary lifestyles. Published in the British Medical Journal, data detailing the activities of almost 12,000 people aged over 50, measured the health benefits of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).
The study found that people who are sedentary for more than 12 hours of walking a day are at a higher risk of early death. Every minute higher MVPA showed a lower risk of death.
That equates to doing at least 22 minutes of moderate exercise a day, 7 days a week. The more exercise minutes of MVPA you do each week the better health outcomes.
Examples of moderate activity include brisk walking, gentle cycling, water aerobics, gardening and heavy housework such as cleaning, washing windows or mopping every floor in the house.
Vigorous activities include cycling at 10 mph or more, football, swimming, and badminton. Vigorous activity includes hiking, jogging at 6mph or faster, shovelling, fast cycling, a football game, basketball or tennis.
Benefits of Brisk Walking
Brisk walking, which involves walking at a pace that is faster than a leisurely stroll but not as intense as running, offers numerous health benefits. It’s a simple and accessible form of exercise that can be incorporated into daily routines.
Studies show that brisk walking is good for cardiovascular health. It strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
It also increases overall fitness levels, including endurance and stamina. Over time, brisk walkers often find that they can walk longer distances or at a faster pace which promotes being more active in other areas of your life.
Walking outdoors in natural settings can have a positive impact on mental health. It reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and can improve mood and overall well-being.
And brisk walking provides an energy boost and reduces feelings of fatigue. It’s a natural way to increase alertness and focus and can promote better sleep quality which also improves health outcomes.
Essentially, regular exercise, such as brisk walking, enhances the immune system’s ability to defend against illnesses. The immune system relies on white blood cells which require oxygen to thrive. The more oxygen you breathe into your body the stronger your immune system is.
To reap the full benefits of brisk walking, it’s recommended to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, which can be achieved through brisk walking. Additionally, incorporating proper warm-up and cool-down routines, wearing appropriate footwear, and staying hydrated are essential for a safe and effective walking program.