Category: HEALTH

Doing 3, 10-Minute Brisk Walks A Day Is More Effective Than Aiming For 10,000 Steps

These days it is hard to walk the streets without running into someone who is anxiously looking at their wrist to see if they are on target to reach the magic 10,000 steps.

Is it really a goal worth striving for, or might there be something better?

And where did that figure come from?

You might be surprised to hear it was the result of a 1960s marketing campaign in Japan.

In the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a company came up with a device which they started marketing to the health-conscious.

It was called a Manpo-Kei. In Japanese, “man” means 10,000, “po” means steps and “kei” means meter. So it was, literally, a 10,000 steps meter.

The device was an early pedometer, based on the work of Dr Yoshiro Hatano, a young academic at Kyushu University of Health and Welfare.

Dr Hatano was worried that the Japanese were busy importing a slothful American lifestyle, as well as a love of watching baseball, and wanted to help them get more active.

He reckoned that if he could persuade his fellow Japanese to increase their daily steps from 4,000 to around 10,000 then they would burn off approximately 500 extra calories a day and remain slim.


That, apparently, was how the “10,000 steps a day” regime was born.

It was clearly a great marketing success. But is it still the most effective way to improve our fitness?

‘Knitting is my only activity’

For BBC’s The Truth about Getting Fit, I went to a factory in Sheffield with Prof Rob Copeland from Sheffield Hallam University.

Our aim was to do a small experiment in which we would compare the benefits and ease of doing 10,000 steps against something called, “Active 10“.

With Active 10 you don’t need to count steps. You simply aim to do three brisk 10-minute walks a day.

Our volunteers all had different reasons for wanting to get fitter.

Walkers who tried Active 10
Image captionSome of the volunteers who took part in our test

Dave said: “I’m very aware that I’m not as fit as I used to be and I’ve put a lot of weight on,” while Judy confessed: “My only activity at the moment is knitting.”

And Nathan, who has a six-year-old daughter, said: “She runs so fast, and I run so slowly, I can’t catch her up.”

Our small group of volunteers was fitted with activity monitors so we could not only monitor what they did, but also how vigorously they did it.

First, a normal day’s activity was measured.

Rob then split them into two groups. One was asked to hit the 10,000-step target – around five miles – in a day, while the other group was asked to do three sessions of “Active 10” – which adds up to around 1.5 miles – more like 3,000 steps.

The Active 10 group were also told that their aim was not to amble but to get their pace up so that they would be working their heart and lungs. Prof Copeland told them: “You are aiming to walk fast enough so that you can still talk but not sing.”

Brisk walks

When we looked at the volunteers’ results, two out of the three asked to do 10,000 steps had managed to hit their target. But they had all struggled.

The Active 10 group, on the other hand, had found it relatively easy. They had formed a small walking group and met together at convenient times during their working day to go for a brisk walk together.

So 10,000 steps was harder to achieve – but which activity was better for health?

Woman walkingImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionBetter to go briskly…

Prof Copeland had analysed the data from their tracking monitors and he said the findings were very clear.

“The Active 10 group actually did 30% more ‘moderate to vigorous physical activity’ than the 10,000-step group, even though they moved for less time.

“And it’s when you are doing moderate intensity activity that you are starting to get the greatest health benefits.”

So even though the Active 10 group spent less time actually moving, they spent more time getting out of breath and increasing their heart rate.

Prof Copeland told the group: “What we really wanted you to do was to get your heart beating faster. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that by doing so you can lower your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”

So three short brisk walks were easier to fit into the day and better for health.

I thought that was really interesting and I found it very encouraging, because I really don’t like doing 10,000 steps.

So the fact that you can get similar, perhaps greater, benefits from a few brisk walks a day is enormously encouraging.

To start doing some Active 10s in your day go to the NHS website where you can download a free Public Health England app. It is a good way to see how much brisk walking you’re doing, and how to do more.

