December 28, 2015. Each of the last 51 Mondays came with a simple exercise to do at home to improve your balance, flexibility and/or strength – and your general health. And the year’s been full of reminders of the huge health benefits of regular, frequent brisk walking and moderate jogging.
I’m delighted to use the year’s final Monday to pass on a great idea from a BCS subscriber, the self-described Better Slower Cheapskate. That person who embraced the idea of an effective exercise program you can do at home for free or for cheap. And who embraced my Treadmill Trails app – without a treadmill!
Yup, the Better Slower Cheapskate now takes a 30-minute virtual trail hike or jog 5 or 6 days a week – in the living room. Without a treadmill. Barefoot. Doesn’t even use a pair of running shoes. Just walks in place and watches one of my 99-cent Treadmill Trails videos on an iPad. For an invigorating and relaxing 30-minutes.
I’m sorry I didn’t think of this – but I’m really glad the Cheapskate did. And I hope you’re glad. too. Because this just might be the Better Cheaper Way for you to keep a New Year’s resolution in 2016. Press Play. See what you think.
To reduce your risk for premature death, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. How fast is “brisk”? According to this report, if it takes you more than 24 minutes to walk a mile (that’s a speed of less than 2.5 mph), your exercise benefit is relatively small. If you walk faster, the benefits are significantly greater.
How much faster? Doesn’t seem to matter much. The study subjects who walked a moderately brisk 3 mph, a very brisk 3.75 mph. Compared to the slower-walking group, their “all causes” risk was 44% lower. And much lower for dementia.
If you can pick up the pace a bit, there’s a real benefit. If you can’t, there’s still a huge benefit from walking at any pace compared to doing nothing. And if you’re over 70, this study may not apply to you: the subjects were mostly 40 – 65.