Could a mile a day improve your health? That’s certainly the case for pupils at a Lancashire primary school, who run a mile come rain or shine as part of their school day. The pupils say it helps them concentrate at school better and helps them get their work done, and experts believe more school pupils should take on this challenge to boost their health. Could running a mile a day really improve your health? It could certainly be the beginning of a healthier lifestyle.
A mile a day
School pupils in Scotland began trialling the mile a day runs as part of an NHS initiative, with the aim of getting them more active to see if running a mile every day could have a benefit on their health and wellbeing. The pupils were supportive of the project and found it helped them to get fitter and stronger, whilst NHS experts found that the pupils’ mental and overall health was improved. As many of us fail to achieve the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity a week, perhaps a mile a day run could be part of the solution to achieving this.
Why run a mile a day?
A mile may seem like a short distance for some, but if you’re in poor health, are unfit or overweight, a mile is a manageable, achievable goal which can help get you on the path to fitness. Running helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness and gets your heart rate going. By measuring the amount of time it takes you to run a mile, you can see your fitness improving, and the distance will become more manageable. From there you can boost your fitness further by adding to the distance. Try running a mile up the hill or add some resistance like swapping the road for the beach.
As well as seeing a boost to your cardiovascular fitness, you will also help to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your muscles and enjoy mental health benefits too. Whilst running a mile a day may not necessarily help you lose weight, it could help you maintain it through adding that extra element of physical activity.
Running is a free exercise which can be done anywhere – at home, at work, whilst you’re out and about and even on holiday. A typical mile will take around 10-15 minutes to complete, and can even be walked in 20 minutes. It’s important to wear the right footwear and stay hydrated, as even a short run could cause injury or dehydration if you’re not fully prepared.
Further information and taking steps to boost your health
Running a mile a day is just one way to boost your health, and running beginners will find useful information on getting started with NHS Choices. There are many other ways you can get fit however, including walking, swimming, fitness classes and others which you can do according to your preference and ability.
Inactivity can have serious consequences for our health, and with many of us at a desk and then a sofa for a large part of the day, we could be risking obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and other conditions which could be prevented through getting active. Take some steps to sit less, whatever your age, and work towards that 150 minutes a week to see a big improvement to your health.