While breakfasting on Monday (Feb 4 2013) and listening to early morning radio I learned it was World Cancer Day. As a dietitian I am always shall we say ‘harping on’ about the merits of being active, but sometimes statistics really sink in. The expert discussing cancer prevention remarked ‘being active for just 30 minutes every day would halve our risk of developing some of the most common cancers’. Maybe because it was my birthday this week, and I was reminded when looking in the mirror that yes indeed I really was another year older I set myself a challenge.
Since Monday I have clipped on my pedometer each day and once I have dropped my kids to school, but before sinking into my work chair, I have headed to my local park. One good circuit of brisk walking will tick my 30 minute target. It’s Friday today and I am feeling good. I have 5 stars on my chart. One day I even found myself breaking into a run. That was a particularly cold day and my legs decided for me. So my pedometer is clocking around 5,000 steps by 10am with another 5,000 by the end of the day. The 10,000 steps per day programme, based on a Japanese proverb, has been explored and validated through research as a useful tool to get sedentary populations moving. Recent research has also validated the use of a pedometer as a useful way to get individuals to do more (Sports Medicine, 2009). Those using the pedometer walk more, have a lower weight to height ratio, and have lower blood pressure than those not using pedometers in the research (JAMA, 2007). And as mentioned above, there’s the link to cancer prevention too.
- Buy a pedometer
- Track your steps on a chart or calendar.
- Find a walking partner or a set of headphones to keep you busy.
- Walk 30 minutes every day.
- Buy a good pair of trainers if you need to.
- Establish a routine to meet your 30 minute daily goal.
Get walking. Get Healthy.