An article was recently published in HealthyDay news about how two minutes of walking or low-intensity exercise (like gardening or cleaning) may decrease adverse health effects of prolonged sitting. The article states that 80% of Americans do not meet the minimum recommended level of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week; additionally, a sedentary lifestyle that involves sitting for prolonged periods has an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, premature death, and diabetes.
What struck me about this article is where it states merely two minutes every waking hour of walking is enough to lessen the risk of these chronic diseases by as much as 33%. Finding time to actually “workout” is hard for many people due to a variety of reasons: too busy, too difficult, etcetera. However, if you are able to start someone off with two minutes every hour of even walking can make exercise seem less daunting. Eventually, this person may progress to being able to engage in light activity for two minutes every hour in addition to doing 2.5 hours of activity every week.
I believe I will find the information in this article very useful in nutrition counseling. After all, nutrition counseling is about finding out what your patient is willing to do and helping them find their motivation to improve and progress in a positive way. By breaking exercise from an intimidating barrier into smaller increments to the extent where a patient feels like, “Hey, maybe I can do this” or “Maybe I can give this a shot” will be more effective in the long run than immediately trying to get someone to exercise an hour a day. Here is the link to the article if you would like to check it out: http://consumer.healthday.com/fitness-information-14/misc-health-news-265/a-two-minute-walk-every-hour-may-help-offset-effects-of-sitting-698848.html
Something else that is related to the impact of walking is the documentary The Walking Revolution which details the lifestyle changes of Americans and how the convenience of our environment are impacting our health. It is a strong documentary that I found really motivating and helped me become more aware of how active I am throughout the day, and not only when I dedicate an hour or so to doing so. Click the picture below to watch the documentary: