He may feel intimidated by committing to an ongoing fitness plan, especially one that meets the recommended guidelines in the United States
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should do 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week – for example, five days you get 30 minutes of exercise. And walking, especially brisk walking, can meet this criterion. In addition, the directions say that you should do strength training two days a week.
While one burst of short exercise — in this case, a 10-minute walk — won’t meet the recommendations for moderate physical activity, you can still hit the goal by walking three times for 10 minutes each day. And if you can’t do that, you can start with shorter walks, which can still support a healthy life.
“The data really supports that one of the most harmful things we can do to our health is be independent,” he said. Dr. Samantha Smith, a sports medicine physician at Yale University. She said a sedentary lifestyle puts you at increased risk of negative cardiovascular outcomes such as strokes or heart attacks, and is also a risk factor for other medical conditions.
Going from zero minutes of exercise to 150 minutes each week can be a very big leap. So, if you want to start small, that’s fine. Experts say that shorter periods of exercise are still beneficial, because doing something is better than doing nothing. Even a brisk 10-minute walk in your day will be good for your mental and physical health. Here’s how:
Your blood circulation is improving.
“When we stand or sit, our blood can pool in our legs,” said Smith. But as we walk and “as our muscles contract, it helps improve blood circulation in our body.”
According to Smith, good trading is important for many things. Supports tissue health, helps remove waste from the body and reduces the risk of blood clots.
You will feel more energetic.
“Just getting up and moving… activates your whole system so you feel more energized, whatever it is [getting up] From your chair at work, sofa or bed Jimmy ShapiroHe is a professor and associate director of the Sport and Performance Psychology Program at the University of Denver. So, this 10-minute walk will quickly refresh you.
When you stand for a walk, your blood starts to flow, which increases your energy levels, according to Shapiro. “You just feel more energized,” she said.
Shapiro added that she likes to call these quick bouts of exercise “mini-breaks,” and noted that while many people may not have a lot of free time during the workday, they can probably squeeze in a few mini-breaks. She said this can benefit your energy levels and even help you feel a little less fatigued.
Your heart rate increases.
According to Smith, once you start walking, your heart rate will go up. This is an advantage for a number of reasons.
“Increasing cardiac output during exercise helps strengthen the heart muscle and improve fitness,” she said. She added that aerobic fitness helps control blood pressure and strengthen muscles, and “helps prevent the development of diseases such as osteoporosis.”
“So there really is this huge effect of a relatively short bout of exercise,” said Smith.
Walking also boosts your confidence.
Another benefit of walking, Shapiro said, is that it “can help people build confidence in it [their] level of physical activity.”
If you’re nervous about committing to a larger walking program, you can start with 10 minutes a few times a day to show yourself that you can handle it.
Shapiro added that seeing the physical and mental health benefits of this 10-minute walk may help you feel empowered to walk longer in your day.
It builds your stamina.
Smith said if you stick to a consistent 10-minute regimen, you’ll find that you’ll be able to walk longer and for longer without feeling fatigued.
This can be useful for a lot of things – like being able to walk through the cities you’re visiting or not feeling overwhelmed when you’re running a task quickly.
You will be able to focus better.
According to Shapiro, walking can also sharpen your concentration skills, and this can “Increase productivity, whether that be at school, work or elsewhere.”
Since walking improves blood circulation, it also helps blood flow to the brain. According to Psychology Todayindicating that this is important to your thinking, attention, logic, and more.
And you will notice an improvement in mood.
There’s a reason people walk during a heated argument or after a stressful meeting: Walking improves mood, according to Marta Stojanovica postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Brain at Washington University in St. Louis.
She notes that while some of the benefits of walking only apply to longer exercise programs, a 10-minute walk immediately has a positive effect on your mood.
It is important to find a walking regimen that works for you.
You don’t have to follow a specific rule when doing a 10-minute walk. Instead, you can find one that works for your lifestyle, Shapiro said.
“IIf a gym won’t work for you, do you have a park nearby? Can you even walk around your building? she asked.
An activity like shopping at Costco or your local grocery store can count as an outing, Shapiro added. I suggested turning on your fitness tracker while strolling into a store to prove to yourself that you can walk for 10 minutes (or more!).
Talk to your doctor if you have a chronic health condition.
“There are some people who may have medical conditions where they should talk to their doctor before starting an exercise program,” Smith said. “So if you’re someone with a chronic medical condition that may be affecting your ability to exercise…check with your doctor before starting something new.”
In addition, Smith said that if you feel injured because of exercise, you should meet with a doctor to analyze what’s going on and get “very personal suggestions on how to achieve your goals.”
“One of my mentors always used to point out [that] “It’s never a good idea, in the long run, to control your symptoms just by reducing your physical activity,” Smith said. “In the long term, this is not a winning strategy.”