Add 10 minutes of daily walking to improve your health

Twenty-four years ago, Laura Griffiths made a deal with herself.

Looking to lose weight early in the new year, she told herself she couldn’t go on her annual vacation to Outer Banks unless she walked the state equivalent, from the mountains to the beach and back until October.

After this initial promise, Griffiths maintained a walking routine, tracking miles daily with a pedometer and diary. At the end of each week, she marks a state card with Sharpie to present the virtual journey from Cullowhee, where she grew up, to Frisco, the place of her wedding, where she and her husband visit every October for their anniversary.

“If I can just walk away and go for a walk, it will help those ‘aha moments’ in the shower when you say to yourself, ‘Here’s how I have to fix this!’ a grant and contract administrator who has lost £ 45 and traveled 25,882 miles since 1998.

Walking is a small daily activity that has been shown to have many benefits for physical and mental health because it reduces the risk of preventable disease, relieves stress, improves heart health and leads to better sleep. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine shows that adding an extra 10 minutes of activity, such as walking to your day, can prevent up to 110,000 premature adult deaths annually if taken by population.

Dr. Bill Kraus, a cardiologist at Duke, has dedicated his career to understanding the benefits of exercise on cardiometabolic health. As part of the committee of physicians who developed the U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines, he recommends that adults report at least 7,000 to 9,000 steps per day in cumulative activity, and many people aim for 10,000 steps per day.Duke's cardiologist Dr. Bill Kraus recommends that everyone do at least 7,000 to 9,000 steps a day with moderate activity.  Photo courtesy of Duke Health.

“If you go up the stairs instead of the elevator, they count,” Kraus said. “If you park your car away from the entrance to a door or building and take a few extra steps, they count.”

Most mornings, Adi Molvin walks 25 minutes from campus parking to his office at Duke Clinic. After traveling to work from Wake Forest, walking gives her energy and clears her mind for the day.On good days and when she can, Adi Molvin makes the 25-minute walk from the parking lot to her office instead of taking a shuttle.  Photo by Jack Frederick.

“It helps me be a little more present to other people,” said Molvin, assistant research practice manager at Duke’s Office of Clinical Research.

Tim Byzanz, LIFE FOR LIFE Fitness Program Manager, recommends finding opportunities to record activity in your day to establish a daily exercise routine. He follows the “classroom method”, which gives him a 10-minute break every hour of work.

“Our bodies must not be stuck,” Byzantium said. “Walking improves quality of life, heart and lung health, and there are proven studies that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It manages various conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Helps relieve joint and muscle pain and even blood sugar levels; improves your balance. in general, it’s just a good quality of life. “

Chuck Roberson, Duke’s customer service manager for parking and transportation services, built more activity into his day.

He raised £ 65 during the pandemic, but began daily walks at noon late last year on campus to lose weight and feel better. He got the idea after listening to an episode of The Mindset Mentor Podcast, which released a 100-day challenge to add or remove a daily task that will change your life. Adding a walk every day was something he knew he could do.

“It’s something I can do every day at work,” said Roberson, who last lost £ 40. “Even if it’s raining, I can go to the garage.”

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