Experts reveal how many steps you REALLY need to stay fit while lowering your risk of heart disease and cancer

0

WHEN it comes to fitness targets, the well-known magic number is 10,000 steps a day.

But achieving only half those strides can still be great for your health, a new study has revealed.

We look at some common healthy lifestyle rules and numbers

9

We look at some common healthy lifestyle rules and numbersCredit: Getty

The results found walking just 5,000 steps three times a week could add up to three years to your life and brings down the risk of heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the London School of Economics.

Laura Stott looks at some common healthy lifestyle rules and numbers we are encouraged to achieve and shares how you can still give your body a boost even when they are reduced . . .

Rule: Drink 8 glasses of water – Try 5

GLUGGING eight glasses of H2O daily is the guideline, but if you struggle to sip that much a reduced number will still have health and hydration benefits.

Nutritionist Dr Sarah Cooke says: “Eight daily 250ml glasses is 2000ml of liquid which is a rough guide for intake.

Dr Sarah Cooke says: 'Eight daily 250ml glasses is 2000ml of liquid which is a rough guide for intake'

9

Dr Sarah Cooke says: ‘Eight daily 250ml glasses is 2000ml of liquid which is a rough guide for intake’Credit: Getty

“However, this number is not additional to other drinks such as herbal tea, juices, even tea and coffee.

“Five glasses of water is plenty if you’re also consuming other drinks.”

Rule: Walk 10k steps a day – Try 5k

ANY regular walking or moving is better than none and will still increase life expectancy.

Start off by doing as many steps as you can comfortably manage and increase gradually as you become fitter and more active.

Any regular walking or moving is better than none and will still increase life expectancy

9

Any regular walking or moving is better than none and will still increase life expectancyCredit: Getty

Trainer Beth Davies says: “One study found health benefits begin with doing just 2,000 daily steps and bonuses of walking outside are more than just the number.

“Fresh air and time away from screens is beneficial for mental health as well.”

Rule: 2 strength sessions a week – Try 1

NHS guidelines recommends two strength training sessions a week for adults.

It advises to work all the major muscle groups including the legs, hip, back, shoulders and stomach.

NHS guidelines recommends two strength training sessions a week

9

NHS guidelines recommends two strength training sessions a weekCredit: Getty

If fitting that in sounds impossible, or you don’t know where to begin, half is still great for your health.

PT Beth says: “Any strength training will be beneficial.

“One training session per week can still provide benefits such as better muscle tone as well as improved metabolism.”

Rule: Eat 5 fruit and veg a day – Try 3

ANY amount of fruit and veggies are bound to give you a health boost and one study found the average intake for UK adults is 3.7 portions a day.

Dr Cooke says: “Aiming for five a day is great and don’t reduce if you are achieving it, but if you usually eat one serving, then increasing to three is a great improvement.

Any amount of fruit and veggies are bound to give you a health boost

9

Any amount of fruit and veggies are bound to give you a health boostCredit: Getty

“No colourful choice is superior to another – they all offer a variety of vitamins and minerals.

“Try some berries with breakfast meals such as porridge, or peas for vitamin C and E.”

Rule: Exercise 5 times a week – Try 1

NHS guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 is to aim for exercise sessions on four to five days a week, or even to exercise every day.

But even one session a week will help improve your mood, energy levels, risk of disease and weight.

NHS guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 is to aim for exercise sessions on four to five days a week, or even to exercise every day

9

NHS guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64 is to aim for exercise sessions on four to five days a week, or even to exercise every dayCredit: Getty

Trainer Beth says: “Trying to exercise in the time you do have available is a realistic target and it provides a compassionate approach for people.

“This is particularly true if you are in recovery, are new to exercise or struggle with consistency.”

Rule: Get 8hrs sleep a night – Try 6hrs

SLEEP expert Hannah Love says: “It’s important not to stress about needing a certain amount of time in the land of nod as that isn’t going to help anyone rest well.

“Although eight hours sleep is seen as the ‘ideal’, this amount every night simply isn’t possible for most of us.

Hannah Love says: 'It’s important not to stress about needing a certain amount of time in the land of nod'

9

Hannah Love says: ‘It’s important not to stress about needing a certain amount of time in the land of nod’Credit: Getty

“Whether that’s down to your personal preferences or children who keep you up, I suggest you aim for over six hours.

“That way you ensure you don’t risk the health issues associated with too little shut eye.”

Rule: Meat-free once a week – Try once a fortnight

NUTRITIONIST Dr Cooke says: “One meatless day a week is good for the environment and your health by lowering bowel cancer risks, but if it’s a struggle then once every two weeks will still have a positive impact.

“Trying out different meals which contain plant protein, like beans, lentils or tofu, as well as colourful vegetables, adds variety to your diet.

Dr Cooke says: 'One meatless day a week is good for the environment and your health'

9

Dr Cooke says: ‘One meatless day a week is good for the environment and your health’Credit: Getty

“If you just can’t do a meat free meal, halve the portion and add more veg and plant-protein. It is healthier and cheaper.”

Rule: 75mins cardio a week – Try 45

WHILE it is ideal to keep as active as possible, personal trainer Beth Davies says: “Seventy five minutes weekly is great, but 45 minutes of vigorous exercise can still be enough to reap cardiovascular benefits, improved mood and metabolism.

“If that is the time you have available, it is better than trying (and failing) to do more.

Beth Davies says: '45 minutes of vigorous exercise can still be enough to reap cardiovascular benefits'

9

Beth Davies says: ’45 minutes of vigorous exercise can still be enough to reap cardiovascular benefits’Credit: Getty

“This can lead to an all-or-nothing approach and when it comes to exercise, something is always far better than nothing at all.”

TOP WAYS TO KEEP FIT FOR FREE

1. Making the bed for mind, body and soul – Kicking off your day by making your bed, could have benefits – including reducing stress, helping to clear your mind and boost your mood – it’s a great way to gently awaken our body and set the tone for an active day.

2. Vacuuming or Sweeping to your favourite songs – When vacuuming or sweeping the floor, the motion of pushing and pulling engages your arms and shoulders, while encouraging you to move more around your home, providing a light whole body cardio workout.

3. Carrying food shopping to maximise movement – Carrying heavy bags of food shopping from the supermarket to your home, is a combined cardio and weightlifting exercise in disguise. 

4. Cooking with Cardio – As you create your delicious dishes in the kitchen, the movements you make contribute to a gentle whole body workout. Lifting pots and pans out of the cupboard, chopping ingredients, stirring, and mixing all involve small arm movements that can build up to more active cooking.

5. Playing with pets or children – engaging in playtime with your pet or little ones in your family, whether it’s throwing toys for them to fetch or chasing them around, can be a fun and natural workout session that engages your entire body depending on how you’re feeling.

6. Washing the car -isn’t just about cleanliness – it’s a full body workout in disguise, scrubbing and reaching work your arms and core, while bending and stretching engages your legs.

7. Walking and talking -being active whilst on the phone – whether you’re out and about or simply indoors wandering around your living room, is a great way of increasing your step count without even realising you’ve done it.

8. Dusting surfaces or cleaning windows -dusting high shelves or cleaning windows and getting into the hard-to-reach corners involves stretching and reaching, which activates your upper body and could require balance if you need to step onto something to get to those hard to reach spaces – all of which counts towards your daily physical activity levels.

9. Gardening and getting out in nature – gardening is a holistic workout that combines squatting, bending, lifting, and reaching. As you tend to plants and dig in the soil, you’re engaging your entire body. Being outside in nature can also give you a sense of freedom, and has other benefits including getting some vitamin D (in the summertime) and fresh air in your lungs.

10. Unloading dishwasher or washing-up- unloading and loading the dishwasher contributes to a gentle daily cardio workout that engages your core, arms and legs and contributes to overall muscle tone. As you reach, lift and bend, you’re engaging multiple muscle groups across the body. Hand washing plates, pots or pans, also engages your arm and shoulders as you scrub, rinse and lift plates out of the water and onto the draining board.

link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *