While I don’t miss lockdown I do miss the long walks I did which lasted for an hour each day. There was something very odd about having to hibernate and keep ourselves safe and, yet, look after our health at the same time. I went for walks in my local park, one which I had never visited pre-pandemic because I didn’t have the time.

In lockdown, the park was the only place to see other humans even if it wasn’t sensible to get too close. My walks took on an ethereal feel. Oddly enough we had good summers in lockdown. The bad 2023 British summer hasn’t lent itself to encouraging me to go for a walk. I wake up with good intentions which rapidly diminish when the morning chill hits me.

I am losing out though in my midlife by being a touch too soft. According to this study, brisk walking of 10 minutes can decrease your biological age. The study is quite a science read so here’s a simpler version of it. The message is clear though – walk at a fast pace for at least 10 minutes a day to stay healthy.

This could be walking to the station, to the local shops or to pick your kids up if they go to a local school.

According to UK Government advice:

..evidence shows the following health benefits could be achieved from 10 minutes of brisk walking per day for 7 days:

  • increased physical fitness
  • greater ease of performance of everyday physical activities
  • improved mood
  • improved quality of life
  • increased body leanness and healthier weight
  • 15% reduction in risk of early death

Brisk walking at 3 mph is a physical activity of ‘moderate intensity’, ie it has a rating of 3.3
metabolic equivalents (METS; a measure of how much energy is expended). An individual can tell if they are walking briskly or other activity is of moderate intensity because they will breathe faster, experience an increase in heart rate and feel warmer.

Get walking in your midlife.