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Health and Wellbeing

Running and walking for health and fitness

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Health and Wellbeing - October 2018

04 Oct 2018

Both walking and running are great ways to exercise your cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood vessels and the blood. The respiratory system is made up of the lungs, the vessels that transport oxygen/carbon dioxide, respiratory muscles and the nose and mouth.

The Department of Health recommends that adults accumulate 150 minutes of vigorous or 300 minutes of moderate activity per week. This works out to be 30-60 minutes per day, every day.

Generally speaking, walking would be considered a moderate intensity activity, and running would most often be vigorous.

Health, fitness and wellbeing results will come sooner if you can gradually increase exercise intensity over time. If you are just starting out your aim should be to build on your strength and endurance so your body can eventually handle training at higher levels of intensity.

Don’t start out too fast as you may end up back where you started! As the saying goes, “learn to walk before you run”.

Running is a high-impact activity so make sure your knees, ankles and hips are up to the challenge. One definite upside of running versus walking is the latent effect of higher intensity exercise.

Not only will you burn (slightly) more calories while running versus walking, your real benefit actually comes after you stop. Your body and its increased metabolic functioning will consume 30-40 per cent more calories for two to four hours after your workout if you run rather than walk! That should be a great motivator to get out tomorrow for a run!

Staying fuelled up and hydrated

Unlike camels, we humans cannot store water within our body. Our fluid levels must be continually be topped up and replenished daily.

We can only survive a few days without water, but last for weeks without food so it’s really important we ensure our fluid levels are maintained to avoid dehydration.

Very generally speaking, children need about one litre of water per day – women need two litres and men about 2.5 litres. This amount of course varies depending on the body type and size, the environment and how much exercise and activity you are engaged in.

Now spring is here and with summer fast approaching, many people launch back into seasonal exercise routines, while often not paying enough attention to their nutritional and fluid intake.

With the popularity of high-intensity training, the outcomes for poor nutrition and low fluid levels prior to exercise can be critical. Heat stress, dizziness, dehydration, fainting and collapse, even unconsciousness are real concerns that can all be avoided with some increased awareness and planning.

You wouldn’t drive your car without fuel in the tank and water in the radiator, so apply the same principles to your body.

12 great reasons everyone

  • should lift weights
  • Helps increase lean body mass;
  • Helps control and reduce body fat;
  • Builds stronger bones and joints;
  • Will boost and increase your metabolism;
  • Helps you will sleep better;
  • Completing daily tasks and routines will be easier;
  • Will improve posture, balance and reduce back pain;
  • Will improve confidence and mental health – sense of wellbeing;
  • You will perform better in your chosen sports;
  • Your heart and lungs will be healthier and stronger;
  • Helps you avoid sedentary diseases like obesity and diabetes; and
  • You will be physically stronger and more able as an individual.

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