Modern day life can make it hard to be healthy, so it’s not surprising that most of us are not fitting enough physical activity into our days. The good news is that you don’t have to wear sports kit or start an expensive fitness programme to get the benefits of an active lifestyle - brisk walking counts too.
A brisk ten minute walk is faster than your average stroll and typically requires you to move at least three miles per hour. An elevated heart rate, heavier breathing, and sweating slightly are all signs of brisk walking.
Just doing 10 minutes of brisk walking can make a huge difference to your health; it gets the heart pumping faster, can make you feel better, more energetic and improve your mood. Over time, brisk walking can help to lower the risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk of early death by 15%.
Luton Council is encouraging residents to get active by downloading the Active 10 app and committing to 10 minutes of brisk walking a day as part of Public Health England’s One You campaign.
This free Active 10 app shows how much brisk walking you’re doing, when you can increase your pace and how you can fit more brisk walking in to your day. It also sets goals and provides hints and tips to keep you going, and has been endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
Do your brisk walk in one of our parks. Luton is fortunate to have fantastic parks, with six holding a Green Flag Award and some of our parks and open spaces also have fitness stations including People’s Park and Brantwood Park which offer free access to exercise equipment including: hand bikes, exercise cycles, chest press and cross trainers suitable for all ages and abilities.
Looking to do something different? Active Luton has centres across the town offering a variety of classes such as Zumba, Pilates, Kettlercise as well as swimming pools and friendly gyms which cater for all ages, and those with disabilities. So, if the weather’s not so great, why not try the treadmill?
Better yet, these activities do not have to burn a hole in your pocket- anyone can register for a GO4Less card to receive a discount on activities at Active Luton Centres and attend the gym or go swimming for just £2 at off peak times and those receiving benefits might qualify for concessionary rates.
Cllr Rachel Hopkins, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, said: “Doing just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day is perfect to get fit on a busy schedule. Ditch the phone and catch up with a friend over a brisk walk instead,-catching up with a friend and getting healthier at the same time sounds like a win-win."
“I have downloaded the Active 10 app to help get fitter and I urge residents to do the same and walk their way to a healthier lifestyle.”
The Active 10 app can be downloaded from the App Store on Apple Devices and on Google Play if you are on Android. For more details about Active 10, the Active Luton Go4Less card or to find your nearest park with fitness stations or equipment visit www.luton.gov.uk/selfcare