12 September 2012
The Bupa Global Challenge 2012 report ‘Get Walking, Keep Walking’ shows there is a declining trend for walking journeys globally. The people surveyed say the barriers to walking include lack of time and boredom. So, to overturn these negativities, Bupa has designed a fun, new, calorie-busting walk to get everyone back on their feet. And who better to back the campaign than Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford.
Walk this way to health benefits
A survey across 13 countries revealed that one in 10 people regularly drive short journeys that they could walk. This is perhaps surprising since walking is such a great way to travel – it’s convenient, free, predictable and good for the environment. And to top that, you’ll also gain a number of health benefits from walking.
If the shorter-term benefits of walking don’t quite tempt you into leaving the car at home, maybe the longer-term benefits will get you motivated. Staying active will help you prevent a number of health problems in the future, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and certain types of cancer (especially bowel, breast and lung).
Step up to the challenge
The recommended healthy level of physical activity is 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate exercise, over a week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. As a rule of thumb, when you’re doing moderate-intensity activity it means you can talk but not sing. So how about getting your exercise quota in by doing some brisk walking? Research shows that doing an extra 15 minutes a day could extend your life expectancy by up to three years.
A good way to coax yourself out of the exercise doldrums is to use a pedometer that records the number of steps you take. You can use the following as a guide to gauge your activity level by the number of steps you take.
Upping the number of steps you take could be easier than you think. How about walking to your local shops, treading up escalators or taking a stroll with colleagues at lunch?
Try out the ‘Bupa Brisk Walk’
The newly devised ‘Bupa Brisk Walk’ aims to get the maximum benefit out of walking. By embracing the quirky style, which incorporates a leg flick and lunge, you can burn an average of 350 calories in an hour – that’s over double the normal calories expended on a regular stroll. With all these benefits in mind, why not join in on all the fun, put some ‘oomph’ into the way you walk, and feel inspired to get healthier.
Watch the Bupa Brisk Walk - 'How To' by Greg Rutherford
Produced by Krysta Munford, Bupa Health Information Team, September 2012.