Even A Half-Hour Walk Makes A Big Difference

We all know we need daily exercise, but scheduling it in our busy lives often seems difficult. If you're looking to improve your health, this visual lecture explains how the one small change you can make with the most impact is to walk for a half-hour every day.

Dr. Mike Evans, the lecturer, is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital. His video speaks for itself, but some of the most important highlights are the fact that even if you're overweight or obese, the difference between being obese and getting no exercise and being obese and getting even some activity can be significant when it comes to reducing your risk factors for various illnesses. Even some brief regular activity has been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, and to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Best of all, starting with some regular activity, even if it's a half-hour walk every day, can lead to more exercise that can help you progress towards other health and weight loss goals. Sciencebase points out that a half-hour walk is good, but once you've reached that goal, you definitely shouldn't stop there. Ultimately, if you find a way to squeeze in a half-hour of activity when you currently get none, it gets easier from there. How do you make time to exercise? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Just Do One Thing to Boost Your Health [Sciencebase]


Comments

    I walk home instead of catching the bus.

    I work in the middle of Sydney CBD, and while my bus ride to work usually only takes about 20 minutes, the bus ride home can take over an hour (that includes the time waiting for a bus to show up) because the afternoon traffic in Sydney is so bad. Takes about the same amount of time to walk to my place.

    I managed to find a wife who is concerned about my health. Therefore I now have an automated walking reminder and comfort companion.

    Well, you just convinced me to go for a walk.

    But you cannot lose weight with 30 minutes of exercise. It takes 30 minutes before the body turns into fat burning mode. Therefore I'd recommend 40 minutes at the least on a daily basis. 30 minutes is to keep the heart healthy, not to lose weight.

      "It takes 30 minutes before the body turns into fat burning mode"

      This is only true if your insulin levels are raised when starting, i.e you had a piece of bread/fruit/carb right before you walked. Assuming you were sitting down working at your office, then you went for a walk, you would already be in your "fat burning mode"

      Also Lifehackers, please don't waste your time by having third helpings of food or an ice cream right after your walk, and wondering why you're not losing weight. Just sayin'

    I live in Melbourne and work near Finders Street station, but for the last one year (may be more) I have been getting off at flagstaff and walking to work. Also a brisk walk up the flagstaff station escalators is 90 steps, when I started I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top, today its a breeze.

    With all the different claims about health and nutrition etc, this is not always obvious to people, but several years ago my Doctor explained to me that essentially your body is a pretty close analogue of any mechanical system.

    Energy in VS energy out.

    More energy in than out makes you gain energy (stored as fat). The other way around makes you lose this fat. It's a very simple equation.

    So yeah - get up and move. Park your car as far away as you can at the shopping centre, get off the bus a stop early, enjoy a walk around the block in the evening when it's not so hot. It all adds up.

    Find something you love to do that involves moving your body. For me it was photography and geocaching. They could often be combined as most geocaches are hidden in very photogenic areas. If you don't know what geocaching is then look it up - it's tons of fun. Even more fun if you can involve children.

    And that brings me to my last point - spend time with young children. Kids have boundless energy, and you can burn off a lot of yours just trying to keep up with them. And they're fun. Everyone's a winner!

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