Want to improve your health? Just go for a walk.

Pedestrian traffic lights showing a green manLast week it was widely reported in the news that ‘a lack of exercise could be killing twice as many people as obesity in Europe’.  This follows on from reports last year saying that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health.

Earlier this month LesMills, a company that sells choreographed fitness classes, launched this video.  Its aim seems to be to shame people into exercising more.  It introduces a couch-potato character called Lesley Miller and starts with the character proudly stating ‘My name is Lesley Miller and I haven’t been to the gym for five years now.’

Now, reverse psychology might work for some but it certainly doesn’t work on me, and I wonder how many inactive people will actually be inspired to get active by this campaign.

The fact is that nobody needs to join a gym to be active.  You don’t need to spend any money at all.  The conclusion of the study last week was that ‘”getting everyone to do at least 20 minutes of brisk walking a day would have substantial benefits’”.

So all you need to do is go for a walk.  It costs nothing, you don’t need any special equipment and you can fit it easily into your day.  In fact, if you’re using it to walk from A to B you will save money by not using your car or public transport.

Walking is man’s best medicine. Hippocrates

Walking is low impact and it’s easy to get started.  You can start with small amounts and build up.  Nobody’s looking at you or shouting at you to work harder.

Now I’m not knocking anyone who goes to the gym.  I’m a regular gym user myself.  But if people need to be encouraged to change their sedentary lifestyles, there are other, easier ways.

For more research evidence on the health benefits of exercise to inspire you, watch this:

 

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