Advertisement

The Five-Minute Walking Miracle

The Five-Minute Walking Miracle

Cloudy mind? Damaged arteries? Growing belly? A study confirms the remedy for these health woes is precisely what the 4th century B.C. Greek philosopher Diogenes figured out: “Solvitur ambulando, he said.” It is solved by walking.

Up to 70% of North Americans spend 6-8 hours a day sitting and many spend much more. Here’s how it can add up: four hours watching TV, two hours commuting, seven hours at the office. The toll is astounding -- even if you’re relatively young: Researchers looked at guys 20-35 and found prolonged sitting caused blood to pool in the legs and reduced blood vessels’ ability to expand by 50%. That contributes to heart disease, diabetes and cancer -- and just feeling lousy.

But if you go ambulando for five minutes every hour, you’ll preserve blood vessel flexibility and dodge all kinds of health problems.

  • Download a free hourly reminder app like reMind or set your smart phone timer to go off every hour.
  • When the alarm sounds, walk up and down the stairs in your office building or home. Or head for the parking lot or backyard and do a fast once-around. Watching TV? March vigorously in place. You can always steal five minutes to save your health!
  • Get a pedometer -- you’ll be amazed at how many steps you get in by walking for five minutes during each of the hours you’re sitting!
  • Over time, increase your steps while staying with five-minute breaks. Then you’ll be walking tall, sitting pretty and have a younger RealAge!

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

Walk This Way: Tips for Better Form
Walk This Way: Tips for Better Form
One of the many great things about walking is that everyone knows how to do it. But if it's your main way to exercise, a few form tweaks will help you...
Read More
How can I set walking goals?
Jonathan PenneyJonathan Penney
Setting a goal is ideal and should be a requirement of almost any training program.  If you do not s...
More Answers
Walk Your Way to Better Health
Walk Your Way to Better HealthWalk Your Way to Better HealthWalk Your Way to Better HealthWalk Your Way to Better Health
The key to a longer, healthier life may be just a few steps away.
Start Slideshow
Does Reparative Therapy Work?
Does Reparative Therapy Work?