Men's health

Walk more sit less

Take up the challenge! If you want to loose weight and get fitter you have to walk more and sit less right now.

It has been estimated that if everyone in the USA were to walk briskly 30mins each day they could reduce chronic illness by up to 40%. If we did the same we could reduce our health costs by 100’s of 1000’s of dollars each year.

If you were to monitor how long you sit, walk and lie down each day (and there are gadgets now to do this for you) you would be surprised how long you sat.

As a nation we sit in cars and buses to travel each day, sit at desks and in front of computer screens at school and work, then travel home to sit over homework or in front of TV screens at night.

Even our leisure time no longer guarantees activity as we head to the movies, play on computer games, turn on the telly, sit and sew or fall asleep on the couch reading a book.

Researchers have also found that we compensate for activity we do, by eating more and doing less. E.g. we mow the lawns, or play golf or tennis then sit for the rest of the day to re-coupe rate. We eat more convincing ourselves that we will burn off that extra chocolate Easter egg or beer tomorrow at the gym. But this is not sports nutrition!

We also tend to judge our fitness by our weight. This can be very misleading. A sedentary adult or child playing computer games can wind up just as unhealthy at 30yrs as an inactive overweight person. We all have to get moving!

What can we do?

  • Adults need a minimum of 150 minutes walking and 2hours resistance exercise each week while our children need a minimum of 60 minutes exercise per day…
  • Buy a pedometer and start measuring the number of steps that you take and set goals to do more
  • Encourage school children to form walking buses and walk to school as a group
  • We need to build our communities with wider foot paths and cycle tracks to get our criticize moving.
  • In the school and working environment we need to encourage activity during recess and lunch breaks.
  • Every hour of television viewing has 20 minutes of ad breaks. So come on start walking the hallway. (One of my patients lost 30kg in 10months alone by doing this and snacking on exercise).

Pedometer Plan

Week 1 & 2:

Add an additional 1500 steps for three days a week

Week 3 & 4

Add an additional 1500 steps for five days a week

Week 5 & 6

Add an additional 3000 steps for three days a week

Week 7-12

Add an additional 3000 steps for five days a week

Every bit counts. So come on, grab a friend, set some goals, have some fun and get cracking now!

If you would like to also learn how to match your food intake to your exercise plan then contact Lea today

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

View all posts by Lea Stening »


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