When I walk, I think of the power of 10…
A brisk, 10 minute walk burns off a 50 calorie chocolate chip cookie, this is welcome motivation. Not that I need the cookie everyday, but in an emergency -it’s nice to know! According to Livestrong.com, the heavier you are, the more calories you burn in 10 minutes, due to the energy it takes to move your own weight. At a rate of 15 minutes per mile, a 185-pound person burns 67 calories walking for 10 minutes and a 125-pound person burns 45 calories.
Walking in 10 minute increments — especially walking briskly on a regular basis — improves fitness and gives a person a practical way to get healthy activity into their life. As a person continues to get moving in a regular pattern of walking, lung capacity increases, resting heart rate may decrease and muscles become stronger. These are the characteristics of a fit person. Walking also counts as a weight-bearing exercise because a person moves their own weight when they walk. Regular 10 minute walks help maintain bone density, which decreases the risk of fractures. This is a particularly valuable benefit for older women, due to the higher risk of osteoporosis.
A 10 minute walk taken sporadically throughout the day aids in weight control. A few small studies have indicated the 10 minute bouts have improved aerobic fitness among previously sedentary people. For those unable to commit to a longer 30 minute bout of walking, the results indicated the shorter regimens were more likely to be maintained over the long term.
For children and teenagers, the number goes even lower – to 5. In a study published last year in PLoS One, researchers found that repeated bouts of running or other physical activity lasting as little as five minutes at a time reduced the young peoples’ risks of poor cholesterol profiles, wider waistlines and above average blood pressure readings as much as longer exercise sessions did. In an age of childhood obesity, this offers much hope for families to become more active together.
In an interview with Gretchen Reynolds, Glenn Gaesser, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University reported results from a new study about exercise and high blood pressure. His results suggested that walking for exercise in shorter spurts throughout the day has been found to be very helpful in controlling blood pressure. “The fractionized exercise led to lower average 24-hour blood pressure readings.” It also resulted in lower blood pressure “load,” or the number of incidences during the day when a person’s blood pressure spiked above 140/90. Lowering blood pressure load is important, he points out, because a relatively high load “seems to be an indicator that someone with prehypertension is likely to progress” to full-blown, clinically high blood pressure.