Monique Rana - Walking for life

Publish Date
Friday, 14 March 2014, 12:00AM
By Monique Rana

It wasn’t too long ago that walking was a mode of transport for a lot of people, these days walking seems to be an “exercise” to do. It’s time to “beat the feet, and to be proactive in giving yourself a chance to a longer, healthier life.”

Our oldest member at BodyTech is a wonderful lady called Olive. She is 95 yrs young and has been a member since she was 82 years old. We gave her a lifetime membership for her 85th birthday and ten years later she continues to catch the bus, walk to the gym three times a week and is always promoting the benefits of working out.  Of course, many of you may think that she is the “exception” to the rule. She may well be, but she didn’t sit around waiting for life to happen, she made it happen. So my question to you is, if you don’t have time to exercise, do you have time for sickness later?  

An inactive person takes 3,000 steps or less just in daily activity of moving around the house. Ten thousand steps is approximately 11 km (or 5 miles) of walking during the day which is placed in the “active” fitness level of a person. For most healthy adults, 10,000 steps per day is a reasonable goal. If your baseline steps fall short of this value, try to increase your activity level by 1,000 steps per day every two weeks until you reach your goal. To put your step count into perspective, there are about 2,000 steps in a mile.

Fit Tip: Invest in a good quality pedometer  found at Walking New Zealand to measure how many steps you have taken each day.

If you are currently unfit or haven’t walked in a while then take these steps to add 1000 extra steps to your day. Below are some ideas:

Coffee on the Go
If you need a coffee fix in the morning during break time, try choosing a cafe that is further away than your local one. Not only will it getting you to add extra step in your day, but you could find another great place for lunch and coffee.

Make the cordless phone your friend
Pace up and down while you are talking on the phone. Most modern cordless phones allow the handset to move 20-100 metres away from the base station. Continue your chat outside while walking in your garden or get up out of your office chair and walk around your desk.

Fit tip: On average, we take between 80-120 steps per minute. A 10-minute walk 'n talk just might give you the extra 1,000 steps in one go!

Trade your high heels for walking shoes
Keep a pair of sports shoes at your desk, slide them on when you leave work and take a brisk walk to the train or bus stop. If you drive the car, take the stairs not the lift to the correct level where your car is parked.

Quick tip: By having a pair sport shoes handy you'll be twice as likely to be active. Plus you avoid blisters.   

Walking Lunch
Get outdoors for a 10 -20 minute walk for lunch. Not only will it clear your head, you will also get a healthy dose of natural Vitamin D from the sun, increase blood flow, plus add more steps to your pedometer . Ask a work colleague to join you; you might be surprised how many other lunch time walkers you'll meet and you may even start your own walking club.

There are many benefits for walking:

  • Burns calories
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Easy on your joints
  • Strengthens your bones – helping with preventing osteoporosis
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Allows time with family and friends
  • Shapes and tones your legs and butt
  • Cuts cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes and more
  • Reduces stress
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Improves mood and outlook on life
  • Can be done almost anywhere
  • Requires no equipment except good walking shoes  

Fit tip: If you are walking more than a casual stroll, I highly recommend that you in invest in a good quality walking shoe from a reputable Sports Shoe store like Shoe Science . Shoe Science will also take the time to video your walking gait or jogging gait and choose the right shoe for your foot.

Number of Steps Activity Level:
0-5,000 Sedentary
5,000-7,499 Low Active
7,500-9,999 Somewhat Active
10,000-12,500 Active
12,500 or more Highly Active

*Developed by C Tudor-Locke and DR Bassett Jr. (2004)

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you