Becoming more active can reduce the risk of many common conditions, notably heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, some cancers and depression.
In the weeks to come we will describe the beneficial effects of physical activity on many long term conditions but our focus today is on how exercise can help you become an even springier chicken but what kind of exercise is best? The approach I have adopted for years is Walking Plus. Namely Walking PLUS ten minutes a day of exercises to improve Strength, Suppleness and Skill. Walking is itself a miracle cure. The common recommendation is for thirty minutes extra a day whatever your lifestyle. Don't worry too much about the magic ten thousand steps just ask yourself could I change my lifestyle in a way which would allow me to get an extra three thousand steps a day. These steps can be measured with some of the tools that are available through the Spring Chicken website but a simple way to think of it is that ten minutes equals a thousand steps so if can you walk for thirty minutes you walk an extra 3000 steps each day, if necessary in three ten minute bouts one in the morning, one in the middle of the day and one in the evening. Next week we will give you more information about the Plus exercises. Walking is great for stamina. You also need to think of strength in your upper body and core muscles, and about suppleness and skill but the evidence is clear, the top docs say it - exercise is a miracle cure and walking is one of the best of the miracle cures.
About the author: Professor Sir Muir Gray, CBE Muir Gray consults for springchicken.co.uk, the lifestyle website for older adults.