Article culled from BBC-Health



As a single woman living by myself (well my youngest daughter still lives at home with me but she stays firmly in her “apartment” and mostly keeps well out of my way) there are some sins and offences that I inadvertently commit and expose to the world because I have no one to tell me otherwise. Example if my bum appears too big in a dress I’m wearing, if I’ve applied my make up horribly, I’m wearing a skirt that is too short, a top showing too much cleavage or I have lip stick on my teeth. These are some of the horrors that single ladies could avoid if they had someone that could tell them. But because they don’t,  they could be forgiven if they come out of their homes looking like a dog’s dinner.

But there can be absolutely no excuse on this planet whatsoever for a married woman to step out of her house with nuclear proportion BODY ODOUR!!!

MY God!!!

I know some married women that possess the most offensive body smell that permeates the entire room they entire. I fact, you could tell they’ve entered into a room even if you had blindfolds on. And these are not the occasional BO that could come from an unlaundered jacket or dried on sweat after a very busy schedule on a hot day.

I’m talking about habitual anywhere, everywhere, anytime BO.

My issues with BO is – how can you not know you have it? Or how can your husband fail to tell in all the years you’ve been married that you have serious BO and need to do something about it?

How can you both step our of your house at anytime to go to work, to a party or to church and not feel you should tell your wife to spray herself? This as far as I’m concerned is the very height of irresponsibility and carelessness on the part of a husband whose wife has body odour

Or maybe, after many yers of being together, the husband has gotten so used to the offensive odour and has become “smell-blind”


There really cannot be any defensive argument for a lady to smell bad in this day and age. The shops are filled with all kinds of toiletries such as deodorant, body spray, body mist, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, cheap and expensive etc and EVERY WOMAN with or without BO should include them in their daily routine.


BO is socially unacceptable and does not give a good impression of the bearer, no matter how expensively they are dressed or how sweet they are. BO gives the notion that the bearer is dirty, unhygienic and careless.


I personally am terribly self conscious and would just die, if I discovered that I’ve been in the company of others and they’ve smelt a “whiff” coming from me.

How embarrassing!

How shameful!!

That is why I always have a bottle of perfume in my bag and two cans of body spray in my car. I also as a long established rule, use a deodorant stick after every shower – a habit formed from secondary school. Luckily I do not suffer from a body odour problem but I still like to make double sure.

So please my dear brothers and uncles, I’m begging you. If you know your wife has a smell condition, please do the kind thing and tell her. Christmas is coming up so sieze the opportunity and buy her a load of perfume and deodorising products.

And make sure she uses them.

Also, try to make her take at least two daily showers and change her underwear regularly because a lack of proper hygiene routine could be a cause of body odour.
Please remember that many people suffering from a BO problem might not know that they smell. Therefore, it us really up to those closest to them to tell them.

And it could also be a symptom of an underlying medical problem so a visit to the GP might be necessary.


SIMON Cowell has revealed that his  horror fall last week was caused by low blood pressure.

The X Factor boss, 58, admits he was lucky to survive after fainting and tumbling down stairs.

After he was rushed to hospital in a neck brace and told to rest from this weekend’s shows, Cowell has vowed to change his lifestyle for the sake of three-year-old son Eric.


Simon said: “Sometimes we get a reminder that we’re not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock.

“They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.

“After all I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.”



Simon Cowell gives a thumbs up after being rushed to hospital, fainting the day before X Factor live shows start.

Recalling the accident in detail for the first time, he said: “I’d gone to get some hot milk because I felt ropey. On the way back upstairs, I just remember feeling really dizzy.

“Next thing I know someone was putting a neck brace on me and I had a terrible headache, which must have been from me hitting the stairs. I was worried at first that I’d done some real damage.

“But I’m on the mend now. I know I was very lucky I didn’t hurt myself seriously.

“It could have been a lot worse. I must say, everyone at the hospital were incredible. I’m truly grateful.”


cowell ill

PETER JORDAN – THE SUN: Simon Cowell was stretchered out of his London home after falling down the stairs
cowell i
Simon was back home ten hours after his 999 dash at 7am on Friday.

