Does the title of this post sound familiar? Is it, of a version of it, something you say to yourself in the morning as you press ‘snooze’ yet again? Or how about late at night when you are working through your favourite Box Set, even though you know in your heart that you should go to sleep?
Of course we all know that when we are in this sort of mood, those 10 minutes can turn into hours if we are not careful. But I think the ‘just 10 more minutes’ mantra can be put to much better use.
Last month, Rachel and I wrote about the need to increase the amount of exercise we were doing. I said then that I was aiming to get back up to an average of 10,000 steps per day through January. Here we are well in to February. My step average for 2018 so far? 4,337. I have actually managed to go backwards since the last post! 😩
So I have decided to try a slightly different tack. I was interested to see this BBC news item by British journalist Michael Mosley, which suggests that the 10,000 step benchmark has rather arbitrary origins and that, instead, we should be aiming for 10 minutes of ‘brisk’ activity. This is because short bursts of moderately intense exercise (which can include walking at an ‘I’m late for something’ speed) have been shown in recent tests to be more effective in promoting good physical health than prolonged activity at lower intensity levels.
I decided to conduct my own mini experiment. How far would I need to walk from my front door, at a slightly brisker pace than normal, to clock up those 10 minutes? I assessed it by bus stops. I knew that it was about 5 minutes to my nearest stop, so I powered on past that without a second glance. By the second stop I was a mere 7 minutes in. I hit the 10 minute mark around about the third stop, which was surprising to me. I would not have expected to travel as far as that in such a short time.
I’m not yet convinced that the aim of 10,000 steps a day should be totally abandoned. Surely it must be beneficial in some way to be covering that much ground – at the very least, time spent this way is reduced sitting-down time. But I can also see the merits of the ’10-minute active’ approach. Telling myself that I’m just going to walk for 10 minutes seems very manageable. And of course, once you get going, there’s always scope for more.
Let’s see what happens…
Considering I am currently in training for the London Moonwalk in May (more ‘words you never thought you would hear me say’) I think I need to take the 10-more-minute approach when I am out doing my walks. At the moment, I am in the early stages of my training plan and I therefore only need to do 4 miles each time. However, in a couple of weeks I shall be expected to have worked up to 10 miles and then – and I am trying not to think about it – 22 flippin’ miles! All in time for the 26 mile walk.
Despite the fabulous views (and I am lucky enough to have plenty around me) I find walking in the countryside boring – there I have said it – I count the steps to when I reach my turnaround point and do the absolute bare minimum. But, and especially as I want to enjoy the experience, I need to change my attitude, and fast. So for my next walk I shall be more mindful of my surroundings, enjoy the view and push myself just a little further. On my last walk I started to listen to the audio book of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman, which did take the edge off. I
These experiences are made to help shape us (in more ways than one) and so it must also be said that I need to always remember why I am doing it…
Walking the Walk can save lives, raise awareness and get you fit, so what an opportunity to do something for yourself that will also benefit not only cancer patients today, but with research that we fund, the future health of us all.
– taken from the website
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