THE ALTERNATIVE LONDON MARATHON: MAKE EVERY MILE COUNT

11 Mar 2006

WALKING

Mileage: A brisk 40 minute walk will clock up two miles

Every day we should be taking 10,000 steps, which – based on 2,000 steps per mile – equates to around five miles. In a normal day most people will cover between two-three miles or 4,000-6000 steps, leaving us at least two miles short. Put simply, this means that a 40 minute walk is all most of us need to add to our day in order to hit the 10,000 target. And if you need more convincing, walking two miles a day, three times a week can reduce your weight by one pound every three weeks, together with a healthy eating regime.

You only need to do it for 10 minutes at a time, as long as it’s brisk. A study found women walking for 30 minutes five days a week had an almost identical increase in fitness to women who split their 30 minutes into three blocks of ten.

The health benefits of walking are renowned. Medical research indicates that regular exercise can cut the risk of coronary heart disease, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, help weight loss, increase bone density and help fight osteoporosis as well as reducing stress and improving general wellbeing.

CYCLING

Mileage: 30 minutes cycling will clock up between four and five miles

The great thing about cycling is that it needn’t be something you do outside of your normal routine. If you live close enough to work, why not consider an active commute. Not only will you be doing your bit for the environment, but you’ll be meeting up your 30 minute quota.

You can always consider using your bike for other outings. If your journey is less than four miles there’s no reason you can’t hop on your bike instead of in the car.