But on docs’ advice he watched the weekend shows at home with partner Lauren Silverman, 40, and Eric. Judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger took charge on Saturday.

Last night they were joined by Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha.

A source said: “The medics told Simon it would be too quick for him to return to work 48 hours after a serious medical episode.

Simon Cowell listened to doctors advice and skipped the first week of live shows

“Alesha was a natural stand-in. She’s well liked and knows what she’s doing.”

Last Thursday evening, hours before the accident, Simon spoke to The Sun about the changes to the live shows and his hopes for the final.

At X Factor’s new West London studios, he said: “If we don’t find an out-and-out star this year we’ve failed. I’d blame myself. And all of us.

“You can’t get it right every year. But I’m genuinely excited by a few people we’ve turned up.”

In June, Simon Cowell pulled out of the X Factor’s London auditions over a mystery illness

This year the Sunday results show has been changed to include a second round of singing.

Simon has scrapped the survival sing-off which would see the judges vote to save their favourite act, often sparking controversy.

Instead more screen time is devoted to the most talented singers and less to the no-hoper “novelty” acts.

And in a further twist, the top-ranking performers after the weekend’s public vote will sing once more for a “money can’t buy prize”.

Simon added: “Now each weekend is like a mini-final. When we say ‘money cant buy’ it’s got to be exactly that. When the team showed me what they’d got for prizes I almost didn’t believe them. They’re bloody brilliant.”

Asked if he is desperate to emulate Strictly’s success, Simon said: “It’s the same as when you’re running a record label. You’re having a good run then out of nowhere another artist on another label starts selling gazillions.

“All you can think is ‘Right, how do I get my artist to do that too?’

“Do I always want to be more successful? One million percent.

“The truth is, and I hate to use words like ‘catch-up’ etc, but about eight million watch our show every week, and maybe even as many as ten million in the end.

“I haven’t watched Strictly in four years. I probably should. But I’m like that with the record label too.

“Sometimes you see a big album drop but you think, ‘Shall I listen to it — maybe not it’s just going to make me feel sick!’”

Simon is thrilled ex-judge Cheryl’s return as a guest has proved a hit.

He said: “She’s so quick. We’ve had our ups and down but we have an amazing working relationship. We hope to feature Cheryl in another show we’re working on. We’re going to announce it soon.”

Simon had “no idea” about Nicole Scherzinger’s future after she recently hinted she could quit.

He added: “All I would say is the people on the show have got to want to be about the contestants, I’ve always said that.

“If you’ve got bad contestants you’ve got a bad show . . . great contestants, you’ve got a shot.”



FAINTING is always due to low blood pressure at that moment.

When blood flow to the brain plummets, you lose consciousness.

Some people do have continually low blood pressure – under 90/60.

On the whole having low blood pressure is a good thing and often needs no treatment.

But some people can get symptoms like dizziness or recurrent fainting.

You can help the condition by not standing for long periods and by avoiding dehydration and excess alcohol.

Also, don’t miss meals. Have frequent small meals.


Men who have performed oral sex on five or more women are at greater risk of developing head and neck cancer, especially if they smoke.

Oropharyngeal cancer can be triggered by contracting the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is a common cause of cervical cancer in women.

Although the risk of diagnosis remains low – just 0.7 per cent of the male population – US researchers warned that men are more likely than woman to contract it.

According to the research, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, 15 per cent of men who smoked and had five or more oral sex partners are most likely to get HPV.

Around seven per cent of men who smoke and have had two to four oral sex partners contract the infection.

Cancer: The risk was also higher among men who smoke (PA)

And the lowest risk group were those who had one or no oral sex partners in their lifetimes, with only 1.5 per cent of them getting an oral HPV infection. This rises to four per cent among non-smokers with two to four oral sex partners.

