Mon 31 Dec 2007
Theres nothing like a brisk walk to help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure and lose weight
And theres nothing like a simple Pedometer to motivate you keep going!
Fitness trends come and go but all it takes is some simple walking to not only improve your fitness but as research shows can also improve your sleep, reduce the risk of gallstones, lower your blood pressure, help you lose weight, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, diabetes and strokes and improve the symptoms associated with sexual dysfunction, cognitive decline and impaired memory.
Aside from a comfortable pair of trainers the only must have accessory is a pedometer. This step counting device which clips to your belt and costs just a few pounds has actually been proven to boost your exercise output.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr Dena Bravata a senior research scientist at Stanford University School of Medicine reviewed 26 research papers on the devices. They indicated that simply wearing a pedometer was enough to inspire people to walk further!
'Our major result is that Pedometer users increased their physical activity' Dr Bravata says. 'Specifically, they increased it by about 2000 steps a day, about a mile.' That equates to about 100 extra calories a day and explains why they also reduced their weight and blood pressure in the process.'
On average Brits walk just 4,500 steps a day, a figure that would classify them as sedentary. So research which suggests that simply using a Pedometer could increase this to 6,500 steps sounds like good news.
Says Louise Sutton Principal Lecturer in Health, Exercise and Nutrition at Leeds Metropolitan University 'You can definitely get fitter by walking. Like any form of exercise, it needs to be progressive and leave you a little tired if you want to lose weight.' She says
'But I would recommend it to anybody. Its cheap, enjoyable, accessible and gives you a psychological boost that's second to none'.
'Studies have shown that it is comparable to a course of Prozac. What more could you want from a workout?'
So put your best feet forward and get walking.
But don’t buy the cheapest Pedometer. A British Journal of Sports Medicine Study last year revealed that the cheaper models some of which can cost as little as £ 1.00 are often inaccurate. The good Pedometers start at around £ 15.00
The TANITA PD 637 Pedometer has been given a 5/5 Body and Soul Rating! A funky looking device that tots up 100,00 steps, it features steps and distance taken, calories burned and a pulsating beep that even helps you set your ideal pace!