A — 4: in fitness levels
B — 6: not enough to get fit
C — 1: part in the project
D — 2: taking exercise
E — 5: on simply getting people to take exercise
F — 7: a compromise between physiology and psychology
Walking is not enough to keep fit
Walking may not be enough on its own to produce significant health benefits, research suggests.
A team from Canada’s University of Alberta compared a 10,000-step exercise programme with a more traditional fitness regime of moderate intensity. Researchers found improvements __in fitness levels__ were significantly higher in the second group.
They told an American College of Sports Medicine meeting that gentle exercise was __not enough to get fit__. In total 128 people took __part in the project__.
The researchers assessed influence on fitness by measuring blood pressure and lung capacity. They found out the 10,000-step programme did help to get people motivated – and was an excellent way to start __taking exercise__.
But to increase the effectiveness, some intensity must be added to their exercise. “Across your day, while you are achieving those 10,000 steps, take 200 to 400 of them at a faster pace. You’ve got to do more than light exercise and include regular moderate activity, and don’t be shy to have an occasional period of time at an energetic level.” The researchers were concerned there was too much focus __on simply getting people to take exercise__, rather than on its intensity.
Professor Stuart Biddle, an expert in exercise science at the University of Loughborough, said it was possible that the current guidelines on how much exercise to take were set too low. “However, you have got to find __a compromise between physiology and psychology__. The harder you make it, the fewer people will actually do it.” Professor Biddle said there was no doubt that energetic exercise was the way to get fit, but volume rather than intensity might be more useful in tackling issues such as obesity.