The risk was much lower among women, anyone who did not smoke, and people who had less than five oral sex partners in their lifetimes.

One of the authors of the study, Dr Amber D’Souza, said cases of head and neck cancer are predicted to overtake cervical cancer by 2020 and said that, because of this, an effective screening process was crucial.

“It would be useful to be able to identify healthy people who are most at risk of developing oropharyngeal cancer in order to inform potential screening strategies, if effective screening tests could be developed,” she said.

“Most people perform oral sex in their lives, and we found that oral infection with cancer-causing HPV was rare among women regardless of how many oral sex partners they had.

“Among men who did not smoke, cancer-causing oral HPV was rare among everyone who had less than five oral sex partners, although the chances of having oral HPV infection did increase with number of oral sexual partners, and with smoking.”

Researchers analysed data from 13,089 people, aged 20-69.They used the numbers of oropharyngeal cancer cases and deaths from US registries to predict the risk of cancer from oral HPV infection.

There are over 100 different kinds of HPV but only a few are known to cause cancer. HPV 16 or 18, for example, is known to cause most cervical cancer, and HPV 16 also triggers oropharyngeal cancer.


In a fascinating and scorching editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three authors argue that the myth that exercise is the key to weight loss – and to health – is erroneous and pervasive, and that it must end. The evidence that diet matters more than exercise is now overwhelming, they write, and has got to be heeded: We can exercise to the moon and back but still be fat for all the sugar and carbs we consume. And perhaps even more jarring is that we can be a normal weight and exercise, and still be unhealthy if we’re eating poorly. So, they say, we need a basic reboot of our understanding of health, which has to involve the food industry’s powerful PR “machinery,” since that was part of the problem to begin with.


The major point the team makes – which they say the public doesn’t really understand – is that exercise in and of itself doesn’t really lead to weight loss. It may lead to a number of excellent health effects, but weight loss – if you’re not also restricting calories – isn’t one of them. “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%,” they write. “However, physical activity does not promote weight loss.”

Plus, in the last 30 years, exercise has stayed about the same, while overweight and obesity have skyrocketed. So something else must be at play – like the type of food we’re eating. That part has gotten steadily worse over the years, as highly-processed sugary foods and sodas have taken over as our go-to choices. “According to the Lancet global burden of disease reports,” they write, “poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.” This is a disturbing statistic. But it gets worse.

Exercise must be combined with a change in eating habits to result in weight loss and great health

The related and larger issue is that even normal weight people who exercise will, if they eat poorly, have metabolic markers that put them at very high risk of chronic illness and early mortality. “Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.”


And the crux of the issue is this: We’re continually “fed” the idea that all that’s behind the rise in obesity is lack of exercise, or sedentariness. There have certainly been a lot of studies and popular articles suggesting that sitting is our downfall. Instead of effective messages about diet and health that science actually knows to be true, “members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting,” the team writes, “and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the Food Industry’s Public Relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco.”

“Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%,

What we know to be true is much simpler: “Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger,” the write. “Fat calories induce fullness or satiation.” For every additional 150 calories in sugar (i.e., a can of soda) a person consumes per day, the risk for diabetes rises 11-fold, regardless of how much or little we exercise. The single most effective thing people can do for their weight, they write, is to restrict calories – and even more, restrict carbohydrates.

So if this is all true, and research seems to suggest it is, how will it change? It might take quite a lot of work to shift our psychology around food, especially since advertising is so saturated with the message that carbohydrates are good for us. The celebrity endorsements might need to be tweaked, the authors say, and certainly the way foods are advertised and, perhaps, created, need to be shifted. The public should be repeatedly hit with the message that whole, natural foods, where possible and affordable is the best way to go. If you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your calories (especially sugars) – don’t think exercise alone will cut it. And even if you’re normal weight, you can’t subside solely on junk and stay healthy.

The authors end with this powerful finale: “It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry’s Public Relations machinery. Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.”


**Article by Alice G. Walton